la rebelión consiste en mirar una rosa

hasta pulverizarse los ojos


Alejandra Pizarnik


ETIQUETAS

A PROPOSITO DE LA CREACIÓN DE LA ASAMBLEA VENEZOLANA DE TEATROS INDEPENDIENTES, por Juan Pagés, Neuquén, Argentina, julio 2021

   

Carlos Giménez. Fuente: Juan Pagés


Un proyecto con visión de futuro para unificar y proyectar el movimiento de teatro independiente de Venezuela.


Fuente: Rodolfo Molina

Al dejar Rajatabla para instalarme en Ciudad Guayana y crear el Grupo de Teatro La Barraca, mis reuniones con Carlos se hicieron más asiduas compartiendo planes y proyectos. Uno de los tantos fue la  de aglutinar los esfuerzos de las agrupaciones teatrales, tanto del interior como de la capital con esta idea también se encontraba Rodolfo Molina

Carlos me propone que La Barraca se transforme como grupo anfitrión para proponer los derroteros que debería dar esta propuesta integracionista. Llegaron a nuestra sede en Ciudad Guayana integrantes de agrupaciones teatrales, como Theja, Rajatabla, Altof, Teatro Estable de Barcelona. Dentro de las deliberaciones y con varios puntos discutidos se propone realizar otra reunión para terminar de darle forma a la idea. La ciudad de Tovar Mérida seria la indicada y el coordinador de la misma el Director Rodolfo Molina.


Izquierda a derecha:  José Simón Escalona, Carlos Giménez  Juan Pagés y
 de espaldas Rodolfo Molina, en la Extensión 
Universitaria de la ULA, Tovar, Mérida, 1978.
Fuente: Rodolfo Molina

Carlos Giménez , a la izquierda,  Mérida, 1978.
.Fuente: Rodolfo Molina

Carlos Giménez y Marta Candia. Fuente: Juan Pagés


 

La declaración de TovarEn este acto estuvieron presentes un significativo grupo de directores entre ellos:  José Simón Escalona, Lientur CarranzaCiro MedinaFélix SalazarJuan Carlos De Petre, Jacinto Cruz, Winston RosalesRómulo Rivas, Marta Candia y otros tantos creadores solidarios que no pudieron llegar a tiempo y por supuesto, Carlos Giménez y mi persona.

 



Juan Pagés

Director de teatro. Co-fundador de Rajatabla. Fundador de La Barraca. Actor. Miembro del grupo El Juglar de Carlos Giménez. Docente.

 












Claudia Piñeiro, tras ganar el Premio Hammett: “Este galardón es el corolario de la lucha de tantas mujeres” / Infobae, 18 de julio de 2021




La novela “Catedrales”, de la autora argentina, se quedó con el máximo honor de la 34° Semana Negra de Gijón. “Adquiere más significado porque trata temas urgentes”, dijo




Con una emoción que traspasa la literatura y sus ficciones, Claudia Piñeiro agradeció haber ganado el premio Dashiell Hammett de la 34° Semana Negra de Gijón y celebró que haya sido por Catedrales, una novela que “trata temas urgentes”, los femicidios entre otras cuestiones, porque hace que sienta al premio como “un corolario de la lucha que han venido dando tantas mujeres”.

“Venimos de tiempos difíciles, de mucho encierro en todas partes, de no encontrarnos con los afectos y pérdidas, por eso cualquier alegría hoy significa mucho más, pero en este caso fue la alegría de que se premiara esta novela, Catedrales, que habla sobre una situación muy particular en la que hemos estado juntas peleando muchas mujeres”, dijo a Télam Piñeiro.


El tema de ese libro “puede ser la historia de cualquier país que no tenga en cuenta los crímenes que se perpetran sobre las mujeres y otras disidencias”, dijo Piñeiro en Gijón, luego de que se diera a conocer su nombre como ganador del premio principal del festival de novela negra más importante de habla hispana.

Se trata de “una novela negra no canónica en la que, de forma coral, cada personaje aporta su versión a la construcción de una historia que va adquiriendo una dimensión extraordinaria”, fundamentó en un fallo unánime el jurado, durante el festival que en esta edición recobró la presencialidad bajo estricto protocolo por la pandemia de Covid-19.

