la rebelión consiste en mirar una rosa

hasta pulverizarse los ojos

Alejandra Pizarnik


Julio Cortázar and the cultural exile: "I'm in exile, but on the other hand, in my country, there are 26 million exiles in relation to us", interview (fragment) by Viviana Marcela Iriart, Semana Magazine, Caracas, September 1979

"What for me is and has been traumatic, is a phenomenon in which not everyone thinks, and in the case of an exiled artist it's fundamental. It's what I would call cultural exile: it's terrible when you realize that in your own country there is a barrier of censorship that means, for example, that I can not publish more books in Argentina. Then the realization – and this is frightening for me – I'm in exile, but on the other hand, in my country, there are 26 million exiles in relation to us. I am separated from my readers, but my readers are separated from me: my last book of stories in Argentina could not get published because there were two stories that angered the Junta. And this is not just a personal matter: there are 150 magnificent Uruguayan, Chilean and Argentine writers that cannot be published in our country.

In Chile, starting on September 11, 1973 , a young generation was taken by the Junta and enrolled in fascist schools run by the military. Six years have passed and they have lived the critical age (between 12 and 18) under that regime, thousands and thousands of children and Chilean girls who, right now, believe in the Junta, believe the in the national security state, believe that all of us are traitors. They believe that Chile is a country unjustly attacked and threatened. It's not their fault, poor things, because in six years they have become the same thing that Hitler did with the Hitler Youth, or Mussolini with the "balillas". Well, that is for me one of the most frightening things, and we can do nothing, intellectually. Because here I can tell you this, but no one will listen in Argentina, nobody will read it, you can publish it but unless someone carries it in their pocket, no one can read it there. "

© Viviana Marcela Iriart
Caracas, September 1979.
Published in November 1979
Semana magazine, Caracas
Photo: Eduardo Gamondés
Translation:©Julio Emilio Moliné

Full interview: click here