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 Chronicle of the Diálogo sobre Literatura Centroamericana Contemporánea