"Catedrales" (Alfagura), de Claudia Piñeiro
"Catedrales" (Alfagura), de Claudia Piñeiro

“Con gran riqueza literaria, variedad de recursos estilísticos y profundo conocimiento de la condición humana, Piñeiro borda una trama de contradicciones y zonas grises que reflejan la realidad de la vida”, indica el documento firmado Berna González HarbourMarta BarrioMariano Sánchez Soler, Miguel Barrero Jesús Palacios.

Catedrales es una novela comprometida con las más duras situaciones que puede afrontar una mujer a causa de la hipocresía y los prejuicios religiosos”, concluye el fallo del premio.

Lo sentí como un corolario de toda esa lucha: un premio al libro, a mí y a lo que hace tanto vinimos peleando tantas mujeres. Siempre quise ganarlo, era mi fantasía. Se me dio y más significado adquiere por esta novela que trata temas urgentes”, aseveró la escritora nacida en la localidad bonaerense de Burzaco el 10 de abril en 1960.

Instaurado en 1988, el Dashiell Hammett llega a 2021 con 33 ediciones, 31 de ellas otorgadas a escritores varones. Sólo en dos ocasiones, contando la de Piñeiro hoy, este premio recayó sobre una escritora. La primera vez que se le entregó a una autora fue en 2012, 24 años después de su creación. Se trató de la española Cristina Fallarás y la novela premiada era Las niñas perdidas. Años más tarde, en 2014, hubo una mención especial, que no llegó a la categoría de primer premio, para la dupla germano española de Rosa Ribas Sabine Hoffman, con Don de lenguas.

Piñeiro celebró el hecho de que “la literatura argentina policial argentina viene siendo reconocida hace rato” y que “este año” haya habido “cuatro escritoras entre las finalistas”.

Paula Rodríguez estuvo nominada para primera novela, Ana Llurba ganó por la mejor ficción de genero fantástico -el mismo que el año pasado se llevó Mariana Enriquez-, y Gabriela Saidón compitió en novela histórica, así que fuimos cuatro las escritoras argentinas leídas en este festivales donde antes se leía sólo varones”, remarca.

“Nos empezaron a leer a las mujeres en este tipo de festivales y eso es muy importante”, subraya la escritora que en España cuenta con seguidoras entusiastas: han llegado a visitarla caracterizadas como las protagonistas de Las viudas de los jueves, novela que recibió el Premio Clarín en 2005 y que en 2009 fue adaptada al cine.

Con esta distinción, Piñeiro engrosa el grupo de escritores argentinos que recibieron el Dashiell Hammett. Fueron ocho, pero dos de ellos lo recibieron dos veces, Rolo Diez y Guillermo Saccomanno. Los otros fueron Ricardo PigliaJuan Sasturain, Leonardo Oyola, Raúl Argemí, Juan Damonte Guillermo Orsi. Históricamente potente, la representación argentina ganó 11 de las 33 ediciones del premio.

Claudia Piñeiro  (Analía Garelli)
Claudia Piñeiro (Analía Garelli)

“Los argentinos -conjetura Piñeiro- tenemos una gran ventaja con respecto a otros países y es que dos de nuestros grandes escritores, de esos que son nuestros padres literarios, como Jorge Luis Borges Ricardo Piglia, adoraban la literatura policial”. Y agregó: “La estudiaron, hicieron ensayos, Borges la tradujo y editó Séptimo círculo y con ese aval sobre un género que otros consideran a veces menor, Argentina construyó una tradición”.

Además, “se puede decir que muchos escritores que no se inscriben en el género policial específicamente tienen alguna novela policial, porque escribimos mucho sobre lo social, sobre lo que pasa, y eso nos lleva siempre hacia el lado del policial”, concluyó.

Por su parte, la escritora Ana Llurba, cordobesa nacida en 1980 que emigró en 2008 hacia Barcelona y hace dos años vive en Berlín, ganó el premio Celsius a la mejor obra de ciencia ficción y fantasía con la novela Constelaciones familiares.

La semana que para Llurba empezó con “miedo, culpa, desfibriladores, electroshocks y otros detalles transhumanistas que parecen de cuento”, vía Twitter, terminó con un agradecimiento a la Semana Negra, también vía Twitter, porque que no pudo asistir al acto por “asuntos familiares”.

