"I do not think I'm a Peruvian writer, I'm not interested in that"
Peruvian writer Diego Trelles presented his new book "The Infinite Procession", a political novel that explores the backdrop of post-dictatorship Peru.
Peruvian writer Diego Trelles Paz said Saturday in an interview with Efe that he is interested in "being a writer who does not stop talking with his country", as he presented in Lima his novel "The Infinite Procession", a finalist of the Herralde prize and published by the Spanish publisher Anagrama.
"There is a need to reflect in both 'Bioy' and 'The Infinite Procession', there is a call to think, to remember, and I think this is necessary in times when the debate tends to close," he said.
The writer, who last Sunday presented his novel at the Lima International Book Fair, added that it is a work "where there is a love story, police investigations, detectives, many allusions and winks to facts and real characters."
"It is not only a political novel, it is a novel that under the backdrop of post-dictatorship Peru (under Alberto Fujimori from 1990-2000) tries to show a series of characters who live in mourning," he added.
The author of "Bioy," a novel that won the Francisco Casavella award in 2012 and was a finalist for Rómulo Gallegos in 2013, remarked that the title of his new work refers to "a kind of mourning that does not end. We carry it and many at this point prefer to let go."
The work thus presents the story of Chato and his friend Francisco, from "strong" women like Cayetana Herencia and Chequita, from the memorable Pochito Tenebroso, as well as the almost unknown presence of Shining Path at the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru, Center of the Peruvian intellectual elite and located a short distance from the state University of San Marcos.
"I wanted to reflect on how, at that time, the 10 blocks that separate the Catholic from San Marcos were almost a reflection of Peru, because when the Shining Path movement entered the Catholic University it was almost a shadow, that pulled students, that dragged them," he explained.
The writer reflected that "these 10 blocks were also the distance that separated a social group that was exposed and that was dying, falling prisoner, also dragged by Shining Path, and another that was protected in that fort that was apparently impregnable."
Trelles, born in Lima in 1977 and who has lived for 20 years outside Peru, remarked that he is always aware of politics, football and art in his country.
"I do not think I'm a Peruvian writer, I'm not interested in that, I'm interested in being a writer who does not stop talking to his country," he emphasized before saying that he feels he now has a position in which he feels "comfortable as a literary creator, as a writer."
Referring to the great level of Peruvian literature today, he recalled that it comes from a great tradition, "because not every Spanish-speaking country has a Vallejo, a Martin Adam, a Ribeyro, an Arguedas, a Vargas Llosa, a Reynoso, a Bryce Echenique, a Blanca Varela."
"What surprises me is that a very small literary scene is growing, is becoming professionalized, generating readership, there are fairs that become more serious, and that is also generating in us, the writers, a responsibility," he said.
Trelles considered that the current narrators of Peru are "in that select group of five Spanish-speaking countries that are producing serious things," which he said includes Argentina, Mexico, Chile and Colombia.
"There is a scene from 'The Savage Detectives' (by the Chilean Roberto Bolaño) in which an editor is threatened with death and a critic is challenged to mourning, these things have also been here somehow in reality," he concluded.
"The Infinite Procession," which is the second novel of a triptych started with "Bioy" and whose third work is in the process of being created, will be presented again in the South bookstore in the San Isidro district of Lima on Aug. 17.