Por: Mauricio Escuela
-¡Push, it is open! one of the characters in the story “Beware of damp walls,” winner of the 2014 La Gaceta Contest says from inside the apartment. Water had flooded the room, but there I was with my swimsuit and willing to talk with Julio Cesar Castellon, author of that fiction.
‘I told them to give you a lifeline in case you will need to cross the hall, the writer surprised me with that phrase, as I sat down on tip of gallons of accumulated water.
Not every day somebody wins the La Gaceta Award, yet few have been to interview me in my remote village where apparently did not stop raining.
I tried to tell Julio the water problem was only in his apartment and specifically in a story whose threat and feelings of loneliness are mixed with superb story telling.
Don’t try to explain me; he interrupted me, my own work I know exactly what it is about. When I started writing, I felt comfortable with the central character of the frustrated engineer. He is a guy that undoubtedly I have similarities with. It was a subconscious thing; the story just came out, in a night’s work at the computer. It was raining heavily and I felt that water buried me.
But do not you think it is a commonplace that of the frustrations as a theme for a work?
The issue is striking, many people feel frustrated and then feels reflected in a work like this. I managed to tell a story, but symbolized something larger. It is what is called a school of thought: a philosophical sense that runs through the work in an underground way and only at times is clearly in sight. Water and unstoppable moisture are symbols of sadness that connect you to the central idea. The behavior of the characters. The latter marks the progression of a seemingly simple action, if we look at their meager happenings.
The Onelio Jorge Cardoso Center for Literary Education has a weight in your vocation; do you think that to be a good writer today is necessary to pass the Onelio?
I do not think it’s necessary, but very useful. Here you discover the evident faster. Two things happen: either you realize you have talent and move on or you perceive that writing does not suit you and retire. This center saves you much time in your career or in your process of self-knowledge. It helped me both.
Let us visit commonplace: what author has more influence in your creating?
Undoubtedly Julio Cortázar is a must. A spiritual food. As for cliches, you forget that also usually arises as to be alone on an island with a favorite book. I would choose “Les Miserables,” so long a text that would fill up all my boredom.
La Gaceta is an award pursued by established and unknown writers…
When I got the news I looked up a list of canonical writers in this country. For me it was a call to write. You gotta risk it, be confident.
Generally, when the established writers are interviewed they are asked for advice to younger. What advice would you give to established authors?
Well, to be fair awards juries. See the work and not their different style or transgressive subject. Open your mind to boys with talent and innovative ideas. Help us, because we need it.