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| 6/16/2010 12:00:00 AM

Juan Sebastian Cardenas: “Colombian Literature Is Minor”

June 16--Colombian writer Juan Sebastian Cardenas, who has just published “Zumbido” (Buzz) in Spain, a narrative that makes a singular descent into various hells, believes that Colombian literature “is minor. It exudes optimism, and the sooner it accepts that characteristic, the richer and more interesting it will be.”

Cardenas, who was born in Popayan, Colombia, in 1978 and has lived in Madrid since 1998, when he received a scholarship from the Students’ Residence, is one of the emerging talents of Colombia, a country he visits constantly and with which he remains in close contact.

He identifies his style as realism, but in his latest work, “Zumbido,” published by 451 Editores, it can appropriately be described as singular, odd and different, as it tells a dreamlike tale of an anonymous leading character who gets the news in hospital that his sister has died.

From that moment he runs away on an escapist trip, with a woman who unexpectedly consoled him at the hospital, that takes them to the heart of an oppressive Latin American city and deep into its slums. A 24-hour trip that accumulates different characters in perplexing situations along the way.

The writer apparently used a computer program to create the different time sequences of a story that he calls “a succession of caprices.”

“There is no internal journey. It is pure realism,” the writer told Efe. “I’m very interested in the relationship between literature and politics, but at the same time I abhor any hint of demagogy. These days in Colombia to talk about what is happening, writers adopt a kind of journalistic language whose rhetoric and syntax slant what is happening there.”

Read more here.
 
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