Interviews With Juan Rulfo

Youtube can be a wonder sometimes. I found all these interviews with Juan Rulfo. His way of speaking is different, but reflects his writing to some degree.

Horacio Castellanos Moya Interviews

I was on the Talpajocote blog and found links to some interviews with Horacio Castellanos Moya. Each are ten minutes long and worth watching.

In the first, from a Spanish TV station, he talks about how he traveled around Central America when he was young, hoping that the country would become democratic and eventually gave up and moved to Mexico. He returned to El Salvador 10 years later, but left again, disillusioned. He also talks about Tirana memoria his latest book. He mentions the title comes from something a character at the end of Donde no estén ustedes says, which along with Desmoronamiento, is part of a trilogy. He describes what he sees as the focus of the book is: the growing liberty and awakening of a woman while her husband is in prison, as if his imprisonment is her liberation.

In the second, more literary, but a little bit more difficult to understand, he talks about how he sees Mexico as the capital of Meso America, and Salvador as one of the small provinces of the area. Central American and Mexico are not as different from each other as Central America is to South America. He also mentions that a lack of literary tradition in El Salvador has led him to use the language itself as tradition. It is liberating, because unlike a Mexican of Argentinian he has no wave of tradion he rides on. Instead he can search the world over for what he wants to use as an influence, such as Thomas Bernhard.

Amanda Michalopoulou in Context

Dalkey Archive’s magazine Context has a good interview with Amanda Michalopoulou. She talks about I’d Like and it sounds as interesting as I have heard. I can’t wait to read it, although I have a couple more books lined up before it.  She said a couple of interesting things.

Characters are the vehicles of ideas, but they have to work as characters. If not, you’re writing theory, not literature. The idea behind the characters in this book is that family can be a mechanism of oppression. I guess all my characters feel very clearly that they are obeying other people’s wishes. Writing can be a true act of disobedience, so the desire the younger sister has to write these stories down is a step towards salvation. I believe that writing can and should do that: save characters who are suffering, and, possibly, their author as well.

And later

Helping people to be alone in a room, alone in the world, and yet surrounded by so many human beings inside their head. This is one of the greatest joys in life. And I say this as a reader now, not as a writer.