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And I don’t think about a collection until I have quite a few stories. Like the ones you mentioned. How does one start? RB: There is this meme of the educated working class guy who finishes his shift on the assembly line and goes home and picks up William Faulkner. EP: I would, but I am not a proselytizer. I do it for my publisher. My grandson is the same way. Daniel Alarcón, author of At Night We Walk in Circles And I read somewhere that Nabokov wrote his novels that way on 5×8 cards. Other blood. program, “Foucault can show you a lense to view society and power, but will not teach you how to write a good story.”. That’s been going on for 25 years. I don’t remember what model it was. I start all over again with the knowledge that I have gotten from the improvisation. RB: I don’t remember the chain of events that brought us together — it must be because you are an overnight sensation (laughs). There is a moment in the middle of Kingdom Cons when the Artist is talking about writing corridos and he says “The story tells itself but you have to coax it […] you take one or two words and the others revolve around them, that’s what holds it up. Again, Yuri pauses before answering. Your email address will not be published. I have been writing for 40 years and this is my fourth book. I’ve read all of Yuri Herrera’s novels that have been translated to English and I find his work to be fascinating. Yuri Herrera Yuri Herrera Interview Author Yuri Herrera on ‘the American problem that Mexico is suffering’ Yuri Herrera (in Spanish) RB: Why are writers like Alice Munro, William Trevor, and yourself admired in a way that seems different than many writers? Basically, they are narrow, rectangular houses with similar-sized rooms stacked one after another front to back. The Millions: I want to start by asking you about the things not said in Kingdom Cons, the unnamed countries, cities, and even characters. For example, he says, he “could write an entire chapter just so it could include a single word.”, I mention the presence of phonetically-spelled words and expressions in his books’ Spanish versions. INTERVIEW: "Literature as a Political Responsibility: An Interview with Yuri Herrera" by Radmila Stefkova and Rodrigo Figueroa Fiction "Fugue" by Gisela Kozak Interviews "Composition of Place": A Conversation between Roberto Brodsky and José Kozer by Roberto Brodsky and José Kozer It’s my destiny. Yes there is. RB: I have recently come across three writers who began writing really young – Gary Shteyngart wrote a novel when he was six or seven. But corridos are not a genre that emerged with the War on Drugs, it has been around for a long time, and very often has been a way in which stories out of the mainstream have circulated. I do lead a somewhat insulated life without television. Any polar expeditions? TM: What are your thoughts on big novels versus small novels? EP: No, but a typewriter. EP: It was a very good typewriter. EP: No, I don’t feel that way. The latest issue of World Literature Today surveys thirteen writers’ dystopian visions of the future. That short fiction writers are looked as artisans? Is risk the main reason to be an artist? I participate in the process only as much as they ask me to. EP: I have written 250 short pieces, not all fiction. And I try to understand what kind of language, what kind of landscape, what kind of behaviors are organic to that core that generates meaning. I’m wondering what your thoughts are on the popularity of narcocorridos and their influence and what it means for a society when people are banned from partaking in something? Do you go to the annual BEA? EP: I am. In final pages, you learn explicitly that they were lovers once. EP: I don’t know – eight. I suppose in a hardhearted way I forget the sadness of the story I have written. One is tempted to attach the pop-cultural sobriquet “overnight sensation” to writer Edith Pearlman’s current moment in the sun. Don’t you think? It’s going to see these younger women coming through, and they don’t give a damn. Although I reread 100 Years of Solitude three or four times. Anything And Other Stories brings out is worth checking out and Yuri Herrera in particular is just a fantastic, fascinating writer. EP: No. EP: No, that’s what the destruction of Jewry was about. He approaches a white dude with a beard sitting at a table and typing away at a laptop. RB: Really – writer’s block? EP: When I start out, it’s a lot of improvising and I write many pages of improvisation and then I begin to see what story I want to write. For instance, many novelists write short fiction, but it seems that short fiction practitioners don’t often write novels. The present day criminals are a very explicit example of that, but the need to have your name in golden letters, to proceed following your testosterone, to not listen to other opinions, to believe that artists are there to promote your greatness, that kind of megalomania can be seen very clearly in the old kingdoms, as well as in decaying democracies with spoiled frat-boys-turned-presidents who decorate their houses with animal skins and golden furniture. I don’t think they need much teaching and I was one of those. TM: I’m interested in the influence of fairytales, folklore, and fables on your writing. RB: And when did your writing career start? They don’t let you do that now. RB: For some reason, the 3200 comes up in a few stories. At this point I feel like I’ve probably read enough. Should more novels be small and distilled? The Irish tradition has been very male heavy. Life goes on and I write the next story. Yuri explains that he considered himself a writer even before starting studies at the Universidad Nacional y Autónoma de México (UNAM). The obvious follow up question is: what is the secret to writing a good story? I had the luck to be plucked. It’s not one — something I dream–. The bizarre, deadly and highly symbolic storming of the US Congress and Senate by Trump supporters, bearing fascist insignia and waving Confederate flags to disrupt the certification of Joe Biden’s election victory, made headline news across the world. EP: Only one person speaks in her own voice — that’s the mother. Thank you for this excellent interview! Kingdom Cons is the Mexican novelist’s first book but his third to be translated into English, and like his other two slim, impactful novels (Signs Preceding the End of the World and The Transmigration of Bodies) the story he tells reaches out its tendril hands in many different directions. Yuri speaks excellent English, but we converse in Spanish and Yuri answers most of my questions without pause. EP: I took a course in college and a course or two in my 30s. On the other hand, booksellers were beatified as if they weren’t merchants and capitalists. I feel compelled to keep digging in to the newly published. RB: Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 has seemed prescient to me. EP: Yes, it’s taken from the nickname for Theresa. Except for David Foster Wallace’s The Pale King. For every story I find a core around which the rest of the text is going to proliferate, sometimes it is a tension between characters, sometimes it is a dramatic line, like a transformational journey, sometimes it is an atmosphere. Mesha Maren He mentions his digs have a yard and he shows me a picture on his phone of his adopted dog Max, a rescue. As for the other characters, it has to do with the role that the King assigned to them, their names signal the tension between what they might or might not want to do and what power expects from them. The term in Spanish for somebody well-mannered is “educado.” The word also means “educated.” It’s an apt description of Yuri, who, with an MFA, PhD, and several acclaimed novels, remains a gentlemen and still brims with infectious energy when discussing the written word. Drowned out isn’t the word I would use. YH: In this specific case it is because although I took for my model a very precise space, the border between Ciudad Juárez and El Paso, and a very precise issue, the criminal stupidity of the “War on Drugs,” designed by different American administrations and followed by several Mexican administrations, the craziness of the powerful was not invented by these criminals, the drug lords, it is something that has always been there. With inspiration from Lifehacker’s How I work interviews, the MarTech Series Interviews follows a two part format On Marketing Technology, and This Is How I Work. RB: I am disturbed by that — I am reluctantly drawn into thinking about the business part of book publishing. And passionate and they don’t write early music — it’s already been written, but they play it and adapt it. RB: Do you think the piece is finished when the story is written? RB: And there was a review in the LA Times that took the same tone. Not wholesale revision. EP: Right. I was making my living as computer programmer, so writing was in those days confined to letters. EP: I don’t know that the percentage is any different now. I would go to my grave with a small collection, happy. It made life somehow better. Mentions his digs have a feeling that I have quite a few weeks,. Obvious follow up question is: what are your thoughts on big novels just spinning their and... 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