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Torre Martello

Blog del Instituto Cervantes de Dublín

20 escritores de siete países y miles de historias / 20 Writers from Seven Different Countries and Thousands of Stories

Isla
La 3ª edición del Festival Isla de literatura comienza en poco más de una semana. Un festival único en Dublín y en Irlanda. Este año, nuestra «ISLA» (acrónimo de Irish, Spanish and Latin American) recibe la visita de escritores consagrados, prometedores, y la de críticos, traductores y otras personalidades con una fuerte vinculación con el mundo literario de América Latina, España e Irlanda.

John Banville, Premio Príncipe de Asturias 2014, abrirá oficialmente el festival el viernes 17 a las 4 de la tarde y participará en la primera mesa redonda que lleva por título Retratar escribiendo, junto a la vanguardista escritora chilena Diamela Eltit y al multipremiado escritor español José Ovejero. La primera tarde del festival concluirá con el debate «Construyendo identidades» en el que contaremos con la presencia de Donal Ryan, autor de Spinning Heart’s, la poeta y traductora literaria Anamaría Crowe Serrano, y el escritor experimental Christodoulos Makris.

El tema central del sábado, «Nos gustan las historias» comenzará comenzará con la conversación en torno al valor de los cuentos con la presencia de Claire Keegan, el escritor vasco Harkaitz Cano y la poeta irlandesa Mary O’Malley. La segunda mesa redonda del día, «La palabra imprecisa», tendrá como invitados al autor de The Specked People’s, Hugo Hamilton, la poeta gallega Marta Dacosta y el escritor y comunicador irlandés Manchán Magan. Todos ellos abordarán temas como las peculiaridades, ventajas o problemas que supone vivir entre dos o más lenguas. El sábado finalizará con una mesa dedicada a reconocer y repasar el legado literario del gran escritor mexicano Octavio Paz. A esta conversación le seguirá una lectura poética en inglés, español, vasco y gallego.

Pero el sábado no termina ahí porque, especialmente para los interesados en la figura de Gabriel García Márquez y el propio Octavio Paz, la velada continuará con la proyección de los documentales Buscando a Gabo y Vida y obra de Octavio Paz.

El domingo es el día de «Cultura de libros», que comenzará con el debate sobre ficción y realidad en Literaturas enfrentadas con Paul Lynch, autor de Red Sky in Morning, el escritor y comunicador Norirlandés Malachi O’Doherty y el poeta y novelista argentino Américo Cristófalo. Cerraremos el festival con «Acceso a la cultura», con el escritor y comunicador irlandés John Kelly, la directora del semanario El Cultural, la periodista española Blanca Berasategui, y el escritor chileno Waldo Rojas.

Isla es, en definitiva, un festival dedicado a todos los que disfrutan de la lectura, la traducción, la poesía, el cuento y la literatura en general. Un diálogo entre culturas, un encuentro entre tres tradiciones literarias de primer orden y una ocasión inmejorable para acercarse a las letras en español.

¿Dónde?: Instituto Cervantes, Lincoln House, Lincoln Place, Dublin 2.
¿Cuándo?: 17, 18 y 19 de octubre.
Apertura oficial: John Banville, 17 de octubre a las 4 de la tarde.
Entrada libre.
Traducción simultánea en inglés y español.

Texto: Miriam Abuin (prensa) prendub@cervantes.es


The 3rd ISLA Literary Festival sets itself as a unique event in Dublin and Ireland. ISLA (from Irish, Spanish and Latin American) Literary Festival welcomes well known and emerging writers and other personalities with a strong connection to the literary world from these three traditions.

John Banville will inaugurate the festival on Friday 17th at 4pm, and will take part in the first discussion about Portraying Through Writing, in which he will participate with the versatile Spanish writer José Ovejero and the avant-garde Chilean author Diamela Eltit. The evening will conclude with the round table Building Identities with Spinning Heart’s Donal Ryan, poet and literary translator Anamaría Crowe Serrano and the experimental writer Christodoulos Makris.

Saturday’s theme is We All Like Stories. We will commence talking about the value of short stories with Claire Keegan, Basque author Harkaitz Cano and Irish poet Mary O’Malley. In the round table Ambiguous Word, The Specked People’s author, Hugo Hamilton, Galician poet Marta Dacosta and Irish language writer and broadcaster Manchán Magan will discuss the challenges of living in between two or more languages. The last discussion of the day will be dedicated to the cultural and literary legacy of Mexican author Octavio Paz. The panel will be followed by a poetry reading in English, Spanish, Basque or Galician.

For those interested in Gabriel García Márquez and Octavio Paz, they can continue the evening enjoying the screenings of Buscando a Gabo and Vida y obra de Octavio Paz. Both documentaries focus on the personal lives of these Nobel Prize winning writers.

