"Migrating is the great verb of our times" | Culture

"Migrating is the great verb of our times" | Culture

The transfer across the border between Mexico and the United States is something natural for the writer Cristina Rivera Garza (Matamoros, 1964). "I am, like my grandparents so many years before, a frontier", tells EL PAÍS. Since the late eighties, she has lived in English and Spanish, working in North American universities and offering workshops or talks constantly in Mexico and other areas of the Spanish-speaking world, something that allows her to "ask questions that can only be answered if you go one on the other side of the line. " The author, who has reflected in her works the violence that shakes Mexico, believes that it would be difficult to have a true conversation about contemporary reality without touching the issue of migration. "Migrating is the great verb of our times." He considers that not speaking about immigration would be to omit a part of contemporary reality and highlights the impact of the 50 million Hispanics who already live in the United States. "We are giving another face to the American dream. Our languages, accents, meals, works, writings, music, movements are an intrinsic part of what the United States is today. "

What did I want to be as a child?

I thought I could take pictures, but I failed. I played with the idea of ​​studying theater, but I turned out to be a terrible actress. In the end, I have only been able to read and write. And that I already wanted to be from before: a reader and a writer.

In Mexico, we have hit rock bottom many times

When did you realize that you wanted to be a writer?

Since I read the first book that caught me.

What does it mean to be a writer for you?

I would not write a single sentence if I did not believe that writing is a form of critical thinking-and critical practice. What writing has given me-as a reader and author-is the conviction that there are other worlds to come. What it is would not be like that and it could be otherwise. That is the great lesson of the embodied imagination.

Is there a place that inspires you?

The last time I cried was watching Rome, from Cuarón

The lagoons of sun and moon in the crater of Nevado de Toluca.

Where would I not want to live?

Under a glass bell (or, what is the same, inside a panopticon).

What is your favorite place in the world?

My house.

The best gift he has received?

My first typewriter: lettera 33.

What is the best advice given by one of your parents?

The levels of violence, especially against women and young people, are daily and frightening

You can do everything you want, but you must not forget that you will have to face the consequences of all your actions. Something like that … said in many ways.

What work would a child give to introduce it into literature?

Depending on the age, Anthony Brown's books are wonderful for the little ones (and not so small ones). Ana Frank's diary for those who are heading towards adolescence.

What book would kill for writing?

So many. Waves by Virginia Woolf; Wittgenstein's mistress by David Markson; The night of Tlatelolco by Elena Poniatowska. Luvina, the story by Juan Rulfo.

Do you think there is a literary character that you resemble?

I think I liked Anh, the character of The Naked Eye, of Yoko Tawada because something of his distraction, of his life adrift, of his means of understanding or misunderstanding the world that continues to give him surprises, is not so foreign to me.

Regarding your work, what are you most proud of?

This is a long race. You have to prepare physically and mentally to resist the onslaught of so many things. To be able to do it, to continue feeling the emotion of the page (screen) in white, is without a doubt a huge privilege. Start from scratch each time. Write with others each time.

What books are on your bedside table?

Right now I have The dog, by Pilar Quintana; Do not count everything, by Emiliano Monge; TOI give up and that's all, by Álvaro Enrigue; The timid killer, by Clara Usón; Onto-Cartography. An Onthology of Machines and Media, by Levi R. Bryant.

Electronic or digital book?

Both, although for different types of readings.

When was the last time you cried?

Seeing Rome, of Cuarón; listening to my undergraduate students read in public for the first time of the book we did together this fall semester with our risographer.

What would you change about yourself?

I would like to be more patient.

When was he happiest?

A moment ago, savoring homemade food, talking and digesting at the same time.

What leaves you without sleep?


In your opinion, what are the prizes for?

They place books near the eyes of more readers.

How do you see the future of Mexico?

The country has suffered the harsh consequences of a war against the population at least during the last two sexenios. We have hit rock bottom many times already. The levels of violence, especially against women and young people, are daily and frightening. I want to see a future where, instead of hiding our heads, we can look critically at our environment and take the necessary measures to end this war unleashed by the lack of legitimacy of the Calderon government.

What would you say to López Obrador if you had a chance?

López Obrador has traveled throughout the country for several years. In large part I think that from that contact arose the votes that gave him a clear victory in the last elections. If I had the chance, I would remind him that another reason for his victory was to put an end to the violence and pain caused by the so-called war against the narco. Already the past regimes tried, with regrettable consequences, the militarization of the country. It is your duty to look for other strategies to change the course.


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