First Commandment: Discipline
Books do not write themselves. Also not discussed in committee. Writing is the action of a self that is sometimes scary. Like entering a tunnel without knowing there a light at the end, or even if the ends do exist.
I remember as a young man spent a lot of weekends in Cuernavaca, a tropical city in Mexico, along with the writer Alfonso Reyes, who by Borges dubbed as the best Spanish-speaking prosaic throughout the 20th century. Puisi Cinta Reyes almost seventy years old, while I was only seventeen, and sometimes I come home from parties at five in the morning and see the lights in the work room lit and Don Alfonso Reyes himself facing his desk bent like dwarf shoemaker.
He relieve ketakjubanku -katakanlah iriku sense, my desire to be with her-with a sentence of Goethe, who are both artisan reveille: "Writers should use the best parts of the day. Puisi " So after writing from five to eight, Goethe could continue the next day with gathering rocks, concocted theory of light, an adviser to the palace throne Weimar, and chasing babu palace.
Alfonso Reyes taught me that discipline is the colloquial name of creativity, and Oscar Wilde that literary talent is 10 percent inspiration and 90 percent sweat.
But if this is the logical side of literary creation, there is the other side, the mysterious and unpredictable, which is not going to kukaitkan with dimly remangnya inspiration, a word that is often used as a pretext to delay the work while waiting for Godot, something which in ancient times called Dewi Ilham.
The mysterious part of the creativity that is dreaming.
I could have planned, the night before, my work tomorrow morning and go to sleep quietly though not wait to get up and continue writing. Puisi Cinta But when I sat down the next morning, the plan that has been outlined by the logic litererku strayed far, suffer from too much of a coincidence, and beaten by who did not terperkirakan.
Turns out I had a dream. And it turns out the dreams I remember it was repetitive, mediocre, and redundant. I can not help but think that the creative hand that guides my own hands the next morning was a hand dreams are not remembered, dreams do their work invisible: move, compressing, elaborate birthday, and work -in anticipation of dream-work literature.
Well, each of us has his own way to repel flies, and the way I was getting up at six in the morning, write from seven to twelve, exercising an hour, go out and buy a newspaper (what they like to always look more ancient than the imagination) , lunch with my wife Silvia, read for three hours in the afternoon -from three to six-o'clock and went out to the cinema, theater, opera, or chatting with friends.
Must immediately add that it is only possible in the refuge to write in London, a city that is neat. In Mexico City the situation is different. There is no "political breakfast" -ritual power broker, exchange of information, damage the reputation, promote people-from eight to ten thirty. Lauknya heavy, as if there is no politics without pozole. Lunch from three to six o'clock in the afternoon under the spotlight eye Ironically Aztec goddess Coatlicue, an assurance that the digest is going to be a tough task. And then there was dinner from ten o'clock at night until two in the morning.
If I managed to write a column only under conditions like that, I had been satisfied.
But Mexico are my friends, my family, my people are warm, friendly, stunning, my city were choked with air tightness that is no longer clear, memories and political life of the region in which the reality of constantly surpass fiction. Kata-kata Bijak Mexico actually filling veins update my communication and my creative ripples with malignant intake of tequila and enchiladas.
Then I can go back to London and grateful for the climate is bad, the food was lousy, and the preamble crisp population, without losing kangenku at nine hundred varieties of chili and seven kinds of mole, and store in the ears of two sounds constant of Mexico is like applause Daily in the country: the hands of our women pounding corn tortillas and men hug each other we were patting each other's backs.
The Second Commandment: Read
Read a lot, read everything with gusto. Fernando Benítez, an old friend, the author chronicles the devastating Indian cultures in Mexico, have a card that reads only: Fernando Benítez, Readers Novel.
Generation in Mexico and throughout Latin world (including Italy, France, Portugal, and Spain) is perhaps the last generation that fed the imagination with a stunning reading books that move us to another world, the universe of childhood dreams. Reviews These books are an essential means for us, but it is not known in the Anglo-American: Emilio Salgari and tales sandokan, Tiger of Malaysia; Paul Feval and Hunchback Lagardere; Les Pardaillan that whiz stories Allows us to imagine wearing robes and carrying a sword instead of bib overalls and marbles; or book sentimental works of the Italian Cuore d'Amicis Edmondo roomates allow us to cry without any hesitate.
