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publicat la: 4/04/2012

Expat corner - Jorge Edwards: "I will choose to continue writing"

Expat corner - Jorge Edwards:

Chilean Jorge Edwards, one of the most important hispanic writers, is expected to Bucharest on 5th of April to launch The Origin of the World (Art Publishing House).

Although very busy with the events dedicated to his 80th anniversary in Santiago, Edwards graciously took the time to give a short interview to BeWhere!


Diplomacy is usually considered the art of discretion, of ambiguous language. How did you find the freedom to write fiction?

I was a career diplomat for some years in my life, with many interruptions, and wrote some of my first fiction books. The books got some readers, many readers for those days, and in the Chilean Administration nobody cared. I followed with good temper the Paul Valéry saying: „Le poète se réfugie dans les failles de l’Administration”.Now, being more established as a writer of fiction and non fiction and retired after long decades from professional diplomacy, I was asked by the president of my country to be the Chilean ambassador in France.

He didn’t pretend that I should cease to be a writer, and it is not my intention at all. If a contradiction appears, I will choose to continue writing. On the other hand, there is a tradition of writers in diplomacy in Chile. Since the days of Alberto Blest Gana in the XIXth century: minister in Paris and founder of the Chilean novel, to the recent days of Pablo Neruda and Gabriela Mistral. The usual consideration of diplomacy as the art of discretion seems a bit outmoded and dull to me.


The Origins of the World unveils an alternative Paris, where the Latin American intellectuals are setting the tone. Is the mythology of Paris still alive?

Novels usually occur in alternative places. Sometimes in non existent places. The Paris of The Origins of the World is an invention of mine. It is made of some memories, some phantasies and one or two nightmares.


Your characters are constantly thinking about their communist past, about Stalin and Castro, and their former love affair with the Soviet Union. Where did all that energy go? Do you think a movement beholding communist ideals is likely to re-emerge?

I think it all disapeared and I hope that it will not come back.


Llosa about Edwards 

Nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa took part in a seminary celebrating Jorge Edwards, „Edwards at 80”, at the Centro de Estudios Públicos (CEP) in Santiago de Chile on March 16th.. „Jorge is a magnificent writer, who has resuscitated a quasi-extinct genre: the chronicle, the memoir genre. He has created a style that mixes fiction and memories and historical investigation” said Llosa, in a speech entitled „Jorge Edwards, a Witness of his  Time”.

The friendship between the two writers goes back to 1962, when Edwards, just starting on his diplomatic mission in Paris, met Llosa, then at the beginning of his literary career. 



Citeşte cronica cărţii Originea Lumii de Jorge Edwards


Citeşte articolul în limba română