Alejandro Zampra: “It’s a shame that learning about paternity is now something new”



Alexander Zambra (Santiago de Chile, 1975) He went from being a reference writer for a few to a literary star of the first magnitude, thanks to the publishing bomb he Chilean poet, a novel marked by lightness and an exploration of emotion that’s always a very hairy theme of parenting—biological or voluntary—masculine emotional nurturing. Having written this book in a state of drool-worthy compassion, the Chilean author who lives in Mexico—home of his partner, writer Jasmina Barrera, and son, Sylvester—now delivers the B-side. of this novel. children’s literature (Anagrama) is a book penned by his good friend, the critic Andrés Braithwaite, in which his happy experiences as a father are brought together with a series of stories about different affiliations. He is one of the participants in the “En altres parules” festival.

Q: Are you pregnant? children’s literature apostille l Chilean poet?

R was found. It was born out of the many texts I wrote during the pandemic, with no clear intention of publishing. I write to try to understand what is going on and sometimes what I write becomes something relatable and publishable. In the meantime, I like writing to stay in that space of what has not been fully formulated, of what is being built.

Q: What are the means of communication between the novel and this book?

R was found. When Sylvester was born, now five years old, I got stuck writing Chilean poet For some time I devoted myself to vignettes on the experience which this new country gave me. Some of those texts I have published in North American journals, translated by Megan McDowell, who is my English voice and a good friend. I always kept a diary, and I had the habit of writing every day, but when my son was born I automatically stopped doing it, and started taking notes no longer dealing with what was happening to me. I was very close to the parents of some friends, they intrigued me. And when Sylvester arrived I thought it was a good way to overcome that feeling we men always have in the early years of raising children. So I said to myself: “I will devote myself entirely to attachment.” Then I went back to the novel and felt that some things had really changed in me and made shifts in my writing.

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Q: It’s strange because Chilean poet It depicts a relationship between a stepfather and his partner’s son, but in real life, his father is biological.

R was found. I love literature that allows us to talk out of contradiction. Chilean poet I wrote it while I was a biological father, being a novel about Stepfatherbut it is also a novel that I wrote when I lost my daily contact with the Chilean Spanish and I was grappling with it knowing that there is loss and gain there.

Q: Much of children’s childhood memory is built through the stories their parents tell them. In this case, Sylvester will have two books about those years, this one and another written by his mother.

R was found. This could be a great reason not to write anything (laughs). Children today recreate their childhood through photos and videos. We’ve gone one step further: recording how emotions are formed. Literature brings complexity and nuance. At its core, this story is about how a grandfather, father, and son pass on that legacy and attempt to do so in a way that has never been told before.

Q: You write “Our fathers taught us to be men but did not teach us to be fathers. The missing paradigms?

R was found. As a child, I faced many situations that featured physical strength that I wouldn’t want today for my son. It’s so embarrassing that learning about fatherhood is now something new. I’ve thought about it a lot but I don’t want to pass. I don’t feel comfortable dividing the world between men and women, like in those books from the ’90s, Men are from Mars, women are from Venus., but it is true that men do not talk much about our emotions, when we have a problem we tell a woman. In general we lack dialogue and the will to enjoy.

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Q: Out of joy?

R was found. Yes, anyone who has raised a child knows it has to do with physical wear and tear, but the representation of pleasure is missing. Until not so long ago, everything was limited to a child becoming a young adult with whom you could share emoticons and laugh at the same things you laugh at. The son then appears as a clone of himself or as an enemy, but he is not usually counted when he is young, when he is a sort of recruiter for the man he would be. Many great writers have spoken of their childhoods, but never of their children.

P. Rodrigo Fresán narrates what John Irving told him that having a baby is a machine for reliving one’s memories of when they were a child. Has this happened to you?

R was found. Exactly, it happens to me with music on an almost esoteric level. You improvise a lullaby they sing to you and suddenly ten more songs appear that you thought you had forgotten.

s.children’s literature It can be the bright side of A job for life By Rachel Kosk A somewhat bittersweet, critical book with motherhood?

R was found. Yes, I think for many people motherhood or fatherhood is experienced as a duty, but it’s not my case. I got to it late and looked for it. I don’t know what kind of father I would have been at twenty years old. So I can’t make any complaints because I don’t have any.

Q: In the book I tried to explain the inexplicable, why have a child? , without finding an answer.

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R was found. nothing. My grandfather was twenty boys, I saw him three times in my whole life and to the end I had the news that he was a beautiful person. This Latin American habit of having and giving away children is something of a sport, as if the Grand Slam had been won, no matter what damage it caused.

Q: The image of the absent father is a trope in literature in both Latin America and the United States.

R was found. it’s the truth. A friend whom I love very much told me that our generation can be divided between those who complain about the absent father and those who complain about the present one. This contradiction is what interests me.

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Q: One last question: what is the income? birdHallucinogenic mushrooms really happened?

R was found. Yes, I took it as a remedy for some of my horrible headaches and it worked. Some friends offered to accompany me on the trip, but what I wanted was to take the pain away. And the medicine worked. Extended time between crises. At the end of 2020 an event happened and I had to be on an oxygen tank for three weeks, which helps me endure. It was funny because Sylvester was playing with the tank and putting hats on it. It was terrifying and tender at the same time.

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