On writing, time, and absence

One of my classes was talking about some letters and speeches of Simón Bolívar, and how they were about plans for the creation of a country and region that not only did not exist in the form he imagined, but would not, and how it he made it clear that he knew this. There was distance in mental space, but also time between what he wrote and what he was writing about: the discussion of a future he knew was impossible was actually a reflection on hopes from the past.

In the other class we were discussing an epistolary novel by Elena Poniatowska, in which the fictional author is attempting to elicit a response from her lover, who has left. We realized that much of the text actually discusses, describes and makes vivid a past that the subject knows is more real than any future her letters might forge.

I had been reading about Vallejo, his poetic I and his historical and vital selves, and how the poetic I overtakes these, at least in his texts and in his self-representation in the texts. Vallejo as well works with distance, absence, time that turns in on itself, the rooms of his memory and inner life (as Augustine put it).

I am wondering whether all of this is coincidental, something these texts happen to share and that I might tease out with them alone, or whether it has something to do with writing. Writing always addresses an absent interlocutor and therefore moves toward introspection, perhaps.


One thought on “On writing, time, and absence

  1. This was a smart post and interesting to find the day I cracked “Así que pasen cinco años” (una leyenda de tiempo)

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