 Ana Llurba
Ana Llurba

El libro Constelaciones familiares reúne 13 relatos sobre la amistad, la exploración de la sexualidad, rituales de paso típicos de la adolescencia y experiencias como la maternidad, los vínculos con otras especies y hasta con seres mitológicos y sin entidad humana.

“Escritos entre 2014 y 2020 hay como varias reencarnaciones mías en esos cuentos”, dijo la autora al referirse al libro que en Argentina publicará, en lo que resta de este año, el sello independiente 17 Grises.

“Son cuentos ambivalentes -describe-, están entre el realismo la ciencia ficción y la fantasía, una colección de relatos eclécticos donde los personajes están siendo asediados por situaciones que no entienden: el paso de la adolescencia a la adultez, relaciones con la muerte, lo desconocido”.

“Estoy sorprendida y muy agradecida, es un premio que sobre todo en España tiene mucha repercusión y además se otorga durante la Semana Negra de Gijón, que es un evento hecho muy a pulmón, por lo que es un lujo haber ganado -consigna-, además, en la misma edición que alguien tan consagrado como Claudia Piñeiro y en una categoría que hace año ganó Mariana Enríquez, una prócer para mí”.

Además de Piñeiro y Llurba, la argentina Paula Rodríguez fue finalista del Premio Memorial Silverio Cañada, con la novela Causas urgentes, y Gabriela Saidón compitió en el Espartacus, con la novela La reina. El Espartacus lo ganó Lucía Núñez con El cocinero y la ostra y el Memorial Silverio Cañada lo recibió Miguel Ángel Oeste con Arena.


Fuente: Télam

"Olas", video interpretado por Marta Candia y dirigido por Miguel Issa

 








"Caricias", corto con Marta Candia, dirección Miguel Issa, Montreal-Caracas, 2021











 

José Pulido, the poet, journalist, writer: “I'm like a castaway clinging to his tongue” / Interview by Viviana Marcela Iriart, Genoa, June 16, 2020

 


José Pulido. Photo: Vasco Szinetar


José Pulido was part of one of the most beautiful and beloved traditions in Caracas: Sunday, buying the papers, having breakfast at the bakery, going up the Ávila, enjoying the blue butterflies and the singing of Quebrada Quintero, spreading the papers among the stones and then… José Pulido and his interview completed the happiness of the day. It did not matter who he interviewed, because the real pleasure was reading him. And my friends would go: what does Pulido say? Have you read what Pulido said? Pulido is so wonderful! Pulido was the main character. Then came the person being interviewed. Because reading José Pulido is good for you. It gives you joy. It makes you think. Because José Pulido writes with humor, tenderness, compassion, intelligence, love. José Pulido the poet, the writer, the journalist. The interviewer who created a new style. The kind, simple and tender man who creates bridges for people to meet, to cross, to discover the other side of their side.

 

José Pulido, who does not deserve to be exiled like he is today, walking around Genoa while he goes around Caracas.

 

And José Pulido is also Carlos Giménez, who he and I love so much, and that beautiful article he wrote: Carlitos sin olvido (Carlitos without oblivion). And he is that marvelous interview he just made to another wonderful and beloved figure from Caracas: Rolando Peña.  An interview that is like a story written with four hands.  An interview that is like a love letter.

 

And José Pulido is this poem of his, which I find while I'm writing this and then I'm out of words.

 

 

THE OLD SONG

 

Before antiquity arrived

the birds that died

turned into carnelian and tourmaline

John claimed in the Book of Revelation that the face of god was made of jasper and carnelian

birds probably made one of their best graveyards in that face

 

All mountains have been built out of birds' ancestors

 

From a yellow, blue and green bird

who dies when put in a cage and sings in beautiful fury

the mountain of Caracas was born creating ripples of water and branches

 

the Ávila of stones and roots, spit with Pleiades

is our most concrete mountain

 

I wish I could sweep its pathways with a broom of dreams

clean them up of all miseries

 

