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Friday, December 12, 2014

Elena Poniatowska

Elena Poniatowska
(acrílico sobre cartulina, Waldo MatuS)
no copyright infringement intended

What would have happened if Cervantes were to come to the Americas, let's say nowadays? Maybe his hero would have been a lady, a grand dame of sorts, very left wing, una princesa roja if you like, fighting for women and for the poor.

Mexico's Grand Dame of Letters, journalist and author, intense on social and political issues, focused on the situation of women and disenfranchised people; born in 1932 in Paris, Elena Poniatowska spent her whole life in Mexico; her most influential works are literary constructions melding historical facts and accounts from very common people (that have witnessed those facts from their everyday perspective), all this using a free, colloquial style, the whole leading to a deconstruction of political myths (to be replaced with new myths: that's what politically intense writers do); La noche de Tlatelolco (1971) is dedicated to the 1968 repression of students in Mexico City - Poniatowska went out on the streets in the neighborhood and began interviewing people while there was still blood on the streets - that way started the writing of the novel; Fuerte es el silencio (1975) uses accounts of the families of disappeared political prisoners; Nada, nadie, las voces del temblor (1988) is about the 1985 Mexico City earthquake and the incompetence and corruption of the government afterwards; these are only a few glimpses in her œuvre; in 1994 she interviewed Subcomandante Marcos; Poniatowska is still active, proof is the video below, where she makes a strong point about the tragedy of Iguala:

Domingo 26 de octubre: a un mes de la ausencia de los 43 muchachos desaparecidos de la Normal Rural de Ayotzinapa por la Policía Municipal de Iguala, Guerrero reclamamos aquí en el centro del país, en la capital de México, la presencia de los muchachos y pedimos a cielo abierto y en voz alta: “Regrésenlos”

(Una Vida Entre Libros)



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