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Planet Mag interview with Alejandro Zambra

Planet Magazine just posted an interview with Alejandro Zambra:

Cuban novelist Alejo Carpentier wrote in an essay that a Baroque style was the natural mode for Latin American fiction. He claimed that an excess of language was needed to account for an unknown reality. It was not possible to write “a ceiba”, he said, as one wrote “a pine tree”. It was necessary to describe and define the ceiba. Is it necessary to create a Latin American minimalism?

No, it isn’t. I don’t promote minimalism nor maximalism. I think people should write what they want and need to write. I think Carpentier’s observation is beautiful, but it implies a risky idea regarding audiences. Whom do we have to explain ourselves to? I believe to no one. We should not write to let the ceiba be known. We should write because of a personal need, because it’s what we do best.



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