It is so big it could only fit into the universe once

when the heavens dilated

so that mangos could bloom

 

hummingbirds in the Ávila seem as if they were invented by Borges:

they fly backwards because they care more about the beginning than the end

 

the Ávila is huge but it is not so hard to carry in a bag

it is completely portable when carried as a feeling

especially if you have looked at its mermaid-like curves,

its crests resembling a resting animal

Or if you have ever heard the waters talk in Quebrada Quintero

about how to go down to the Caribbean Sea without having to ask for

directions in the valley

 

In the afternoon the mountain opens its eye made of sun

An eye that falls asleep on the voracious head of dry trees

at night it crouches with its breath of burning plants

ready to jump again on the fearful valley with its rabbit heart

this is the mountain that feeds on looks

that on the beach side is the Ávila of Reverón

deranged by light

and on the Caracas side is the Ávila of Cabré

borrowing the iridescence of the sparkling hummingbird

and all Pleiades sneeze with love when molasses grass stirs,

the delicious herb

and at the top and the bottom it is the Ávila of everyone and no one

a mountain that is like the Virgin of Coromoto and the Virgin of the Valley

like La Chinita and the Divina Pastora

because you do not have to know its pathways

to believe it represents our customs

 

The mountain was a bedroom for clouds a million years ago

and it still is.

The mountain was there making guacharacas

before anyone even thought of building the wall

that we would call town;

this ancient air is what comforts me.

The Ávila is a bird with apple mint in its wings,

it is the pain of fires kept within a case made of roots.

The Ávila is like saying amen when you pray for Caracas.

 

 

 
José Pulido, Salamanca, España.
 
 Carlos Giménez, Barbarito Diez, María Teresa Castillo,
Pablo Milanés,Miguel Henrique Otero, José Pulido...
"Macondo", María Teresas`s house


José, how has coronavirus treated you? What did you do during the quarantine?

 

I don't think coronavirus has treated anyone well. Fortunately I haven't got it because I'm always shut in writing and I only go out to walk up to the nearest mountain. I visit populated areas when I have to read poetry somewhere.

 

What was the first thing you did when the quarantine was lifted?

 

For me, it hasn't been lifted. I go out to walk but I wear a mask. Here you are fined if you don't wear it in the street. I haven't had any plans for when we get to the end of this. Beer tastes as good at home as it does in the bar.

 

Are you writing anything? What?

 

Poetry. I do some interviews for amusement. Poetry is my constant passion.

 

What are your plans for the mid-term?

 

Not dying yet to see what things have changed.

 

When did you leave Venezuela and why?

 

In 2017. Because violence in the country has become institutional, completely institutional.

 

Did anything in particular happen to you or was it only tiredness after so many years?

 

I spent 17 years enduring the decay, the humiliations, watching so many friends and relatives die. Criminals, who have the green light in Venezuela, killed two of my nephews and a grandson. I no longer had any useful medical insurance for my wife and me. Neither did we have any medical insurance for our younger daughter and her daughter, the little granddaughter that we raised. It was tiredness but also a bit of common sense. We would have died really soon there. You would not be making this interview.

 

Had you ever imagined you would have to leave Venezuela?

 

Never. All the things you can miss are there where you were born and raised.

 

Why Italy? Did you choose it or did it choose you?

 

Our older daughter has been living in Italy for 15 years. And the poets from the International Poetry Festival of Genoa have encouraged me a lot. I've been invited to the event two years in a row.

 

What hurts you most about Venezuela?

 

That Venezuelan people suffer and suffer and there's nothing and no one that can do anything to stop it. That so many citizens still believe there's nothing wrong going on there, even when they see people eating out of trash and they constantly come across corpses, misery and injustice. 

 


“Anita laughs with fear halfway between unconsciousness and reality. 

A guard said he would make gloves with the skin from her buttocks 

and she answered that she would not stand that, 

that she preferred to know they would bind books with her skin.

 She wants to smoke and she wants to die.”

Pelo Blanco (White Hair) (extract) 





José Pulido and his brother Arnaldo


What do you yearn for most?

 

Family, friends, my routine in Colinas de Bello Monte. My cat who died.

 

Are you optimistic about Venezuela? Do you think you'll be able to return in the not too distant future? Do you expect to return forever?

 

I'm not optimistic because my age does not allow me to. I shall forever cherish the hope that Venezuela will someday be a country where decency and justice are something basic.

 

Is it a long time since you've been there?

