Lavín and Pérez Gay make allegation in favor of the story and its Mexican tradition
The writers Mónica Lavín and Rafael Pérez Gay today launched an allegation at the International Book Fair (FIL) of Guadalajara in favor of the story, a genre that requires a certain "heroism", and highlighted the "great storytelling tradition" in Mexico .
"Whenever you say you're making a storybook, they look at you with a bit of sadness, with resignation," Lavín said in the talk, held on the fifth day of FIL.
Pérez Gay pointed out that the story has always been his literary genre "dear, the closest" and the one he has read the most, although over the years he has seen different literary tendencies.
"For a while, according to my memory, the genre that was the king was poetry, in the 70s, Mexico was full of poets, and in the 80s, everyone was writing a novel," he said.
Still today, said Lavin, "the storybook seems an act of certain heroism on the part of the editors."
The author of works such as "Yo, la peor" or "When they talk to you about love" valued that she is attracted by the "impact" component of the stories, as well as by her false innocence, given that "the brief seems to us that it is light ", although it is not true.
"If we stay in this line of mystery, the subtle, what we do not explain to anyone and there is a story that something happens, the story is achieved," he argued.
She said she was "more excited to discover storytellers than novelists", and in this sense, she mentioned one of her latest discoveries, the American Lucia Berlin (1936-2004), whose book "Manual for cleaning women" was a phenomenon years after his death.
Pérez Gay agreed: "I had mistrust because I thought that nobody can surprise me, but it's a super book."
Speaking of the great names of those who cultivated the genre in Mexico, the writer and journalist recalled that there is a "very powerful storytelling tradition" in the Latin American country, and that Manuel Gutiérrez Nájera and José Juan Tablada were "the foundation" of this.
As distinguished names, those of Amparo Dávila and Inés Arredondo - "they are simply and simply exceptional" -, as well as that of Francisco Hinojosa, while he said that Juan García Ponce and Salvador Elizondo have always seemed "soporific" to him.
Lavín added José Emilio Pacheco to his list of favorite Mexican storytellers.
Leaving the Mexican borders, they coincided in the name of Antón Chéjov, Jorge Luis Borges and Juan Rulfo, and along the conversation emerged others such as Raymond Carver, Edgar Allan Poe or Flannery O'Connor.
"The author who hurt my generation the most is Julio Cortázar, because we all thought you could write like him, and that is impossible," joked Pérez Gay, who referred to the "naturalness" of the Argentine to write.
Both authors took advantage of the appointment to present two short story anthologies.
The one by Pérez Gay, "Arde memoria", is composed of stories compiled by the author himself and has as a thread, as the title indicates, memory.
"Memory and time are two issues that have interested me and that have to do with what I write, what I had found most functional" to make the stories, said the writer.
While Lavín explained that for his compilation "To what to return" he decided to choose, in the first place, those stories that his memory had retained without difficulty, to which he added others more from revisions of his books and recommendations of close people.
Later, "the interesting thing for me was to see what they had in common or how I could order them, I wanted to discover what I had been writing about all the time."
Thus, he came to the conclusion that his recurrent themes had been, among others, the "search for the other", those things that "break into a life and change everything" and family relationships.
And between the author of stories that was in its infancy and the one that is now, she acknowledged that there has been an important change: "Now I have had the luxury of writing happy endings".