“Evil. I do not know what is going to happen. Insults of part and part. Have I done in it what maybe I wanted to do in another? I speak like an omnipotent, I, the impotent, who wanted to erase his stigma there. I wanted to prove that I could because with Margaret I couldn’t? Well, I could, and my hand went away. I could so much that I am about to fuck my life forever. ”
Crushes, helplessness, infidelity, abortion, the failure of a writer. The successful narrator Héctor Abad Faciolince that, from the hand of Fernando Trueba He has taken his great book to the cinema The forgetfulness we will be, about the orphanhood and murder of his father, the human rights leader Héctor Abad Gómez, he exposes in these newspapers (between 1985 and 2006) his “bleakest” version.
Abad Faciolince (Medellín, 1958) has published seven novels and What was present (in Spain it is published at the beginning of March in Alfaguara) he faces his diaries to the “tattoo that you cannot erase”, to what it was. The Colombian author, one of the best known abroad, naked in this book his lowest hours, the envy, the editorial rejections. Six hundred pages of little politics — the opposite of what his editor would have wanted — and a lot of sexual anecdotes interspersed with reflections on life and the trade, such as “writing is the site of truth” or “literary text is like a quiet cloud observed by different eyes: some see a horse, others a dragon, others a battle of lambs against dogs. ”
The newspapers mention well-known characters from the literary world of Colombia, although their names are changed, a criticism is made of Gabriel Garcia Marquez and to other writers and the hardships that Abad Faciolince went through are counted. On the repercussions, the machismo, the controversy that causes in literary circles mentioned in the book and the decision of their children not to read them, spoke with THE COUNTRY during the There is Festival in Cartagena.
P: He says that newspapers feed on shame. Why does a successful person within the canons of what is considered literary success decide to expose their shame?
R: For a beginning writer or for readers it may be good to read that someone who apparently succeeds, now at age 61, had horrible moments like when my sister had to make me the market because she didn’t have money, or when seven publishers told me rejected, moments of great desolation and much difficulty. I accepted many jobs that I did not want to do and I believe that if one is going to dedicate himself to a trade, how should one know that the most likely horizon is failure. As much as I failed or regretted, I kept trying. Sometimes he said, “I hope he will free me from this damn ridiculous ambition to be a writer,” but I never stopped. I could still be a failure, have nowhere to fall dead. Even so he would remain a writer. The failure for me always happened in the present. That’s why I like the title of Julio Ramón Ribeyro’s newspapers so much, The temptation of failure.
P: “The newspaper ends up being a tattoo that you can no longer erase,” he writes. How was the encounter with that tattoo? Was there anything that said ‘I should have eliminated this from my life’?
R: One would like to eliminate many things from life. But as he says Wislawa Szymborska, life is not an eraser, it is not an essay, it is what it is in the real moment, it is always an incorrigible continuous present. I would not have wanted to get a woman who was not my wife pregnant, I would have liked to use a condom and I did not. That marks my life, it is tragic. When I reread the newspapers it is not pleasant, especially since the newspapers are not written in the luminous moments of life but those of greater sadness, restlessness. I do not propose my life as an exemplary life because I am not a saint. But that’s how I lived it and told it in the newspapers.
P: Did you get something that was delicate especially because it tells the story of other people’s lives?
R: There was no point in writing dishonest diaries. Writing in general and newspapers in particular are an exercise of real and true knowledge, they have to be honest or at least try to be. I didn’t think about not being honest, I didn’t want to lie to myself. I tried to be very attentive to the pitfalls of consciousness.
P: And what did it change?
R: We only take out the repetitions. I was a very neurotic and obsessive young man. Neurosis can be defined as the compulsion to repeat and I repeated and repeated. For a newspaper it can be interesting psychologically, but it is also very boring. He had to reach a pact with the editors. We do not remove anything rugged or any difficult scene. What I did was change some names or circumstances so that an outsider would not be reflected. That was the only fiction procedure.
P: In the book he returns to the concept of the three lives: the public, the private and the secret (by Gabriel García Márquez) and says that the newspapers are nourished by his private life and do not hide anything about the secret. What has it meant to expose this publication of the secret life in the family?