I haven't been there since I came here. I only talk with friends and family on the phone.

 

 

I don't know any city where people love a mountain so much as Caracas. What is the Ávila for you? When did you begin to love it?

 

Going up the Ávila is like gaining a bit more life. When you're up there, you breathe differently. And then you look at the valley, the vastness. Everything looks so harmless and beautiful. In the 70s we already went up there when very few people did.

Anyway, I'll answer your question with an extract from a long poem I wrote to the mountain:

 

This ancient air is what comforts me.

The Ávila is a bird with apple mint in its wings,

it is the pain of fires kept within a case made of roots.

The Ávila is like saying amen when you pray for Caracas.

 



 
José Pulido and his wife Petruska Simme, journalist


I remember María Teresa Castillo opening the doors of the Ateneo in Caracas (and her home) for Chávez, and how he stole it from her some years after that. Did you fall, like her and most of the Venezuelan people, for his seduction and his anti-corruption narrative, or did you distrust him from the beginning?

 

If you read what I wrote during that whole time, you will know I was one of those who never believed in all that. I was disappointed early on with totalitarianism, with the contempt from both the left and the right for decency, justice, creation, critical consciousness. And it wasn't María Teresa who formed an alliance with Chávez - it was her son, Miguel Henrique. He made a mistake like so many others, and it's difficult to imagine how people can make mistakes with something that is so obvious... María Teresa was already affected by age and loss of memory. She was an extraordinary lady.

 

Don't you feel outraged by the lack of support from left wing people having political power in Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Chile, who were exiled in Venezuela in the 70s, who received support from the Venezuelan people and who now turn their back on that same nation? Four million Venezuelan people living in diaspora and those previous victims don't breathe a word; they keep supporting the Venezuelan dictatorship. As if Maduro was better than Pinochet or Videla. As if "El Helicoide" was better than the National Stadium. Does it make you feel outraged? Disappointed? Sad? Or nothing at all because you never believed in those victims? (Personally, I feel outraged)

 

I'm not outraged - I'm grieved by the lack of nobility and solidarity. But I don't understand how a murderous right-wing dictatorship can be any different from a murderous left-wing dictatorship. I stick to Human Rights. I'm not moving away from them.

 

Elisa Lerner said “Solitude is the writer's homeland” (wonderful Elisa). Is that your homeland?

 

My homeland is the memories of what I have lived with other people and the landscapes I have loved and still love.

 

Mother tongue is also a writer's homeland. And when you live abroad, you reach a point when you begin to lose it, when you start to think in the language of the country you live in and then... what language should you write in? Has it happened to you? Are you already thinking in Italian? 

 

I only speak Spanish. I only write in Spanish. Translations are done by poet friends who help me. I can't drift away from Spanish even for a second. I'm like a castaway clinging to his tongue.

 

Don't you speak Italian? How do you manage to go buy bread, have a coffee, ask where a street is?

 

What I mean is that I shelter in my language. That doesn't mean I don't speak other languages. But I don't allow them to change the way I express myself. Of course I handle myself normally in the street, I can communicate with others, but I can't allow myself to forget or confuse words. Not at this stage.

 


José Pulido, Jorge Luis Borges  & María Kodama, Caracas



“An almost transparent little crab, one of those that take on the yellowish color 

of sand, stops just between the thighs, on the round corners

 of the buttocks. It is shaking with fear, or who knows what, at the bottom 

of a cliff and if by any chance its view is wide enough and it can see beyond what 

its tiny size would allow, who knows what it would make of that part

 up there, where a pair of seashell lips open up revealing a cavern.

 The little crab and other creatures skirting the body rush away when

 footsteps gather round. It is an unsettling morning, with 

ants looking for rotten honey and human flesh flies,

 buzzing on every corner about the bad news of a woman 

who the morning found naked, raped and dead 

in the self-absorption of the beach.”

 

El Bululú de las Ninfas (The Nymphs' turmoil) (extract)

 




Carlos Pérez Ariza, Isaac Chocrón, Edward Albee & José Pulido, Caracas. 



 Massive success, massive international recognition has eluded you, and that is terribly unfair. But it's never late. Look at Ida Vitale, receiving the Cervantes award at the age of 94! Well, I hope you can live as long as you like, but that you are awarded and recognized soon, let's say next year at the latest. Are you angry about the indifference of big publishers, big awards? Do you need a Carmen Balcells? Is the Noble Prize one of your dreams?

