May 16, 2021

Violence and inequality in Ibero-America feed the crime novel

Violence and inequality in Ibero-America feed the crime novel

Social inequality, drug trafficking and violence that prevails in Latin American countries has transformed the crime novel and turned its authors into "observers of reality," writers agreed today at the Mexican International Book Fair (FIL) of Guadalajara.

The Cuban narrator Leonardo Padura affirmed that black or police literature in Spain and throughout Latin America has a strong social conscience and manages to show the reality of violence and inequality that is not so visible at first sight.

"It is an intention to reflect a society in which crime is a part, corruption and violence are part of it and in practically all of Latin America, drug trafficking is an element that has been and is changing societies in a very radical way" said the writer.

He gave as an example the Brazilian Rubem Fonseca, a writer who has dedicated himself to recount the tremendous violence that prevails in the city of Rio de Janeiro "told with an extraordinary mastery.

"The story 'The dwarf', especially, is one of the masterpieces of police literature," said Padura during the sixth day of the fair that will culminate this December 2.

Padura said that literature should not necessarily be a "chronicle of reality", but because of the creative freedom it enjoys, it has allowed exploring aspects of a social reality that has been growing in Ibero-American countries.

"Literature writes whatever it pleases, but if it shows a reality that has no other reflection, it is an additional merit that can be attributed to this type of black literature," said the creator of Mario Conde, a former researcher who he stars in some of his books.

In Cuba, both the police novel and others that have been written in the last 20 years, have been the way to contact a reality "that is invisible by official media, in a country where radio, television and public media they belong to the state and respond to interests. "

He gave as an example his new novel "Transparency of Time", in which Mario Conde delves into the neighborhoods of Cuban emigrants who arrive from the east of the country to Havana and "live in very poor conditions, something that 20 years ago was unimaginable, but today it exists and it is invisible. "

The Swedish narrator Viveca Sten, author of the bestseller "In calm waters", affirmed that although in Sweden there is no social inequality nor the violence of other countries, as author always seeks the contrast between the good and the bad to feed the structure of a story.

"We always try to go below the surface and try to see irregularities and things that are difficult to see and from there interesting stories can come out," he said.

The Spanish David Lozano, author of the gothic fantasy trilogy "The dark door", considered that the author of the crime novel "requires an attentive observer of reality" and have a commitment to what surrounds him.

"There is a component of social denunciation, nowadays the authors of the crime novel are committed people, because when they write it is evidencing something that does not work and normally the writers of the crime novel pose complicated societies and hostile environments," he declared.

This constant observation of reality and the environment is essential for the story to be credible to the reader, something that has forced him to consult forensic doctors, police and lawyers and even go to the scene of a crime to recreate the environments as faithfully possible.

"We need it to make history credible." A black novel fails if the reader does not believe it and when it reads, it has to see a reality that it recognizes There must be careful observation that implies that the author uses the social ingredients to feed the novel, "he said.

The 32nd edition of the Mexican FIL gathers 800 authors and 2,000 publishers from 47 countries who will exhibit more than 400,000 titles during nine days.


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