Sunday´s Book Culture will start with the panel about Facing Literatures: Fiction and Non Fiction with the author of Red Sky in Morning Paul Lynch, the Northern Irish writer and broadcaster Malachi O’Doherty and Argentinean poet and novelist Américo Cristófalo. We will close the festival with Access to Culture, with Irish writer and broadcaster John Kelly, the director of El Cultural, Spanish journalist Blanca Berasategui and Chilean writer Waldo Rojas.

ISLA is a multilingual and multicultural event for those who enjoy reading, translation, poetry, short stories, memoirs, travel books or novels. It’s a dialog between cultures, an encounter between these three literary traditions and an incomparable occasion to get close to some of your favourite writers in Spanish.

Location: Instituto Cervantes, Lincoln House, Lincoln Place, Dublin 2
Date: 17th, 18th and 19th October
Opening speech by John Banville, 17th October at 4pm
Free Admission
Simultaneous interpreting available for attendees in Spanish and English

Text by: Miriam Abuin (press officer, prendub@cervantes.es)

Juan Gabriel Vásquez, Premio IMPAC 2014. ¡Felicidades! / Congratulations!

[Versión en español]

Juan Gabriel Vásquez: Write Only if You Think That you will Be Unhappy Otherwise

Juan Gabriel Vasquez

Interview with Juan Gabriel Vásquez on the 14th November 2012, at the Dámaso Alonso Library of the Instituto Cervantes in Dublin, in association with his participation in the launch of his lastest novel, The Sound of Things Falling.

Juan Gabriel Vásquez (Bogotá, 1973) is the author of a collection of stories, Los amantes de Todos los Santos, and the novels Los informantes (The Informers, Riverhead Books, 2009) and Historia secreta de Costaguana (The Secret History of Costaguana, Riverhead Books, 2011). He has also published a collection of literary essays, El arte de la distorsión (which include an essay that won the Simón Bolívar Award in 2007), and a brief biography of Joseph Conrad, El hombre de ninguna parte. He has translated works by John Hersey, John Dos Passos, Victor Hugo and E. M. Forster, amongst others, and is a columnist for the Colombian newspaper El Espectador. His books have been published in fourteen languages and thirty countries. His third novel, El ruido de las cosas al caer, (The Sound of Things Falling, Bloomsbury, 2012) won the Alfaguara Award in 2011.

Sergio Angulo: —Juan Gabriel, The Sound of Things Falling is your latest novel, tell us about it.

Juan Gabriel Vásquez: —The novel is the story of this young law professor called Antonio Yammara, who one day meets this mysterious character, a guy called Ricardo Laverde, who evidently has something to hide and is not who he says he is. What begins as this frivolous curiosity, turns into something more serious when this Ricardo Laverde gets killed by a sniper in the street, by a hit-man. The narrator gets hit by a bullet, a straight shot that obviously changes his life. He becomes obsessed with finding out who this guy really was and why he was killed, in order to reach some conclusions about what has happened to him and why his life has changed. So he embarks on this personal investigation, a personal enquiry into the life of a dead man and his past of Colombia. This sends him back to the years in which the drug trade effectively began in Colombia, the early seventies.

We learn that this guy was a pilot and he was not only a witness, but also a participant in the first phase of the drug trade. The novel becomes a sort of exploration of what it means to my generation to grow up surrounded by the drug trade, and particularly, what it means for us to have suffered through the worst years of drug-related violence – of the drug wars in the eighties, when Pablo Escobar basically declared war against the Colombian Government. This is what I have tried to explore.

Sergio Angulo: —The story is not a real case, but it somehow, portrays the reality of this era in Colombia.

Juan Gabriel Vásquez: —It’s a work of fiction, but I tried to explore things that really happened. One of my obsessions has been, not only in this novel, but in my other novels too, how public events shape our private lives. This is one of the things that interests me as a novelist – how things that happened in what we call “history” or “politics” penetrate our lives and affect the way we behave as friends, or as couples, or as parents and children.

One of the reasons behind the writing of this novel was to realise that, in those years, during that period of violence, we had a lot of public information, we had a lot of statistics, a lot of images in the media, (we can even find the video of a presidential candidate in Colombia getting killed) but, at some point, I became anxious at the idea that there wasn’t a place we could go to find out about the effects all of this had had on private or personal lives. In a way, the novelist I wanted to be, is a sort of historian of emotions. I tried to explore the emotional and moral side of those very public events.

Sergio Angulo: —You were living in France for a while and, as far as I know, you are now based in Spain, in Barcelona. Has this distance had any effect on the way you see Colombia now?