 

The important thing for me is the pleasure I feel when I write what I want to write. What I value most is a reader who can understand what I do. Even if it's only one. The massive, what represents a lot of money and little sensitivity and consciousness holds no interest for me. I don't even dream about a municipal award. I think I could become the only reader who is connected with me. That does not guarantee creative quality, but I'm relieved by the certainty that I'm producing something that will someday be useful for others who feel like me.

 

Did you have a happy childhood? What were your mother and father like?

 

My mother raised us alone. Well - with her huge family close by. Ours was a happy childhood because there was a lot of honesty and humility. I had tuberculosis and lost one year of primary school, but it was a very nice time - they gave me books and brought me comics.

 

 At what age did you begin to write? And what did you write?

 

When I was eight years old. I haven't stopped ever since. I wrote poems. I learned to write sonnets, very outlandish, but they were good practice. Then I filled several workbooks with tall tales. I got a poem and a short story published in national magazines when I was a teenager.

 

How did you get into journalism? Why journalism and not baseball, for example?

 

I wanted to stay within writing and journalism was the ideal job for that. It's very hard to write something truly valuable if you're a professional baseball player, for example - you have to put all your energy into the game, you can't do anything else. You wouldn't be able to work on your writing, to master the writing skill. And you wouldn't be a good baseball player if you were not passionate about it.

 

Did you study in the School of Journalism or did you learn by working in editorial offices?

 

I'm a member of the professional association, one of those who started to work in newspapers in Venezuela before the School of Journalism was created. I was a national and local executive at the National Association of Journalists.

 

Did you decide to work full-time in journalism, and not in poetry and prose, because journalism provides economic stability, and poetry and prose don't, or because you truly loved journalism?

 

No. Working in journalism as a trade to support my family never prevented me from writing poetry and prose. Actually, it nurtured them in many aspects because in journalism you go through all social misfortunes and connect with the great source of reality itself.

 

You're one of the greatest interviewers in Venezuela and the rest of the continent. Did you have any teachers? Or did your style emerge on its own?

 

The truth is I read a lot of journalistic chronicles written by some of the Irish American journalists who later gave rise to what was known as New Journalism. But my main education was reading the greatest writers. My style was a reaction to cliché, to routine. I wanted to move people and to feel I was doing something moving for me.

 

From all the people you have interviewed, who were the men and women who impacted you most and why?

 

The man who impacted me most was a gentleman that was so nice and modest I could not believe it: I interviewed the spy who deceived Hitler. The spy who serves as an inspiration for so many novels and movies. It was a lesson on humility. García Márquez was also one of my favorites, because he tried to understand my interviewing style, and I took it as a friendly compliment.

 

Once I interviewed a woman who had been raped several times, in different years. She was like a magnet for rapes. Very painful.

 

I also interviewed a theater actress, a red-haired Polish woman - she was gorgeous, one of the most beautiful women I had ever seen. I was very young. And she received me in her dressing room. She was completely naked putting on her make-up and she demanded that I should ask her the questions right there because she could not waste any time. I was in a cold sweat. And I asked her the questions trying not to look at her. I stared at a wall. I interviewed a wall. And her answers were extremely smart. I admired the intelligence of this actress. And I'm still consumed by the frustration of not looking at her directly, even though she never forbid it.



 
José Pulido &  Lindsay Kemp


José Pulido, Italy



When you worked in the media, did you have enough time left for poetry and prose?

 

I've always got up at four o'clock in the morning. I still do. I used to write from four to seven and then I went to the paper. Spending time in the job you need to survive doesn't mean you'll cut or curb your poetry and prose - they're too powerful and vehement. Now that I can write without having to work I really yearn for newsrooms.

 

What distresses you most, a blank question in an interview or a blank page in a novel or poem? Or are you not distressed by anything?

 

I'm not distressed by writing. As Heraclitus would say, thinking is a sacred disease. All this is a sacred disease. What is truly distressing is not having enough time to keep reading and writing until you find something glorious that can shake humanity. Although humanity is already shaken.

 

 

 

“When its time comes the mist descends so much that it brushes the coffee trees. 

