by: Damian Paredes
Chilean writer, artist and intellectual critic of remarkable performance, Dimela Elite is in permanent activity. Meanwhile, the Spanish publishing house Períférica has begun publishing his complete works, beginning with the novel El cuarto mundo, published in Chile by Planeta – recently landed in the country – still under Pinochetism. In this interview, the great Chilean narrator recalls the circumstances of that book’s appearance and reflects on the way he works on his books, characterized by history, society, and the development of original voices from the marginalized.,
A writer with remarkable narrative voices, DiMela Elite is a Chilean writer of sharp, inventive, surprising works that are uncompromising in their themes, explorations and forms. artist actor and co-founder of the CADA (Colectivo de Acciones de Arte) group from the late 1970s, amid the Pinochet dictatorship, with a political-cultural activism that led him to visit brothels, prisons and hospitals, his the first book was lumperic (1983), which was followed by for our country (1986) and then fourth world (1988), the beginning of a literary path that has included twenty more books, mainly narrative, but also literary and political criticism, and essays. Also a university professor, she has seen some of her works adapted for the theater, has been a writer of film scripts, and is currently, slowly but surely, working for the Spanish publishing house Períférica, based in Cáceres, OK. Getting and publishing. Complete work. From Eltit: It has appeared in this 2022 fourth worldA novel that already had several editions – for example, with the famous “Ayacucho Library”, and with the Fondo de Cultura Economica, within Vol. three novels-, including one in Argentina.
Widely respected, published and translated, Eliot’s work has been read, commented upon and studied at numerous seminars, congresses and colloquiums, and in books, among which Multiple ratings about Diamela Eltit (2021), edited by Mónica Barrientos and published by Casa de las Americas and Universidad Autónoma de Chile, is only the newest and most comprehensive volume.
author of fourth world – By whom novels have also been known in our country scared cow I meat taxIn addition to his most recent reading autobiography, eye in sight– Develops the original tone in its narrative: the first part of the novel, titled “Defeat will be irreversible”, is the speech of a child who, from the womb, tells of his pregnancy and that of his twin sister the next day. The in utero coexistence of the two beings, and the first decade of their postnatal life, among other strange micro-lockdowns, connections and “family” climates. The second part, “My Hand is Terrible Stiff”, features the sister’s story, and finally a third voice appears, which, in the words of critic and essayist Nellie Richard, presents the same novel as being written (and hence, “born”). “) as a “Sudaka girl” who would be “a commodity offered for consumption and the cosmopolitan archetype of hegemonic culture controlling the literary judgment of the market.” fragmentation of roles and sexuality, gender and institutions, change and decolonization, fourth world Addresses themes in the manner of a meccano or literary riddle where materialities (physical and socio-environmental), idealism (psychological and ideological), feelings and sensations (sensuality and drives) alternate and change, in stakes, sets and violence, In countries, cities and abandoned, isolated, snatched lives.
How did this novel come about? Notes and Interviews report that the names appearing there were derived from the actual history of the medieval Inquisition. What other elements did you come across or see or did you look for in the construction of the text?
-When I was thinking of a possible novel, I had the idea of writing about a couple, but, early in the book, I realized that the quintessential couple is made up of twins, so I got to the place, writing and It was all organized. On the other hand, he had read Caro Baroja’s book witches and their world And, from that text, I thought it appropriate to name two characters, María de Alava and María Chipia, names of two women burned by the Inquisition, their names resonated with me and were a sign that I should be considered as a political The gesture, of course, was not known to anyone, but it gave me a non-literal context, of course, because I was able to think about the alienation and impact of extreme religious fear towards women. (Till date). In another sense, and from a different aspect, the title of the book originated from the expression “Third World”, which was used as a classification to rank us inhabitants of a lower world, the “underdeveloped”. , so I thought, heading as one, in a fourth world, the novel he was writing, as a subversive mark against the dreaded categorization. Between classifications I wondered how the word “sudaca” is used in Spain to name Latin American bodies, anyway. But the most important thing, of course, was a poetic setting and to achieve that, I had to allow the energy or flow of meaning (or nonsense) that the novel was proposing to flow through me.
Your literature (whether in fourth world hey lumperic, death worker hey Heat) departs from classical realism, from the representational, material and physical, and from what may be a “breakdown” of the subjective, conceptual and drives. How did that style of writing come about? How much was conscious, searching, and how much was imposed from something “outside”? It seems that you have always tried to “account” for the disintegration of the social and economic by the dictatorship and the neoliberalism, through a writing that is marginalized.