Juan Gabriel Vásquez: —It’s very difficult to prove, but I’ve always said that, the only reason I´m able to write about Colombia, is because I have left. My first book was a book of stories about Belgium and France, and people used to ask me, “Why don’t you write about Colombia?” And the reason, to sum it up in a nutshell, is that I felt that, since I didn’t really understand my country, I wasn’t allowed to write about it. But because of the distance, because of the time I spent abroad, and because there was an ocean between my country and me, I ended up realising that, perhaps the fact that I didn’t understand my country was the best reason to write about it. I could use novels as a way of understanding the history of my country and how that has shaped me as an individual.

Sergio Angulo: — Historically, Barcelona is a place where many of the most important Latin American authors have lived. Now we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Latin American literary boom. Is this literary boom still happening, or has there been a turning point with new generations taking different paths?

Juan Gabriel Vásquez: —I always considered the writers of the Latin American boom as the real founders of my tradition. The tradition in which I tried to write began with them. Before them, the Latin American novel had maybe produced a couple of isolated things, very interesting things, but isolated. There wasn’t a tradition of Latin American novels to speak of. It all began with Vargas Llosa, García Márquez, Carlos Fuentes and Julio Cortázar. So, in a way, they’re quite present for me, in the sense that they are all still living. Vargas Llosa and García Márquez are still living. Vargas Llosa is still writing. But, at the same time, they are classics. They are living classics, and for me, having them sharing the same world, is almost as if a 21st Century Irish writer could pick up the phone and call James Joyce. It’s a very strange situation, and a very profitable one. I don’t feel in any way threatened by their presence, as many writers do. I feel there is a very big legacy that has opened doors for the people who have come after them.

Sergio Angulo: —Living in Europe, is our perception of Latin America accurate?

Juan Gabriel Vásquez: —There is always a certain degree of inacuracy. But it works both ways. The media have an extraordinary ability to distort the image of a country, sometimes through no fault of their own, because time in the media is limited, resources in the media are limited… But one of the nice things that novels do is, in a way, fight against cliché, against stereotypes, so perhaps we, as readers, get a much better understanding about the complexity of the United States, when we read Philip Roth. Maybe an Irish reader, or a British reader, will get a better understanding about Colombia and the complexity of life there, the contradictions, the unpredictability of life in Colombia, when they read a novel such as this one. In any case, that’s what I would like to see happening.

Sergio Angulo: —You are very young, but you are already at the peak of the literary world. How is the view when looking down?

Juan Gabriel Vásquez: —In reality, I’m looking towards the next book, and wondering how difficult it will be to write it, because one of the cruel things of this trade is that every book is more difficult than the last one, in the sense that you know more things, you’re more conscious of the pitfalls and the problems, and the difficulties of writing. You don’t want to repeat yourself. I’m one of those writers who wants to change with every book. You always get deeper and deeper into this arrogant mindset that you can write a book like the books you love. And I think that’s what you constantly strive to do. You never get to do it, of course, because it’s impossible to write a book like those books that made me want to become a writer. But I think in the attempt to accomplish this, you might give the reader a couple of nice pages, and that’s probably enough.

Sergio Angulo: —Finally, any advice for a young writer who is at the bottom of the hill, getting his book and his backpack ready to start climbing the mountain?

Juan Gabriel Vásquez: —Well, I always give the same piece of advice, which is very simple but very honest, and I think it’s very useful,  – Write only if you feel it’s absolutely necessary. The writing life is a very difficult life to live. You have to sacrifice friends, you have to sacrifice time with your family, so write only if you think that you will be unhappy if you don’t do it. Forget about the money, the reviews… they don’t matter. Write only if you know that your only reward will be the satisfaction of a job well done.

Recommended links

< List of interviews

 

Álvaro Mutis: uno de los grandes / one of the greatest American writers

Álvaro Mutis

Álvaro Mutis era uno de los grandes. Nacido en Colombia, en 1923, su vida transcurrió entre el trópico y las ciudades del viejo continente. Recorrió los mares, pero en su memoria quedaron grabados los cafetales, los cañaduzales y los ríos turbulentos que alcanzan dimensiones míticas en su poesía. De ese paisaje, precisamente, emerge su personaje Maqroll, a través del cual Mutis nos ofrece lo que ha sido su aventura de vivir.

En el año 2001, el escritor colombiano fue galardonado con el Premio Cervantes por su aportación a la literatura en lengua española. el pasado mes de septiembre, falleció en Ciudad de México a los noventa años. Este es nuestro pequeño homenaje. Álvaro Mutis es nuestro autor del mes en noviembre y diciembre.


Álvaro Mutis was one of the greatest Latin American writers. Born in Colombia, in 1923, he spent his life between the tropics and European cities. He traveled the seas, but the cane fields and turbulent rivers that reach mythic dimensions in his poetry were always etched in his memory. His main character, Maqroll, emerges from this landscape. Through his adventures, Mutis brings us his own adventures.

