Kamarck, Edward (ed.) / Arts in society: the arts and the black revolution
Notes and discussion: Miguel Angel Asturias on literature, pp. 352-355 PDF (2.6 MB)
352 MIGUEL ANGEL ASTURIAS ON LITERATURE This is the text of an interview between Miguel Angel Asturias, the Guatamalan poet and novelist who won the 1967 Nobel Prize for Literature, and Jean Michel Fossey, editor of the magazine Margen.* JMF What has been the period of greatest achievement in Latin American literature? MAA Latin American literature, like all other literatures, has experienced moments which one might call golden. Our first period begins with the first work to be written by a mestizo, a mixture of Indian and Spaniard, the Inca Gardilaso de la Vega; and we can also fix this period with the appearance in Bologna, Italy of the Rusticario Meficano by the Guatemalan poet Rafael Landivar. In this work - written in Latin _ of more than 4000 hexameters, Landivar celebrates in the year 1700 the beauty of the tropics, its riches, its splendours; what is more important is that here already is a work with what might be called a social slant, which defends the Indian from accusations of being vicious and indolent; Landivar dwells *This interview first appeared in Poesie Vivante, an international poetry magazine published in Geneva, Switzerland and is reproduced with the kind permission of Poesie Vivante and M. Fossey. The English translation is by John La Rose, the West Indian poet and journalist.