R: The most difficult, most painful issue was with my children (What was present he talks about how the author stopped loving Irene, his first wife and mother of his children). I asked them what they would like if I published my diaries, they told me quiet, go ahead and offered not to read them. I somehow avoided them from being posthumous diaries and having to read, decide to leave and edit or burn them if they were going to burn them.
P: And professionally? (The book mentions editors, other writers and exnovias of the reduced Colombian literary circle, criticizes Gabriel García Márquez) Are there already people who have stopped talking to you?
R: I consulted some people. I told them I want to change the circumstances and they all authorized me. On the other hand, if there are colleagues who have been offended, which may be, may happen, I have not had any manifestation. So far no one has stopped talking to me. Well, an ex-girlfriend threatened to do so.
P: Do I leave it badly painted?
R: No, but there are circumstances that reveal that I misbehave in the relationship.
P: There are many infidelities to other women, an abortion. At a time when feminism is present on the social agenda, didn’t you think if these newspapers could be controversial?
R: I do not. One of the editors, yes. He said here there is something delicate, there may be some women who are very offended by things that happen in the newspapers and can accuse you of machismo and emotional abuse. Well no, newspapers are what they are. I later read the diaries of Andre Gide where he tells that he abused minors. Fortunately I don’t have to confess that. I never say to stab a neighbor, I suppose if I had done it in the newspapers I would be.
P: In the book he talks about the risk of exposing the lives of others …
R: I regret many things but luckily I have never killed anyone or raped a woman. Yes I have committed indignities, I have been unfaithful, I have behaved badly but I never believe that I have crossed the limits until I became a person that my father would be ashamed of. I have tried to live the best that I could. The worst is in the newspapers, but I know myself, I am the other. In addition, these newspapers are not what I am but what I was.
P: At one point he writes: “There may be something more macho, more kitsch, more ridiculous than what I have done? I am part of the same. ” Have you evolved, have you reflected on that machismo that you admit there?
R: It is not something that obsesses me because that has to do with my upbringing. I feel very little male. In my house they said girls to eat and I have always felt part of the girls and in my writing what I have inside are the feminine voices of my sisters. The male that I have inside me is a very insecure male, from fear of impotence, not at all proud of the phallus. For me the phallus has been rather a problem. They bathed us all to save water, to them naked, to me with underpants so that I didn’t see the pee. I consider myself many things and yes, of course, sometimes I have been macho but I don’t have an obsession to be. I have many defects but not machismo.
P: Poses his sexual failures.
R: There is an important love relationship in which always the only thing I had sexually was impotence. One failure after another with the person he was most in love with. It is a compilation of failures. When I was happy or the novels were going well, I celebrated it alone or with my family, but it is in the newspapers when you are alone. When you succeed you have a lot of company, but when you fail you are screwed and you just have to resist writing, so you don’t go crazy.
P: There are also literary rivalries. Remember a phrase from Borges that says “failed writers always imagine conspiracies against them. They believe that the most fortunate writers form a mafia. ” Now, on the other side, of those who publish, circulate, how do you see those words of Borges?
R: I think Borges is right to say that writers who fail think that successful people gather at tables to block others. You don’t have time for that, there isn’t a mob blocking people. I have not been, as people think, someone aware of who they are going to invite to festivals. If you do not invite me better because there comes a time when you write less. If I could probably write more, it’s because I didn’t succeed. Hopefully success will be late for people, write more, travel less, give less interviews, wear less on accessory things.
P: “It hurts not to be the writer I wanted to be,” he wrote in the newspapers. Seen in perspective, do you feel happy with the writer you are?
R: Happy no, sometimes satisfied, but not happy at all. How do i say in The forgetfulness we will be I know my limitations, I know that I am very far from the literary models I aspire to but I keep trying because my dad liked what I wrote and I trust him more than myself.
P: When he was killed he wrote that he would not let him die. Do you feel you have fulfilled it?
R: It was the promise I made to him. Yes.