Peri Rossi: “Poetry does not save those who die from bombs in Europe”


Uruguayan writer Christina Rossi assured this Friday that poetry does not save “those who die from bombs and rockets in an educated Europe”, in a speech at an awards ceremony Cervantes Award which was read by actress Cecilia Roth, as she could not attend for health reasons.

Cecilia Roth received an award from the hands of the king named Peri Rossi, born in Montevideo in 1941, although living in Barcelona since the 1970s, one of the most important writers in the Spanish language and author of an extensive narrative, poetic, essayistic work and journalistic translation into 15 languages.

In his speech, in which he recalled his first reading Quixoteemphasized that the causes of wars have always been “lust for power and economic ambitions” “Something typically masculine,” he added. She also indicated that it had always been clear to her “that in a patriarchal society, being a woman and being independent was rare and suspicious.”

In the face of dictatorship, he turned “resistance into literature, as did many Spanish exiles.” “While some fanatically seek to get rich and seize the sources of power, others express emotions and fantasies, dreams and desires of people“, he assured.

In her speech, the author recalled that she was born when, unfortunately, Europe was in the midst of a world war, and how in her childhood she met many Spanish emigrants. He pointed out that the world seemed to him a very dangerous place outside of Montevideo, but it was in his uncle’s library that he learned that “it has always been like this, from the very beginning, from biblical times.” And it was three books that shocked her then: Diary of Ana Frank, Mum, Maxim Gorky and Don Quixote of La Manchathe last “dictionary in hand”.

“It was the most difficult to read and gave me the most conflicting feelings. I have never read a book in which the author declared its main character crazy, but at the same time I was touched by the fact that her goal is to correct mistakes. and establish justice, which seemed to me quite reasonable, given the state of the world and my own environment.

The Uruguayan writer explained that “the understanding shown by Don Quixote to a real female charactermade him think “that madness might be an excuse to exclude those who hold uncomfortable truths: a lesson I obviously learned at a very high price to this day, but if I had been born again, I would have done the same the most.”

Peri Rossi admitted that sometimes “her spirit is darkened by the fear that evil and violence are actually a constant of human existence, and the struggle between Good and Evil is immortalized or ridiculed, as happens in the same book by Cervantes.”

And although “tonight I could write the most grateful verses and fulfill my duty as a scribe,” he admitted that “poems will not save those who die from bombs and rockets in civilized Europe.”


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