The Loud Voices of the Guatemalan Writers of the Post-War

L-R: Ronald Flores, Ana Marí­a Rodas, Javier Payeras, Julio Serrano, Francisco Alejandro Méndez
L-R: Ronald Flores, Ana Marí­a Rodas, Javier Payeras, Julio Serrano, Francisco Alejandro Méndez

As I have shared with you, last Saturday I went to listen to the Guatemalan writers of the post-war in a dialogue they held about Contemporary Central American Literature. Those of us who attended were lucky enough to listen to the opinions and positions of Francisco Alejandro Méndez, Julio Serrano, Javier Payeras, Ana Marí­a Rodas, Ronald Flores, Allan Mills and Juan Pablo Dardón. Except for Ana Marí­a Rodas (the lady in the picture above) who belong to writers’ generation of 1960-1970, all the other Guatemalan writers and poets belong to the post-war period.

The Guatemalan civil war began after a successful overthrow of the freely-elected Guatemalan government by the CIA coup “Operantion PBSUCCESS” in 1954. The Peace Accords were signed by the end of December 1996, after the death and disappearance of more 200,000 people.

So, in the forum on Saturday there were two generations of Guatemalan writers, each with its own style and specific issues to write about. Ana Marí­a Rodas and Mario Roberto Morales belong to the war years and thus they find it very difficult to understand the very prolific post-war generation and the subject-matter they choose to write about.

I like reading both generations of writers, but I most definitely identify with the post-war writers and their disenchantment with the right and left wings and the war and its aftermath as a whole. Anyway, I do not want to bore you with all the details of the dialogue between the writers. Suffice it to say, it was a great evening and the dialogue continue afterwards in a local restaurant in Central Park. As to not bore you with all this dry writing, I prepared a mini photographic chronicle. If you click at the photos below, you can get more details and background information from the titles of the photos.

If you guys want me to write a little review about some of the Guatemalan writers of the post-war period and all their incredible novels and poetry, please, let me know. I will be more than happy to comply. In the mean time, if you can read Spanish, please visit the blog of Allan Mills to get an literary overview of the night.

Photographic slide show of the Diálogo sobre Literatura Centroamericana Contemporánea


Created with flickr slideshow.

© 2008 – 2015, Rudy Girón. All rights reserved.

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  • We wish we could have been there! 🙁 And you do not bore with details, I want more details!!! 😀 So, suffice it to say, any and all reviews will be greatly appreciated Se~nor Rudy. 😉 I’ll take notes and raise my hand to answer questions. If I don’t know the answer, I’ll just sink into my chair. 😉 (Thanks for keeping us up-to-date with these type of events). Random note: Gosh, I’d like a cup of atol, anyone with me? 😉

  • Man, you’re so deep. Even if in English, I probably wouldn’t have gotten all of the panel discussion. Very cool that you enjoyed so much and are exposing us to it!

  • Thank you so very tanto, Rudy! You know that I am a fan of tu sitio. Me encantan tus pictures y tus reflexiones. Dale steady, bro. Saludos y un muy sincero Thanxs!

  • Thanks for sharing this event and spreading the word about the cultural activities of LAG. I don’t want to sound “pedantic” but I think the war that ended in 1996 started on the 60s. Yes, the CIA-sponsored and sanctioned overthrown of the democratically elected president in 1954 was one of the main events that influenced the violent history of Guatemala in the second half of the XXth century but it does not mark the beginning of the civil war.

  • Carmen, please stay off the sugar for a while. You are so hyper! 😉

    Lessie, don’t worry about catching all the details of the panel in English since I did not get all the details in Spanish. 🙁

    Ronald, favor que me hace. Ya quisiera yo poder decir con 10,000 palabras lo que usté escribe en cinco. Thanks for the visit and I am glad you like the pictures.

    Manolo, think of dominoes, once you drop the first one, it creates the chain reaction. So, I don’t think the CIA-sponsored and sanctioned overthrown of the democratically elected president in 1954 “merely influenced” the 36-year war. It was much more than that: it was the catalyst.

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