In 2001, the Colombian writer was awarded the Cervantes Prize for his contribution to literature in Spanish. Last September, Álvaro Mutis died in Mexico City. This is our small tribute to him. Álvaro Mutis is our author of the month in November and December.

Audiolibro de la semana | Audiobook of the Week: Tres ataúdes blancos

Tres ataúdes blancos del escritor colombiano Antonio Ungar es un thriller en el que un tipo solitario y antisocial es forzado a suplantar la identidad del líder del partido político de oposición y a vivir todo tipo de aventuras para acabar con el régimen totalitario de un país latinoamericano llamado Miranda. Para la descarga de este audiolibro solo necesitas tu carnet de biblioteca y pulsar aquí.

Desaforado, desquiciado, hilarante, el narrador usa todas sus palabras para cuestionar, ridiculizar y destruir la realidad (y para reconstruirla de nuevo, desde cero, como nueva).

Tres ataúdes blancos es un texto abierto, polifónico, dispuesto para múltiples lecturas. Puede ser entendido como una sátira feroz de la política en América Latina, como una refinada reflexión acerca de la identidad individual y la suplantación, como una exploración de los límites de la amistad, como un ensayo sobre la fragilidad de lo real, como una historia de amor imposible. Envuelta en un envase de thriller fácil de abrir y de leer, llena de humor, esta novela propone sin duda un juego literario complejo y fascinante. La novela que consagra indiscutiblemente a uno de los autores mayores de su generación en lengua española.


Tres ataúdes blancos is a thriller by Colombian writer Antonio Ungar in which a lonely and antisocial man is forced to impersonate the leader of the opposition political party and live all kind of adventures to finish with the totalitarian regime of a Latin American party named Miranda. If you wish to dowload this audiobook, just take your library card and click on the link.

Frenzied, unhinged, hilarious, the narrator uses all the words to question, mock and destroy reality (and to rebuild it again, starting from zero).

Tres ataúdes blancos is a polyphonic text, open to multiple lectures. It can be seen as savage criticism about the political situation ofLatin America, as a refined reflection about individual identity and impersonation, as an exploration of the limits of friendship, as an essay about the fragility of reality, as a story of impossible love. Wrapped as an easy thriller and full of humour this novel is actually a complex and fascinating literary game. This is the novel that undoubtedly establishes the author as one of the most important of his generation.

[Video] Entrevista a Juan Gabriel Vásquez / Interview with Juan Gabriel Vásquez


Juan Gabriel Vásquez es uno de los mejores novelistas de su generación, y El ruido de las cosas al caer, que aborda el devenir de Colombia durante la época de Pablo Escobar, es una de sus grandes novelas.

El pasado mes de noviembre, tuvimos la suerte de recibir a Juan Gabriel Vásquez en el Instituto Cervantes de Dublin, donde presentaró y leyó algunos fragmentos de su libro. El autor colombiano fue entrevistado por la periodista de RTE Paula Shields y a continuación mantuvo un animado debate con el público.

En este video, nuestro compañero Sergio Angulo charla con él acerca de El Ruido de las cosas al caer, Premio Alfaguara de Novela 2011, que ahora ha sido traducida al inglés.

Juan Gabriel Vásquez (Bogotá, Colombia, 1973) estudió derecho en su ciudad natal y más tarde se doctoró en Literatura Latinoamericana en La Sorbona. Actualmente reside en Barcelona. Es autor de tres novelas “oficiales” —Los informantes, Historia secreta de Costaguana y El ruido de las cosas al caer—, aunque escribió otras cuando tenía 23 y 25 años de edad, que él prefiere eliminar. Sus novelas han sido traducidas en Inglaterra, Francia, Holanda, Italia y Polonia.


Juan Gabriel Vasquez is one of the leading novelists of his generation, and The Sound of Things Falling that tackles what became of Colombia in the time of Pablo Escobar is his best book to date.

We are so lucky to have him at the Instituto Cervantes Dublin, where he introduced and read an extract of his book and he was interviewed by RTE journalist Paula Shields.

Juan Gabriel Vásquez (Bogotá, Colombia, 1973) studied law in his hometown and obtained a phd in Latin American Literature in the Sorbone University. At present he lives in Barcelona. He has published three “official” novels – The informers, The secret history of Costaguana and The Sound of Things Falling— however he wrote others at the age of 23 and 25 which he prefers to omit. His works have been translated in England, France, Netherlands, Italy and Poland.

Instituto Cervantes de Dublín

Instituto Cervantes de Dublín

Lincoln House
Lincoln Place
Dublin 2

Tel.: 00353 (0)1 631 15 00
Fax: 00353 (0)1 631 15 99

http://dublin.cervantes.es
cendub@cervantes.es

Festival Isla

Festival Isla 2014

Canal TV ICervantes Dublin

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