Spiders, reptiles, beetles, scorpions, mice, rabbits

 and all bugs go back to their nests and their caves when they hear

 the hissing of leaves being pushed aside: something subtle but overwhelming 

is going through the thicket.”

Los Mágicos (The Magic Ones) (extract), José Pulido

 




How is a poem born in you?

 

I feel something and I look for a word that will make it visible. Every word contains a civilization, a history, a universe. With a single word like water or stone or beer or bell you could write a whole book. Just think about all the things you know and you can think of with the word water.

 

 How is a novel born in you?

I come up with a story which then becomes only an excuse.

 

How is an interview born in you?

 

The moment I become interested in an interviewee.

 

How do you write? Do you sit in front of the screen and wait for ideas to rain down?

 

I'm full of mediocre ideas, like all humanity, but I constantly search for something stunning, which very often lies in simple things. Sometimes I'm asleep and I come up with something in my dreams, so when I wake up I write it.

 

Juan Carlos Onetti said that there are writers for whom writing is like being with their wife or with a mistress. For him, it was a mistress - he only wrote every now and then. What is it for you?

 

There's no point of comparison - I write every day. It's like breathing for me. It's an existential mechanism. Like those who get drunk and can't get away from liquor. If I had loved my wife with the same intensity and persistence and resistance with which I write, I would have made her very happy.

 

Are you writing your autobiography?

 

Never in my life would I write something like that. Poetry is enough for me.

 

Are you a believer? A religious person? Do you believe in reincarnation?

 

I believe that life is extremely beautiful and that death does not care because it has a different job. I believe that in everything you do, you should always start from a moral point of view. Fantasy and truth, fiction and reality contain beauties, and that is enough for me. I believe that language has made us what we are.

 

When you're not writing, what do you like doing?

 

I like reading loads of poetry and strange writers. In Venezuela I was fascinated by horse races and going up the Ávila. Here I walk, I go up the mountain and I wonder why they don't love racetracks in Italy. Watching a race with a beer in your hand is something you cannot beat. I like baseball too.

 

Poets and also many writers are often quite tragic or pessimistic or nihilistic or arrogant - they believe they are above the average just because they write, and some even dare to say that writing is a punishment: “When God hands you a gift, he also hands you a whip. For self-flagellation”, said Truman Capote, such a beautiful phrase but... really?

 

Without tragedy, we are done for. And what Capote said is a truth that many do not face. It's about being humble to be able to write something important. Because when you're humble you know where you fail, where you make mistakes, and how big you really are. A good creator, one that masters the art of writing, knows that only a reader who does not understand his inner level could take offense. Sometimes a book is too big for the reader, and the reader has to grow in order to enjoy it or understand it. Sometimes the book is too small and the reader has to make the writer grow.

 

Poetry is something different. It's a way of being and living. It is very high-level and requires the reader to have enough humility to accept that he has to climb a slope and that this is not a sacrifice.




"With my love", wrote José Pulido: his wife Petruska Simme


You write with humor, compassion, tenderness. In your writings, you always seem amazed by life. Curious. Reading you is good for people. It gives them hope. You seem like a kid astonished by the big and small things of life. Are you a 74-year-old little kid?

 

Yes. I'm 74 on the outside but, strangely, I got stuck at 18 on the inside. Sometimes I can't understand why I get tired, when not long ago, in 1970, I used to run 20 kilometers every day...

 

I admire the great things of life, like everyone else. Starting with life itself and with language, which reaches its highest point in poetry. But I believe that all the small things I have valued and still value have improved my existence and I'm thankful for that. Being able to look at a beach. Having a mango in my hands. Listening to Myriam Phiro or to Marlene Dietrich singing Lili Marleen with her dark voice.

 

In the pictures from the last years, however, you look... melancholic perhaps? Sometimes you look at the camera annoyed, like saying “But girl, when did Caracas become Genoa?” However, your look does not show the defeat or sadness of exiles - it's defiant.  But there's no joy. Your face is the opposite of your narrative. José, how do you feel? Is it hard to live in Genoa?

 

You're right. You know how to look and you know me. I'm an unrepentant melancholic. But I'm not unhappy. Anything can make me feel joy. A soup, a beer, a coffee, a conversation. I have always been like that because I was raised by women and a simple, large family. I never stop being me, even if it's not much.

