Sergio Ramirez: I’m Sure We Will Return to Nicaragua

Nicaraguan writer Sergio Ramirez. Photo: EFE

Nicaraguan writer Sergio Ramirez, recently declared stateless by the government of Daniel Ortega, has “not only the yearning,” but also “the certainty that we will return.”

By EFE / 100% Noticias

HAVANA TIMES – Nicaraguan writer Sergio Ramirez, recently declared stateless by the government of Daniel Ortega, along with 316 other people critical of the president, harbors “not only the yearning,” but also “the certainty that we will return.”

Ramirez, who is in Tenerife participating in a “noir genre” festival, “Tenerife Noir,” told EFE that the situation in Nicaragua is “very difficult,” as it suffers from “a dictatorship like so many others that have existed in Latin America.”

His hope is that there will be “a democratic restructuring as soon as possible without bloodshed for the country, without any civil war in between. Hopefully it can be achieved,” he sighs.

He believes that Sandinismo, the revolution of the 1980s of the last century in which he was a protagonist, to the point of being vice president of the country, slowly turned into “an old memory” with the passage of time.

And what remains of it now is the figure of Daniel Ortega as “a decrepit dictator” who uses “a revolutionary rhetoric for a regime that has nothing of revolutionary.”

Ramirez believes that today’s Nicaragua has become a “kind of Cuba of the sixties” and whose model “resembles more that of North Korea.”

The 2017 Cervantes Award winner believes that each artist, each writer, chooses his or her degree of social commitment according to the reality around them.

“There can be very good silent writers, who do not speak out about their own reality, and they are very good, and there are very bad writers who are very vocal in terms of political denunciation,” he argues.

In his case, he has it very clear: “if I have a voice, I have to use it. And if reality offends me, I have to denounce that reality, not necessarily in the pages of a novel, but I as a citizen.”

From his perspective as a writer, Sergio Ramirez affirms that “reality always attracts you; it cannot be ignored. Many times it has fatal attractions: the more terrible a situation is, perhaps the more attractive it is for the novelist.”

Because of that, he lives his country “as it is, in accordance with its reality, and I take from there what is useful for my craft as storyteller.”

During his intervention in a debate organized by the “Tenerife Noir” Festival, Ramirez has emphasized the boom of the “noir genre” in Latin America, perhaps due to the fact of being the cradle of the “dictator’s novel” and also of the concept of “banana republic.”

“A novelist cannot avoid being involved in the plot when there is a dictatorial excess” like the one that takes place in Nicaragua, he added: even more so if in addition “a dictator tells you: you are no longer a Nicaraguan. It is a literary excess.”

And “it is not only something rhetorical. You go to the public registry for a birth certificate and they tell you that you don’t exist. It is more than Kafkaesque.”

Asked by EFE if his incursion in “noir genre” with the trilogy starring inspector Dolores Morales will have new releases, he says: “a writer has many open avenues.”

“I cannot say that I am tied to a particular genre. My perspective of literature, of the novel, is that it is always very open and I wrote these novels with a unique character, who will continue to move forward to the extent that reality demands it, that the novel tells me: let´s move forward. Because the novel has its own needs.”

In any event, what he now has in his hands is a novel that “has nothing to do with this genre, but I leave it open for the future,” but “of imaginary adventures,” which takes place in Europe and Nicaragua in the early XX century.

As for the context and trends of current cultural consumption, Sergio Ramirez emphasizes that “literature has always coexisted with other genres, it is not exclusive of any genre.”

He adds that there are voices that point out that the series of the big “streaming” chains “are going to replace the novel,” to which he refutes.

“It cannot be replaced because it is a very different operation. It is built of words and words have no substitute in the image. It is something very different,” he insists.

Read more from Nicaragua here on Havana Times

One thought on “Sergio Ramirez: I’m Sure We Will Return to Nicaragua

  • The people need to rise up and overthrow Ortega and his criminal friends

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