Three writers make a coven at the FIL in Guadalajara

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Dolores Reyes, the author of Cometierra.
Dolores Reyes, the author of Cometierra.Daniel Mordzinski

“Is there a woman here who has not been called a witch at some time?” Argentine writer Dolores Reyes asked the public gathered this Thursday in one of the rooms of the Guadalajara Book Fair (FIL). The author of Eat dirt, a novel about a young seer who swallows earth to find missing or murdered women, responds: “All the women we choose, all the powerful women, we are proud witches who decide on our lives. The witches are the women who historically did not submit ”. In classic texts and in history, the writer has pointed out, witches appear “linked to wisdom and enlightenment” but also as a “nickname to discipline women”. “Literature can take these beautiful characters and update them,” he says.

Reyes has ensured that from fiction it is possible to build “empathic and much closer witches.” These characters, according to the author, “continue to bother, even from fiction” because “they keep putting their finger on the sore to power.” The dark visions that the protagonist of her novel has are linked in the book to something more luminous and necessary, the author has indicated: “To restore those missing loved ones to families.” “There are many women looking for their children from Argentina to Mexico and far beyond. Through fiction you can put this on the agenda ”, he proposed at the table entitled Witches and modern.

The Mexican writer and essayist Brenda Lozano, a columnist for this newspaper, has pointed out that it is “interesting” to analyze these characters as “a flag of resistance” in literature. “[Ver a] witches as a negative figure of what is expected of a woman, like everything that is not ideal “, he commented, and continued:” Witches are archetypal women who are not sexualized, it is the macabre voice. ” In his novel Witches, which explores femininity and traditional magic, Lozano also investigated the orality of the margins through Feliciana, a healer who speaks an original language. “After the colony, speaking Spanish has become a very patriarchal thing, very orderly, very whitewashed.”

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The literature has been for the Mexican narrator Ave Barrera, author of Restoration, also a space to “subvert” models “that do a lot of damage”. “Our grandmothers did not have the opportunity to join forces to transform what had to be transformed,” said Barrera. “Now you”, has addressed the younger women in the audience, “are teaching us how, and it is absolutely magical.” The writer recalled that in the previous FIL face-to-face, in 2019, hundreds of women sang The rapist is you, the feminist anthem created by the Chilean collective Lastesis. “We came together and learned to strengthen ties and break with the past. That is also being a witch: recognizing past mistakes, breaking with them and proposing something different, much more sororo ”.

“Knowing our own legacy is part of this way of reversing mandates,” added Reyes, who has highlighted the work of authors such as the Argentine Silvina Ocampo or the Brazilian Clarice Lispector. “It makes us more powerful and even gives space to huge writers like [la colombiana] Marvel Moreno, who has not been read or valued as it deserves only for having been a woman in a macho literary field, “he added. “Women were instilled in us that we cannot be friends, and that was transferred many times to literature,” she pointed out. The author of Eat dirt He has pointed out to his table companions: “And I think this is also magic, this beautiful coven of witches here.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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