 

How would you like to be remembered? José Pulido, the poet, the writer, the journalist, the humanist?

 

I'm a poet. But if they can forget me without resentment, I'll be satisfied. Being remembered is the most relative thing. When all the people that ever knew me have died, it will be difficult for someone to remember me. Unless they come across any of my poems or writings and feel there's something interesting there.

 

What question do you wish I had asked you but didn't?

 

I just like questions from friends. Like you. There isn't a particular question I would like to hear. Things happen and you cannot stop them. I believe in what I do but I can't make people believe in me.

 

In 1979 an exiled Julio Cortázar said in Caracas: “A day in my life is always a very beautiful thing, because I'm really happy to be alive. I have no intention of dying, I have the impression I'm immortal” (wonderful Cortázar). Would you like to be immortal?

 

I'd like to be immortal just not to give a fuck about days. But I'm mortal and that makes every day worth its weight in kisses.

 

Thank you so much, dear José, it was a pleasure talking to you. And let's have the next interview with a cup of joe, either black or with milk, at any Caracas bakery. With a cachito, of course. Stunned by the car horns and the heat. And the Ávila, always our Ávila.  In Caracas. Next time, in Caracas.

 

That would be so beautiful and wonderful I could make it one of my dreams. Thank you, my dear and admired friend.

 

 

©VivianaMarcela Iriart
 June 16, 2020
Translation: Luciana Valente
 
All photos courtesy of  José Pulido
 José Pulido:  Web  / Facebook



 Photo Garcilaso




JOSÉ PULIDO Biography:
 Venezuelan poet, novelist and journalist, winner of several awards in Venezuela and abroad. He currently lives in Italy. He has published various poetry and prose books. He was the editor-in-chief of El Diario de Caracas and he led the art pages in El Nacional (1981-1988), El Diario de Caracas (1991-1995) and El Universal (1996-98). He was a correspondent for the OAS and Venpres, and a counselor for the Sofía Ímber Museum of Contemporary Art.







“He saw her vanish, like a headless pink patch among the crape myrtles and the acacias in the street, and he realized he had no horse or money, just his boots and a classical guitar which already had a spider living in its sound hole.” 

 







 

“The postman slows down the bicycle by braking the rear wheel with his left foot. Smoke comes out of the worn shoe sole. He finally manages to stop by setting his big shoe on the sidewalk.


The house in Vedado is inserted in another dimension, that is why he cannot even capture the details and he feels glad - though he does not show it - when the door opens and a girl from this time appears to get the letter. He breathes a sigh of relief to the point that he returns sweating to the daily heat and dares to look squarely at the smiling inhabitant before getting on his bike and pedaling as if in a black-and-white film that breaks against the sun and the reverberation of the sea.”


La canción del ciempiés (The Centipede's Song) (extract).





“He pulls a face, practices a nervous dance and moves back like a dwarf joking around in a circus, although in the substratum of his memory he is only a child poking at his mother to make her love him. He lets himself fall on the soft wrinkled leather of the long couch and rests on the woman's shoulder. She straightens her breast and the trembling of her roundnesses sticks out, moved by an earthquake which starts at her blinking.” 

 

El Requetemuerto (The Utterly Dead) (extract).






“The cold of winter, of this winter in particular, which hits the Oranienburg concentration camp mercilessly, has started its task of chapping lips, burning ears and getting into bowels like a needle.

 

The Sturmbannfuhrer in this camp is a middle-height man who looks tall, with strong bones and white hair, and white eyebrows and eyelashes. He is a quiet albino who pushes the air with his jaw, and everyone repeats his rank and name with bitterness and unease: Colonel Von Dussel.” 

 

Pelo Blanco (White Hair) (extract)





“To this date, El Yimi has killed fifty-two people he did not know. He might have exchanged looks with some of those victims, at an X moment, market, bar, traffic light, bus window, but most certainly it was like visually bumping into someone, because senseless, distracted looks are what crowds are made of.

 

—Freaks me out, that shit... gotta get cleansed...”

 

Los Héroes son villanos tímidos (Heroes Are Shy Villains) (extract)





Source for biography and book extracts: José Pulido