These are books childhood staple Latin world, from Rome to Buenos Aires, from Paris and Madrid to Mexico City. Then we respond with his books were equally be read in the Anglo-American world, especially Dickens, Stevenson, and Mark Twain, as well as two gigantic universal imagination, Dumas and Jules Verne. We do not know anything about Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys as boys Caucasians did not know anything about Salgari and Black Pirate.
Are these writers still read at this age, or the children spend all Reviews their time playing Nintendo? I do not know, but I do not think so. Publishers took me to my English edition in London and a library corner of the window Showed me four blocks long queues of children aged seven to eleven with ten pounds of money in hand, who want to buy the latest Harry Potter title. The first mold: half a million copies. Expectations printed six million copies.
And a modern version of the epic poem the Nordic nation 7th century, Beowulf, in the brilliant translation Seamus Heaney was a bestseller in the whole world of English-speaking world.
In Latin America, all my life, is a marker of identity and proof of social achievement in the middle class, working class, and students to read Neruda and Lorca, García Márquez and Cortazar, Rulfo and Paz.
The author is a pioneer readings, protective books, gadfly who INSISTED: the price of the book should not be a barrier readings in poorer countries or dispossessed classes. Roomates establish public libraries are open to all. Let the young people know that if they do not have money to buy books, no public libraries where they can read a book.
This, I Knew, Become subjects had lived in the United States. But it still had to be implemented a in Latin America.
Which leads me to switch to a third consideration.
Third Commandment: Tradition and Creation
Both kusatukan Because I am convinced that there is no creation of new literature strut without previous literary tradition, just as there would not be a tradition that survives without the freshness of new creations. There was no TS Eliot without John Donne-but from now on, not some John Donne without TS Eliot. So the author at yesterday Became a writer in today, and author of today Become tomorrow author. This is Because The reader knows something overlooked by the authors: the reader knows the future, and the next reader of Don Quixote is the first reader of Don Quixote.
The bridge between creation and tradition unfolds in ajuanku fourth.
Fourth Commandment: Imagination
Imagination is a mad woman in the household, said novelist Spain Perez Galdos. Crazy woman who is not locked up in the attic as in the fictional Victorian era but throw open all the windows, bow reverently to the vampires who sleep in the basement, but fly out and cause trouble in Madrid, Mexico, or Manhattan to see what actually took place in the bedrooms and halls of state.
Imagination fly and their wings are the eyes of the author. Imagination look, and his eyes are memories and predictions of the author. Because imagination is the union of our feelings are liberated, that bundle bundle what is scattered, character symbols that allow us cross the jungle -selva selvaggia his Dante-more Ferocious today may, in the city than in the jungle own.
Is beyond the imagination-or at least give the sense pada- experience.
Imagining means changing experience to be destiny and save the fate of mere fatalism.
There was no natural -natura-without imagination rural Daphnis and Chloe works longus, Diana Montemayor his or her Shepherd Spenser, all of the which are forms that contrast with the natural scenic of his terrible untamed Melville Moby Dick or his barren urban landscape The Waste Land Eliot.
But the character of a literary nature not only reminds us that the world around us can be fun or cruel, friendly or unfriendly, but Also create, through imagination, literary reality both of the which physical reality was no longer a first-able to separate himself.
The Fifth Commandment: Reality Literature
Which means that the reality of literature is not limited to being Obedient reflection of objective reality. He added that the objective reality something that previously was not there. He enriched and catapulted the primary reality. Imagine - just imagine a world without Hamlet or Don Quixote. We will not be slow to understand that the Prince of Denmark and the Knights flawless Grief, levels of "reality" as much as or higher than most of our neighbors.
Then the literary form of reality that can not divorce Themselves from the physical environment klins historical, chronological, geographical, imaginative-place lasts. That is why it is important to distinguish literature from history with consideration of the following premise: History-though sounded odd-entry into the world of logic, that means univocally zones: the invasion of Napoleon to Russia took place in 1812. The literary creations , in contrast, entered the poetic universe plurivokal: What passion -hasrat contradictory disturbing inner and Andrei Volkinski Natasha Rostova in Tolstoy novel?
-puisi Literary works or novels soared into many Reviews directions. They do not require an explanation singular, unique, let alone a precise chronology.
Let us read the Russian historian of the 19th century were awesome, but let us imagine that the same century without Tolstoy or Dostoyevsky, Gogol without or Turgenev. That is, War and Peace is not just the case in 1812. It was reborn in every battlefield in the war of all ages; it takes place in the reader's mind and there mengguratkan itself as a fact of literary imagination, the which in turn, determines the relationship with his day's work, through the events that we call language.