In fact, for me, as a writer, finding a free writing or breaking free from the established requirements of a traditional way was a noble task and could be reconsidered. Literature always rethinks itself and re-establishes its boundaries. I was a voracious reader, I studied literature, I always cared about writing and conciseness of letter, aesthetics and poetics. I had to break through my own mimicry with other literatures I admired, find a “letter” that would lead me down a literary path, and this has been an intense and very uncertain task to this day, because for me Every novel is always like starting over, facing an unknown text with an equal share of uncertainty. But, I allow myself all the twists and turns the text needs, even breaking literalisms to make the novel flow. On the other hand, my first novel, lumperic, took place in a square, an open space but, at the same time, restricted. It happens to me, many of the books I’ve written have limited space, it’s a challenge. I don’t have a program to write, what happens is that I let the fantasy unfold with the lyrics and of course, the place I reach is always the same, because for some reason, the novel is closer than the center. slide more towards the edges. My literary task is to draw or find the other in the same thing, because that edge is very wide and in some way or the other, it never ends because of the great dimension of the worlds that live in it, I mean the edge, the edge Circumference.
what was the context of the publication of fourth world, The dictatorship was still in place, the book was published by an important publisher (Planeta), and it must be imagined that it contained a risk, as it was a “subversive” text: it was an attack against its “history”. All kinds of values and institutions: incest and incest, family and parental authority are thrown into peril and disintegration, all kinds of “good” sensibilities, feelings and thoughts become hybridized and “distorted”, conscious and Semi-conscious violence arises.
yes when i wrote fourth world, Planeta established a local production in Chile, and began publishing Chilean literature. I took the novel to the publishing house and met its director, who had recently come to Chile. It was an important meeting for me, because it was the Argentine director Ricardo Sabines, he accepted the novel without expressing any difficulty, which happened 34 years ago and certainly, if I look at it from today, So was wonderful, because in the book it tells about the family and its disorganization, it delves into complex sexual identity, in fact, Maria Chipia’s brother, I worked on situations where displacement happened. But, as I said, I was lucky to meet Ricardo Sabines, who allowed the novel to remain as it was, without the slightest change. To this day I publish in Planeta in Chile. Well, the truth is that it was the third novel that he published under the dictatorship, the two previous novels were published in another publishing house, certainly valuable, but which was more devoted to the social sciences, Edicions del Ornitorinco.
What is it about, and what does the fact that Periferica Publishing House has published your entire work for you as a project mean? Has it inspired you to re-read and finally correct? Have you done any retrospectives or balances of what’s been done?
The truth is that I have devoted myself to writing, that has been my horizon. Writing, it seems to me, is connected with pleasure and, of course, it is also work, but, personally, it is a privilege for me, in fact, I mean, sometimes to leave the appointed place And immerse yourself in other realities and then, of course, resume everyday life. In that sense, I did not dedicate myself to the management or dissemination of my books, which may be somewhat negative, but the truth is that it suits me to keep it that way. Books in other countries have been surprising, autonomous, interesting. I want to remember here the director Julian Rodríguez, along with Paca Flores of Editorial Peripherica. I received an email from a very nice writer Julian, inviting me to participate in the editorial, years later I met him, he was an extraordinary person, intelligent, friendly, the scary thing is that he died at a very young age Died, it’s very sad, I continue to work with Paka, she is very good. The truth is that I don’t rewrite books for other editions, all of a sudden the details that the proofreaders tell me are correct in general, but nothing that would indicate a turning point in the novel Are. I know I’ve been publishing for ages, but I haven’t balanced, I don’t want to because I’m quite an insecure plagiarist and my balance can be quite depressing for me.
Do you have plans for new books? what are you writing at the moment?
I’m writing a book and I still can’t finish it, it’s night time, I think it’s kind of dark, and it’s difficult or very difficult to structure. But in between I write essays, present books, in short, literary life does not stop as the years go by and does not stop.
How do you read or understand current Chilean and/or Latin American literature? Are there any writers, authors or works in particular that have impressed or surprised you?
-Yes, it is a very important time for the Latin American literary world and especially for Chile, there is a group of writers who have already outlined what can be called “work” and in this sense their passion It is possible to read and his literary pathos. Nomenclature is so complicated, but thinking of already well-established local acts, I think Nona Fernandez and Matias Celadon are already a benchmark.
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