May 14, 2021

FIL retells: politics, feminism and nostalgia | Culture

FIL retells: politics, feminism and nostalgia | Culture

The 32nd edition of the International Book Festival of Guadalajara, the largest publishing event in Spanish in the world, closed its doors this Sunday surpassing 815,000 visitors, 800 authors from more than 40 countries and almost 21,000 book professionals. It has been nine frantic days in the heart of Jalisco, east central Mexico, during which they were honored authors such as Ida Vitale, FIL Prize of Literature in Romance Languages. The Turkish Nobel Orhan Pamuk opened the Literary Room. The Chilean Raúl Zurita and the Serbian Charles Simic Main courses in the Poetry Hall. To take stock, EL PAÍS condenses the main contents of the fair into five blocks and gathers some of its protagonists.

Big goodbyes

Fernando del Paso He resuscitated for a few minutes with the reproduction in one of the rooms of an unexpected farewell message recorded before his death, just two weeks after the start of the fair. Another Cervantes award that said goodbye this year, Sergio Pitol, was remembered by his friends Margo Glantz and Mario Bellatin as "a writer who gave his life for writing, with a totalizing work that exceeds any expectations, that nobody expected". 90 years after the birth of Carlos Fuentes, his widow, Silvia Lemus recalled his childhood in Panama, Ecuador, Brazil or, in the way he used to summarize, as "he learned to be novelists sitting on the knees of Alfonso Reyes." For the centenary of Ibargüengoitia, Juan Villoro recalled how his sharp columns made his mother laugh: "I discovered that his texts were really an escape from depression".

Women take the floor

The IDF has looked directly at the women and their struggle. The fair has hosted more than a dozen tables to talk about feminism, MeToo and literature. The commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz Prize -an award that gives the fair to the best novel written by a woman in Spanish language- brought together 11 of the last winners and served to cry out against the patriarchy, sing the cry of those fighting for legal abortion in Chile and denounce the barriers that women have had in literature throughout history.

An edition that has served for introspection, to review in the past and to denounce that the long shadow of machismo has also extended to the world of letters. "The fairs of the book are taking care now that in the number of guests there is a logical proportion between women and men. This did not happen before. The names that came first to the organizers' minds were, perhaps naturally, men's for a long tradition of greater masculine presence in the lyrics, "says Argentine writer Leila Guerriero.

Political surge

The fair was laid with Peña Nieto and woke up with López Obrador. ANDThe political debate flew over the big house of FIL beyond the inauguration, on December 1, of the new Mexican government. Tables, presentations and colloquiums broke down general issues such as the rise of extremism, the phenomenon of populism, challenges of democracy; and specific issues such as the state of alarm in Nicaragua and Venezuela, or changes in government in Mexico and Brazil. The spicy cherry was put by the new director of the Fondo de Cultura Económica, Paco Ignacio Taibo II, who referred to the imminent change of law that will allow him to take office despite not being a native Mexican: "We put it doubled, comrades." The statement, still smoking, has even caused the suspension of the moment of final approval for his position.

The Central American exodus

Guadalajara has been an extension of the Central American territory. The literature of Gioconda Belli, Sergio Ramírez, Catalina Murillo, Rodrigo Fuentes, Alejandro Córdova and Fátima Villalta, among others, has resounded. The echo came from the Central America Account festival, which this year held a mini Mexican edition its cancellation due to the increase in repression and instability in Nicaragua. "It has also had to cancel the International Poetry Festival that went for the 15th edition. We can not take 100 poets to Granada [a unos 40 kilómetros al sur de Managua] before this situation of insecurity. The cancellation of the two most important literary events is serious for the culture of the country that used to revolve around these two festivals, "emphasizes Gioconda Belli.

A region that empties before the massive flight of thousands of people into US territory. The migrant exodus has been the protagonist ofe a good number of presentations: I had a dream by Juan Pablo Villalobos, Do not come back by Leonardo Tarifeño or The house of the broken angels by Luis Alberto Urrea.

Portuguese dialogue

The greater plane of the letters of the lusas letters landed in Guadalajara with António Lobo Antunes and Gonçalo Tavares as props, the new wave of Latin American poets and bridges as the dialogue between Mia Couto and Antonio Ortuño. "It has been a pleasure," says Tavares, "to have immersed myself in the Spanish language. I have bought many translations that are not available in Portuguese and I have had the opportunity to get to know some Spanish writers better. The most important thing for me has been the possibility of thinking with the readers, face to face, in a serious and dense way, about the most terrible issues of our time, violence, migration, growth of the extreme right ".


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