A pastiche of freedom

zambra

O Αλεχάντρο Σάμπρα για το βιβλίο του, Ways of Going Home, η αγγλική μετάφραση του οποίου κυκλοφόρησε τον Φεβρουάριο:

Ways of Going Home presents your parents’ generation as either victims or accomplices of the Pinochet regime. It was hard to remain neutral. Is trying to establish what happened during those dark years essential to moving on?

It is essential, necessary and also inevitable, and Chilean society has understood it as such. Those of us who were children during those years were able to take shelter in the idea that we were not really there, that we knew nothing; and in one sense it actually was like that. But there were certain things, certain movements, certain ideas that we did understand and that we were able to intuit. I feel that it is extremely important to recover that world which we half inhabited. We could never have known whether our parents were the way they were because that is how adults are, or whether they were actually scared.

Your generation lives with the spectre of the past, yet, as you say in the novel, they were only secondary characters. ‘We grew up believing that the novel belonged to our parents. We cursed them, and also took refuge in their shadows, relieved. While the adults killed or were killed, we drew pictures in a corner.’ That must be a heavy burden to live with. Is that how you see it?

I see it like a responsibility or a burden that one can never relinquish, and I suppose one has to learn to live with it. You see, it is not only about personal stories; it is about a first-person plural ‘we’, a community of voices who only begin to define themselves late in life, with a sense of collective shyness, but also with determination and drive. Our adolescence coincided with the so-called return to democracy, and yet the grave error of those years –the early 1990s– was, precisely, believing that it was a democracy, when all the while Pinochet was still very much in power. We had no idea what a democracy looked like; we had been born in a dictatorship and for that reason we accepted the limited freedom –that pastiche of freedom– as if it were some wonderful prize. Democracy only really began to return when Pinochet was arrested in London in 1998.

Η συνέχεια της συνέντευξης εδώ. Και αυτό το βιβλίο δίνει την εντύπωση ότι στην πραγματικότητα ο Σάμπρα γράφει και ξαναγράφει ένα και μοναδικό μυθιστόρημα, το οποίο εμπλουτίζεται, συμπληρώνεται, και ανατρέπεται από βιβλίο σε βιβλίο. Κοινώς, καλό θα ήταν να διαβαστούν όλα του τα βιβλία, το ένα μετά το άλλο. Ούτως ή άλλως, και τα τρία είναι ολιγοσέλιδα – όλα μαζί ίσα που φτιάχνουν ένα σύντομο μυθιστόρημα.

ways-of-going-home-by-alejandro-zambra

[πρίβιουσλι: The Auster Effect]

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