"Every author that creates is a liar; literature is a lie, but from that lie, a recreation of reality is born. Therefore, recreating reality is one of the fundaments of creation." --Juan Rulfo
“I'm afraid to write. It's so dangerous. Anyone who's tried, knows. The danger of stirring up hidden things - and the world is not on the surface, it's hidden in its roots submerged in the depths of the sea. In order to write I must place myself in the void. In this void is where I exist intuitively. But it's a terribly dangerous void: it's where I wring out blood. I'm a writer who fears the snare of words: the words I say hide others - Which? maybe I'll say them. Writing is a stone cast down a deep well.”
Fiction does not lie because it does not represent things as they are but as they should be. Our current government lies because it represents things as they are not, but pretends they are really this way. I prefer fiction.
The relationship between a reader and a narrator is as intense and emotionally complex as any relationship between that reader and another human being. The slow accumulation of the soul of the other, a satisfying human need, occurs in the turning of pages and the deciphering of life as rendered by prose. The novel provides an intercourse with selves, albeit imagined, but just as real. The author creates, in short, an image of himself and another image of his reader; he makes his reader, as he makes his second self, and the most successful reading is one in which the created selves, author and reader, can find complete agreement. The convergence of text and reader brings the literary work into existence. Thus, reading causes the literary work to unfold its inherently dynamic character. The literary work is something like an arena in which reader and author participate in a game of the imagination.
"Text of pleasure: the text that contents, fills, grants euphoria; the text the that comes from culture and does not break with it, is linked to a comfortable practice of reading."
"Text of bliss: the text that imposes a state of loss, the text that discomforts (perhaps to the point of certain boredom), unsettles the reader's historical, cultural, psychological assumptions, the consistency of his tastes, values, memories, brings to a crisis his relation with language."
I'm going for bliss...
According to Robbe-Grillet, “the genuine writer has nothing to say. He has only a way of speaking.” And I feel calm in anticipation of those words. Words mean the world when the world means little to me, which is all I can say.
According to Umberto Eco, “contemporary culture is a culture of avant-gardes. ... because every avant-garde is the negation of a previous avant-garde.”
Thus, it used sometimes to be argued that the next stage in the history of the novel was always an anti-novel, which in turn became the novel that had to be countered with another anti-novel. But this seems not to be true. There is a long history of avant-garde fiction, which never ceases, as it should on this theory, to be avant-garde.
Therefore, what kind of cultural work is a novel doing? is a question that should be more frequently, and more complexly, asked of writers and critics of avant-garde novels.
According to Nathan Hamilton, there are two general modes in UK & US [fiction] ... one is a product-focused aesthetic, the other is a process-based approach. The product-focused aesthetic relies on clarity of context, presenting self-contained, more or less complete thoughts and evincing a concern for descriptive accuracy when considering the external world. It is, to caricature slightly, occupied with realizing recalled events, sometimes through memory's distorting effects, while keeping failings of language under discursive control. This is often also called 'mainstream.’ Its weakness is that it can rely too heavily on rhetorical commonplaces, or conceits, and can easily feel naively decorative to the more philosophically concerned, or sentimental or even redundant in its efforts to describe the outside world convincingly. The process-led approach ... is concerned with [fiction] as a way of speaking about the world that simultaneously presents the difficulties of doing so. To the young contemporary ear, being too 'product' in approach can end up sounding pompous or over-wrought; old hat. Too experimental or 'process' focused can seem solipsistic and, again, but differently, over-wrought ... So, we have a popularizing neo-surrealist ironic school in evidence, growing out of a collision between the 'product' and 'process' approaches outlined; a [fiction] of the absurd, ironizing, meaning-making, which in fact one can find moving and meaningful, allegorically.
When Pablo Neruda wrote, “You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep Spring from coming,” he was not thinking about our current problems. He was thinking in universal terms. So we must transcend the idiocy of the moment and trust the inevitability of hope as well. Let the light of hope bring us our Spring.
He wrote lies, mainly, not because he wanted to deceive anyone, far from the truth, but because he thought that reality was as much a lie as any good fiction. He absorbed reality as it undressed in front of him. He took it all deep inside his mind and body. But somehow he found it questionable, not entirely truth-worthy, even when reality screamed and flapped its arms. He was suspicious of the way life needed to convince us of its gravitas. And with certain disdain for anything real, he wrote prose that took flight, a flight as real as any presumptive reality.
"Seven Deadly Sins:
Wealth without work
Pleasure without conscience
Science without humanity
Knowledge without character
Politics without principle
Commerce without morality
Worship without sacrifice."
― Mahatma Gandhi
According to Shklovsky, “the purpose of art is to impart the sensation of things as they are perceived and not as they are known. The technique of art is to make objects 'unfamiliar', to make forms difficult, to increase the difficulty and length of perception, because the process of perception is an aesthetic end in itself and must be prolonged.”
So in these caustic times, given the tumultuous reality we face all around the world, we must create. And it does not matter what we create, but it is imperative to subvert and defamiliarize that which is impose upon us.
Stop weaving dreams in your mind,
Deja ya de tejer sueños en tu mente,
Arrêtez le tissage de rêves dans votre esprit,
Because the only thing we have,
Porque lo único con lo que contamos,
Car la seule chose que nous ayons,
Of men their song.
De los hombres su canción.
Des hommes leur chanson.
The terms poetry and prose are incorrectly opposed to each other. Verse is, properly, the contrary of prose ... and writing should be divided, not into poetry and prose, but into poetry and philosophy. And what is a contemporary novel to do but to break the narrative boundaries and present the deepest philosophical questions in their most poetic form?
The existence of a book of fiction is a wondrous feat. What are the chances that a herd of words would coalesce in such an order to express the inner feelings of invented lives, to describe places that never existed, to make the reader see what she never imagined? And what if that book delivered you beyond yourself? Just amazing…
There are days when my thoughts are broadcast for all to hear, see, and touch.
"Reality is not always probable, or likely." -- Jorge Luis Borges
Not that he’s guarding my house from danger, but that he hisses at conventional literature. He can sniff the blight and he skips through it. But he would dig into literary narrative with the left paw, with the right, he thrashes traditional expectations. That’s my cat!
With my family, I left Cuba as a political refugee.
I learned English as a second language.
I was the first student in my high school to attend Harvard University.
I did so on a partial scholarship. The rest of the money I needed I earned by washing dishes.
I graduated Cum Laude in engineering (even when my knowledge of English was limited).
I became a physician.
By the way, I paid my student loans in full.
I earned a Masters Degree in Latin American Literature.
I became a psychiatrist in New York.
With the help of federal grants, I advanced the knowledge in the field of adolescent schizophrenia and autism.
I helped thousands of patients in my psychiatric practice.
I earned a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing.
I have published two very provocative novels. (More are coming)
And at this stage in my life, I’m very sad about the country that embraced my ambitions.
I recently left the US in search of a more enlightened society.
I'm a fucking immigrant.