The Sixth Commandment: Literature and Age
Literary change history-what takes place on the battlefield Waterloo or what took place in the bridal chamber Natasha Rostova and Pierre Bezhukov-into poetry and fiction.
Literary look at the history, and the history of subordinating Themselves to literary history Because it can not see itself without language.
Iliad, According to Italian philosopher Benedetto Croce, is the original proof of identity between literature and history. The book, he wrote, is the work of un popolo intero poetante, the whole folk poetry.
Such unity has been lost. Modernity is fragmented; he individualistic. He does not tolerate poetry (or painting or architecture) anonymous collective, for Montaigne said, "Known alone is not enough; we now Also have to be famous." Anonymity poetic and collective Homer does not require it. Victor Hugo did not need it Because According to Jean Cocteau, Victor Hugo was just a Madman who thought he was Victor Hugo.
Epic universe of antiquity was the same as his Petersburg Gogol, a figure of a giant animal broke into a thousand pieces. Unity of the Homeric language has disappeared. Hector and Achilles in the Iliad, utter the same language. Post Don Quixote, we can only talk about the language compounded. Cervantes Overcome the lost unity by finding a plurality. Don Quixote epic spell; Sancho Panza, pikaresk language-that is, anti-epic. Ulysses and Penelope could understand each other. Madam Bovary and Anna Karenina could not understand or be understood by Reviews their husbands. They said that different languages.
Breakdown of this unity Tus Unification Becomes cracks. There was no communication without diversity, and there is no diversity without recognizing the existence of the Liyan-he-or Reviews those who do not like you or me.
Language was then terterjemahkan into levels of language and literature into a hybrid language reelaborasi, migration, mestizo where the author uses language for shining a light on other languages. So it is that Juan Goytisolo in Spain, contaminating the purity of the Spanish language to revive the roots of Jewish and Arab, or Günter Grass in Germany, restoring a sense and truth in a language that has demeaned her dignity by the Third Reich, or twisted-twisted multicultural of English in the US, as used by Toni Morrison were Afro-American, Amy Tan that Chinese-Americans, Sandra Cisneros were Mexican-Americans, Cristina García that Cuban-Americans, Rosario Ferré the Puerto Rican-American, or Louise Erdrich that Native Americans.
The Lord is taking a sabbatical before Nietzsche reserved it dead, and in its place-the Lord, not Nietzsche-champion Don Quixote. That is, the novel was born, no longer as an illustration of the truths already known, but as a quest for truths unknown. Not anymore as bearers of antiquity past but the novelty of the past.
I return to the idea that Don Quixote next reader will always be the first reader of Don Quixote. Literary past into the future of literature. But so too immortal literary language.
Language original myth that landed us in the homeland. Language epic that drives us out of the world we know to the world that we ignore.
Language tragic return to the homeland and families with wounded and torn by emotion and by history.
Literature, in the end, to restore the lost community; a policy that requires our political speech and action; community who need our voice as an act of civilization that we learn the art of living together, closer, love each other, support each other despite the cruelty, intolerance, and Bloodshed that never left the shadows of the human mind-Regardless of all the illuminated by the light of justice.
Literature Gives the city Inscribed part of the world and Become a persuaan -that is to say, common ground-not only of the characters and plot of the story, but Also civilization (Thomas Mann), language (James Joyce), social classes ( Balzac), Historically era -era (Hermann Broch), or imaginary eras, as spelled Cuban writer Lezama Lima.
Literary language, in this sense, is the language of languages. Is a language the which takes into himself Because he was Unable to take into languages other parties.
Seventh Commandment: Critique Indeed
Once published, literature no longer belong to the author to belong to the reader. He Also Became the targets of criticism. And when I say "criticism," what I mean is a skill that is not superior is not lower than the works Discussed, but it is more equal. Criticism as high as works that criticized. Dialogue between the work and critique it.
On because of this, the best literary critic IS ALSO the creator of the best literature. Critical reciprocity between, say, Baudelaire and Poe, Sartre and Faulkner, Georges Bataille and Emily Brontë, transform criticism into the equivalent of literary creation. But critics -berbeda with valuable professional writer who writes about other writers-Achieve the Same reciprocity relations: Michel Foucault and Borges, Donald Fanger and Gogol, Rabelais and Bakhtin, Leavis and Lawrence, Barthes and Proust, Van Wyck Brooks and Hawthorne, is a handful an example of the full correspondence between the critics and the book of wisdom.
