Why do writers write? What is literature for? Author responds to Central America account

presentation w magazine Why do writers write? What is novel? What is poetry? Does literature make life better? What is the homeland of a writer? What are the limits of reality and imagination? About thirty authors will speak on all these topics at the tenth edition of the Central America Counts Festival, from May 16 to May 21, 2023, in Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic). He did so in 26 dialogues on various subjects with such names as Mircea Cartarescu, Rosa Monteiro, Alma Guillermoprito, Sergio Ramírez, Benito Taibo, Claudia Piñeiro, Juan Gabriel Vasquez, Joumana Haddad, Gioconda Belli, Myra Santos-Fabres, Gabby Martinez, Shirley Campbell, George Galán, Luis-Philippe Delembert, María Eugenia Ramos and seventy other participants.

Centroamerica Cuenta, directed by Claudia Neira and created in 2013 by Nicaraguan writer and Cervantes Award winner Sergio Ramírez, continues to travel to different countries as the government of Daniel Ortega threatened its founder three years ago, which in 2023, was taken back

The following is a compilation of thoughts and reflections from around the world of literary creation that seek to uncover the mystery of writing. Twenty-six meetings here turned into a single chorus of voices, beginning with the words of Claudia Neira Bermudez, which include all of the following:

claudia neria bermudez (Nicaragua): We are the sum of everything and we come from many places at the same time.

mircea catarescu (Romania): Many people believe that fiction is a lie, a concession, a beautiful lie, a lie that helps people, that comforts people, that gives meaning to their lives. But literature is nothing like that. Literature is the means to investigate this immeasurable reality, these inexhaustible realities. Literature talks about truth, just like science, or philosophy, or theology, or any other area of ​​human knowledge. Because knowledge is such a continuous wave that we break it for strange reasons. There is no difference between poetry and art, in mathematics and philosophy. Everything is knowledge. And knowledge is something important and serious. And the sincerity of the artistic work is the most important thing in the world. You cannot talk about poetry outside of the idea of ​​sincerity. An artist is a portico, a portal, and he is an oracle, and he is a being who allows the unfolding of the great realities that lie behind us. Artistic work is impossible without sincerity.

Fernando Cabrera (Dominican Republic): We would like to have the motherland language of the author. The truth is that someone writes from himself, writes from his autobiography. Literature is identity by necessity. One writes from a first identity.

Tulsi Balliard (Dominican Republic): Every act of writing is an act of crime. A crime first against self, against identity, and then against the technology that is used to write and express oneself. No one stands by the present. One is all that you have read.

Sergio Ramirez (Nicaragua): One has to record what is useful for storytelling, what one finds attractive for storytelling, whether it’s a family secret, whether it’s a conversation with others, on a bus, in a restaurant, Get lost in the letter Because everything is going to give novel. In this sense, the novel is an antenna that is open to everything and that collects everything. There is literature in everything, even in torn papers on the street.

In a conversation about Central America, authors Mircea Cartarescu (second from left) and Sergio Ramirez (fourth from right) calculate 2023.

claudia pinero (Argentina): Literature helps to better understand the society in a more accessible way. (…) Literature gave me the opportunity to be in places where I could say important political issues. If there is any situation that needs to be fought at that point of time, I will use the microphone for that. But not necessarily in the next novel. The work of a novel is work, at best for three or four years, and there are themes that are constant, for which you will have to fight for a lifetime and that will pass through all your literature. And other issues are less permanent.

Juan Gabriel Vasquez (Colombia): Literature is made of certain things: it is made of language, and language acts in a mysterious way, as a kind of character who is we, the readers. We readers bring what we are to a book and that is why no two books are the same for two different readers. Prose fiction is a means of knowledge.

Mayra Santos-Feb (Puerto Rico): Literature will always fascinate. It’s always real magic. If we live in the multiverse, those other universes bring a lot of wisdom.

Joumana Haddad (Lebanon): The only thing that has allowed me to dream and live is literature. Literature can change the world because it can change every person. Every writing is an act of resistance. Being able to interact through words with other people, with other worlds, with another writer, lights a light within us.

Luis Garcia Montero (Spain): Dialogue with literature and life is accompanied by the need to leave a mark, which does not mean posterity, but the recognition of memory. When I write, I like to take the history of the past and make it my own. Literature is denying the objectification of time. We live in a society that makes everything a commodity and time a commodity to be used and thrown away. I’m a writer because I discovered Federico García Lorca’s poetry in the living room of my parents’ house when I was a teenager and I wanted to pass on that legacy and see what happened in my city after the war. What was left under the rubble?

rosa montero (Spain): Creative writing involves letting go of self-control. In blinding oneself, in killing oneself. You have to let go of the controlling self and become a free body that allows itself to pass through the story that comes out of the unconscious. In literature you have to kill yourself.

