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Jorge Armenteros
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The Novelist as Activist

The activity of writing is already subversive enough within the context of our broken society. Today, one of the largest injuries is being inflicted on human interactions and language. Within the novel, the relationship between a reader and a narrator is as intense and emotionally complex as any relationship between that reader and another human being. The slow accumulation of the soul of the other, a satisfying human need, occurs in the turning of pages and the deciphering of life as rendered by prose. The novel provides an intercourse with selves, albeit imagined, but just as real. And as the contemporary self is being obliterated by the continuous fragmentation of attention and time, we need the novel more than ever.

I use writing as a form of philanthropy to empower even the most disenfranchised. That is, our impoverished interactions, and language.

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Upon facing each other...

"For Calixto, to come across a face that had not bowed to agreements was momentous. It was the kind of face that existed unhinged. And he found it by chance at the edge of the Iberian Peninsula, perhaps at the edge of nothingness. He had encountered loose souls before, some who made an impact on him, but this face spoke a different tongue. If a face could will itself into the world, this one had entered many enclosures. And the deep diagonal crevices could only speak of hardship. And for that reason he looked at the face for a long time. He felt tempted to walk down the road towards the river, in search of those people he had met in the past few days. But he did not move away from his landing, he stayed right in front of this man who exuded a questionable smell, but whose face proposed impossibilities." --Viator

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Camus on freedom.

"The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion."

--Albert Camus

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The Intrinsic Music of Towns.

"Every town has its own music. It changes throughout the day, hour by hour, but a certain sentiment remains, a theme. People in the town compose the music, unknowingly, by walking, talking, dragging their pets and children, making love. To the virgin, the amalgam of sounds may seem like noise, a brutal concoction served raw. But once the nuances are understood, once the delicacies of every whisper burr under your skin, there is no longer noise, but a music worthy of the gods." --The Lesser Violin

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The unknown...

"Our minds are not opened or closed, like our eyes cannot be open or closed, nor our lives can be open or closed. It is all a matter of acceptance, of facing what the world places in front of us, of not running away from the unknown. Because even when we want to shut our eyes, fold inside our lives, or close our minds, we know the unknown is still there." --The Striped Tunic

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Check here my interview with critically acclaimed and award-winning Spanish novelist Rosa Montero just published in Rain Taxi Review of Books.

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Viator... thinking in words.

"A multitude of minds had no other purpose but to imagine. And imagination had the power to render the world anew, to uncover the unseen. And in the process of uncovering, risks would be taken, maybe language would be forged. And the forging of new language meant we had a future, in the words, in the inventiveness of the minds that write, and think... in words." --Viator

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Clarice Lispector on writing...

I'm afraid to write. It's so dangerous. Anyone who's tried, knows. The danger of stirring up hidden things - and the world is not on the surface, it's hidden in its roots submerged in the depths of the sea. In order to write I must place myself in the void. In this void is where I exist intuitively. But it's a terribly dangerous void: it's where I wring out blood. I'm a writer who fears the snare of words: the words I say hide others - Which? maybe I'll say them. Writing is a stone cast down a deep well.”
--Clarice Lispector

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Who is the real liar?

Fiction does not lie because it does not represent things as they are but as they should be. Our current government lies because it represents things as they are not, but pretends they are really this way. I prefer fiction.

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Playing in the fields of the word.

The relationship between a reader and a narrator is as intense and emotionally complex as any relationship between that reader and another human being. The slow accumulation of the soul of the other, a satisfying human need, occurs in the turning of pages and the deciphering of life as rendered by prose. The novel provides an intercourse with selves, albeit imagined, but just as real. The author creates, in short, an image of himself and another image of his reader; he makes his reader, as he makes his second self, and the most successful reading is one in which the created selves, author and reader, can find complete agreement. The convergence of text and reader brings the literary work into existence. Thus, reading causes the literary work to unfold its inherently dynamic character. The literary work is something like an arena in which reader and author participate in a game of the imagination.

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