Write as we speak in the Canary Islands

Faced with this representation of authors from both sides of the Atlantic, the moderator proposed an analysis on the imposition of “a standard or global Spanish” in Spanish-speaking literature, to the detriment of its linguistic and oral richness. The poet and narrator Iván Cabrera Cartaya argued with the words of César Vallejo that “the genius comes from the people and goes to them”, in the sense that “perhaps Spanish is becoming homogenized and each variety of speech is losing its particularities at the same time. time to write, also in the Canary Islands ”.

“I don’t believe in a neutral Spanish, because I like differences. That is why Abreu’s novel seems miraculous to me [Panza de burro], which rescues many ways of speaking of that popular variety that is much richer and has more to contribute than cultured, flatter and more homogeneous speech ”, said the writer. “For this reason, as Borges said, we can all understand and read each other by sharing Spanish, let us defend our particularities. For example, I would be unable to use the word bus in a poem, because it would be stabbing myself linguistically ”.

Cabrera and Abreu invite you to “relax” in the use of Canarian orality


For its part, Abreu agreed that “I make a very clear oral bet in my novel”. “From my condition as a Canarian woman, I think there is a reactionary side that tends towards standard Spanish because, for me, political ideas are reflected through the form of language. On the other hand, since the end of the 20th century, feminist critical theory or anticolonial movements have made us rethink this concept of centrality from other points of view, and I think that my generation [nacidos en los 90] they are realizing that the wealth is in the local variety of speech ”, stated the author, who cited as references the Mexican Fernanda Melchor or Brenda Navarro. “I believe that in Latin America the fact of experimenting with orality has become normalized, while in the Canary Islands I get beaten down for experimenting with something as everyday as orality in my neighborhood of Icod de los Vinos,” he added.

For his part, Anelio Rodríguez pointed out that “in my generation [nacidos en los 60] we never had the slightest qualm about twisting the linguistic use to introduce words from the Canarian dialect ”. “For this reason, my first books are full of Canarian elements, because the writer must let himself be carried away by the circumstances of the story he tells and the place from where he tells it,” he explained.

Both Cabrera and Abreu defended the urgency of “uncomplexing” when speaking and writing in Canarian, a cultural heritage of a land colonized and alienated to the word. “My process is to unlearn the historical shame towards the canary variant in writing, because it closes the doors to a huge field of experimentation, in addition to the fact that canaries are not reflected in fiction”, declared Andreu. Pérez Hernández also stressed that “we must demystify the RAE”, since “global Spanish does not exist, but rather theoretical constructions that we lexicographers invent to understand each other, although the essence of the Spanish language is its enormous variety, because what makes it powerful are their differences, not their similarities, which allow us to understand each other from the Rio Grande to Patagonia, from Barcelona to Manila ”.

The afternoon continued with an interesting literary-scientific line-up embodied by Nuria Barrios, Juan Carlos Chirinos, Romano Corradi and Yolanda Castaño, with the suggestive title Look at what no longer exists. From the black holes described by the astronomer Corradi to the ghosts that literature arouses, in the words of Chirinos, or the abysses in which her characters are plunged in Barrios’s work,. what is not seen is the substrate of literature. And its culmination is poetry, “which expands the boundaries of reality and gives a name to what does not have it,” stated Castaño. The literature names what is not visible to the human eye, such as black holes. And yesterday’s day culminated with a very special act in homage to the memories of JJ Armas Marcelo and José Esteban, led by Carmen Posadas, with the participation of the protagonists, surrounded by Elsa López, Nicolás Melini and Jerónimo Saavedra.


The penultimate day of the III Hispano-American Encounter of Writers of La Palma displays an extensive program of events before its closing tomorrow. The first meetings are aimed at students, with the Recital acts. What is a poetry recital, with Andrea Abreu, Yolanda Castaño, Bernardo Chevilly, Aurelio Major, Bruno Mesa and Ernesto Pérez Zúñiga; and Microfictions, short stories, micro-stories and micropoems: the gift of brevity, with Jorge F. Hernández, Ana Rossetti and Tina Suárez Rojas, moderated by Santiago Gil. There is also a meeting with the photographer Daniel Mordzinski, nicknamed “the photographer of writers”, in the Antonio Gómez Felipe Park, and another with the writer Blanca Riestra, in the Municipal Library of Los Llanos de Aridane. The same park hosts a meeting on Gabriel García Márquez with Jorge F. Hernández, Fernando Javier León Rodríguez and Juan Carlos Chirinos. In between, two book signings are held in the Plaza de España. In the afternoon, I return to the park with a conversation between Aurelio Major and Andrés Sánchez Robayna about Octavio Paz, followed by the table Times convulsed. The cultural story of the world. And as the icing on the cake: the act of naming Elsa López “adoptive daughter” of the island of La Palma. | NN


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