Burna Gonzalez Harbor (Spain): I believe in sympathy that a deed is generated. A composition ultimately attempts to share a vision with the readers. You are creating something that comes from you, from your solitude, from your computer, from your notebook and it will connect to society, to your world, to your community and in that shared gaze you will recognize yourself. And it is this form that aspires to transcend. Sharing literature for me.

Gabby Martinez (Spain): It is written to try to identify you within the ecosystem. You want to tell everyone’s stories so that you can reach out and get to know a little bit of who you are. In my case, I was trying to understand myself in order to understand the world.

Gioconda Bailey (Nicaragua): Writing is how I understand, understand myself and make sense of what is happening around me. It is also an area of ​​great doubts, contradictions, who am I? What happened to me Sometimes I think I have only colors and feathers in my brain, but I imagine Alcazars of words that ask me to leave my imagination only to know that they are true.

rosa montero (Spain): I write to give pain and evil a meaning they don’t really have. Trying to transform the fear of life and death into something less terrifying so that it doesn’t destroy us. And I have a motto from the French artist Georges Braque: Art is the light made of a wound.

claudia pinero (Argentina): We write to give words to our silence and the silence of others who cannot say, and we are here, consciously or not, to translate what is in the air.

Joumana Haddad (Lebanon): In a world that hits us every day in different ways, I have found in words and writing a way to be able to breathe, to be able to dream, to think To be able to that, maybe, yes, tomorrow will be better.

rosa montero (Spanish): What comes first in the language or what do you count? First is the language that the world creates for you and then what you say is told within that tradition and within the lines that the language opens up to you.

Sergio Ramirez (Nicaragua): Language is a mystery. To write in a language means to express oneself through signs. And those cues are giving us images and ideas that are forming in our minds, reconstructing, the story that is in the words. But there’s another added surprise: that the story the author creates is not the same one we recreate in our minds. It is different because no two images are the same, no two perceptions of the world are the same. And there is a third surprise: it is not just a relationship between a reader and an author, but between an author and many readers who see and interpret images in different ways. This multiplicity of reading, which begins with signs, is miraculous and mysterious to me.

Juan Gabriel Vasquez (Colombia): We writers are gossipers, and that’s important. What the novel does is elevate gossip as a force that gives us knowledge of our situation that, perhaps, we do not have through any other means that we humans have invented to explore ourselves.

mircea catarescu (Romania): Poetry and childhood are the same. A poet is a person who is able to remain a child till the end of his days. Being a poet does not mean writing books of poems. To be a poet means to see the beauty of things. But not where everyone sees it, but in some object, no matter how modest it may be. Poetry is everywhere. We all live in one vast poem. We are part of it. We are all the words of that poem. A poet is a person who sees things as a child sees them without that layer of social obscurity. Poetry and freedom are the same thing. The poet is the freest person in the world, he is not dependent on anything. Live only to give pleasure to other human beings.

Alma Guillermoprieto (Mexico): In Mexico, when a colleague is killed (Mexico is the country where most journalists are killed in non-war situations) only we, their allies, turn out to march. I think this is a fundamental problem for freedom of the press. Professional journalism has lost its relevance in the society. There is too much information, information that is not classified, classified. Because this information from professional media excludes anger as a motivating emotion, since it includes the possibility of calm and reflection, it is in a state of journalistic abandonment.

When we talk of hatred towards journalists, it is a new hatred because we have become traitors to the historical role of the press.

Of the 26 dialogues addressed at the Central America event, the following were notable, for example: between reality and dreamsMircea Cartarescu in conversation with Antonio Sáez Delgado; passion to write where Gioconda Belli (Nicaragua), Juan Gabriel Vasquez (Colombia), Joumana Haddad (Lebanon), Claudia Piñeiro (Argentina) and Daniel Centeno Maldonado (Venezuela) will participate; journey of words by Rosa Monteiro (Spain), Sergio Ramirez (Nicaragua), Benito Taibo (Mexico) and Berna Gonzalez Harbor (Spain); body and literature Luis García Monteiro (Spain), Orlando Mondragon (Mexico), Rosa Monteiro (Spain), Jochi Herrera (Dominican Republic) and Daniel Dominguez (Panama) or verses that countA poetry reading that includes about 20 authors such as Iona Nicoli (Romania), Jorge Galan (El Salvador), Orlando Mondragón (Mexico), Lara Moreno (Spain), Julio Serrano (Guatemala), Soledad Álvarez (Dominican Republic) or Mario. Martz (Nicaragua).

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