So I distinguish between real criticism with the reviewer -Most solely opinions we read in the media-or even from critics in disguise, the critic who only read the book cover with full authority to destroy it.
I suggest that young writers do not concern or bother Themselves redundant with the reviewer in the media. Try not hypocritical in this regard. We love praised. We do not like negative opinion, and we admire Susan Sontag Because he did not read the reviews that rate is good or bad. But subject to one of them is a mistake. They vanished in the blink of an eye. Or as they say in Mexico, "Le hacen lo que el aire a Juárez." [Less: barking dogs caravan passed - terjmh.]. If style Amriknya, roughly means Washington can not be persuaded not to cross the Delaware.
So-so writer delights in heart given that anywhere in this world, no statues erected to commemorate the literary critic.
Furthermore, an activity the which can be noble and Necessary sometimes dwarfed by Reviews those who work on it Because it was moved by envy or frustration. But paradoxically -or if you like, dilemma-REMAIN. Only in sastralah artwork is identical to the instruments used to criticize: the language.
Good art, or music, or movie none who experienced incest between words and word-creation of this kind of assessment. Similarly even the theater, the which is the art of direct representation, but within.
The Eighth Commandment: True to yourself
This anjuranku for young writers. Do not let yourself be seduced by the instant success or the illusion of immortality. Most of the best-selling book seasonal Able to quickly intervening swallowed into the grains of sand to forget, and that is bad in the current sales may continue to sell in the future. Stendhal good example for both cases. Anthony Adverse, tremendous demand in 1933, is an example of the first case. Also that year was the best-selling book published Faulkner who continue to read people far into the future: Light in August.
Well, immortality, said William Blake, fall in love with the works of timeless era.
The works are timeless era is Don Quixote and One Hundred Years of Silence, and immortality fell in love with them from the beginning. But the work of Charterhouse of Parma Stendhal only get a handful of readers when first published, and it was thanks to generous praise Balzac on the work that is Considered strange and difficult, in his day. Which was originally intended for "Reviews those happy few", this new glory days enjoyed nan lasting for so many generations of readers.
The lesson: true to yourself, listen to the inner voice of your heart calls, take risks to apply classic and experimental, and remember that there is no longer a dogma for to tradition and renovation.
There is no longer avant-garde Because art is seen as a novelty colleague has ceased to be new, Because The novelty -on-turn is co-progress, and progress has ceased to be advanced. The 20th century has left us with a sense of the progress of Injured and wounded so deeply. Today we Realize that scientific and technical achievement not Ensure the cessation of moral and political barbarism.
Artistic response to the political and economic crisis of the modern era are practically boundless freedom of style that Allows the artist to write in a style that he wants. But on one condition: that freedom is never to forget its debt to the tradition, and that tradition never forgot his debt to the creations.
The Ninth Commandment: Tradition and Creation Awareness
I went back to the beginning of the Ten Commandments with this article: the awareness that young writers should have traditions and creations. T.S. Eliot, of course, have written the definitive essay on this theme.
However, let me distinguish between the two ramps. One is the social position of authors in between the past and the future in a present that does not allow us to escape from the political climate. I mean by this is not a mandatory involvement (engagement) ala Sartre. What I mean is the name of the free choice of citizens.
Authors adhere to this social obligation to keep the imagination and language continue to live in his writing. Even though if the author did not have a political opinion, it contributes to city life -polis-thanks to the wanderings of imagination and root language. There was no free society without writers, and not without reason totalitarian regimes swiftly to try to silence the writers.
However, standing in the public squares, alone with notepads and pens (in my case), or with Reviews their computers (like most writers These Days), the authors Gave Reviews their lives, the situation, the flesh, and the voice on major questions perennial men and women in a flash glimpse of our earth.
What is the relationship between freedom and destiny? With what steps we can shape our own destiny?
Which part of our lives that can adapt to change and the which are the provisions? And lastly, why do we identify ourselves based on our Whether ignorance-unity of body and soul? We can not answer. But we would continue to be what we do not understand it.
So literature is the education of taste, intelligence and sensitivity that school should be a medium through the which most distinguishes us from the natural world objects: words.