‘I prefer the idea of a writer who wanders or meanders’: interview with Jorge Consiglio

Full Conversation can be read on The Arts Desk

OF: An interview is a particular type of conversation; more specifically, a structured encounter. Fate, on the other hand, depends on ideas of chance, coincidence, cause and effect. Would it be right to say that the structure of the novel depends as much on actions not taken, decisions left unmade, as it does upon the actions that drive the book forwards?

JC: From my point of view, your statement is absolutely spot on, and I am grateful for such a perceptive reading. Undoubtedly, within the structure of the novel, the actions that the characters carry out are as important as the ones they leave to one side. There’s an interesting idea that Yves Bonnefoy develops in a book of his called El territorio interior (“The Inner Territory”). He claims that when we are faced with a crossroads and make a choice to follow one path, the other one automatically begins to weigh on us as a kind of lost kingdom. Something along these lines happens with the characters in Fate. They follow their destinies with conviction and they are absolutely certain of the choices they make; however, everything that they leave to one side overwhelms them with an unfathomable feeling of melancholy. What could have been and wasn’t, the things that are left outside of choice, that sense of lacking, all this also constitutes them. They act and move forward in their lives yet they never lose sight of the reverberations caused by that absence. I think this element is one of the pillars of Fate’s sound. It is a silence translated through the movement of the narrative material and the syntax.

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