Issue - April 2007

April 2007

Dear readers, in March we broaden our horizons, searching for centers in Bolivia that have a commitment to the community. This edition, read about the Fundación Simón I: Patiño and the Hacienda Pairumani who demonstrate an unfailing commitment throughout the years, not only to Cochabamba, but Bolivia in more...

April 2007

Emilio Martinez (Uruguay) writer and journalist

by Daniel Vanello

Every year the Centro Cultural Simon I. Patiño organises a literary encounter between writers and the public. This last year the theme chosen was "Use and Abuse of Language". One of the guests impressed me particularly for the opinions expressed using several philosophical and literary theories, thus my brief exposition of his thesis.

Emilio Martinez (Uruguay), writer and journalist, winner of the "Premio Municipal de Literatura de Montevideo" and "Premio National de Literatura Santa Cruz de la Sierra", author of Imigraciones de Arkham and various articles for Bolivian and Uruguayan newspapers such as La Union, El Deber and La Razón, in his short thesis, talks about reality and the isomorphic relation between the world and language. His prose suggests a kind of literary postmodernism by refuting the first Wittgenstein, the "dogmatic author of the Tractus Logico-Philosophicus". In fact, he quotes the famous statement from the Austrian philosopher and founder of the movement called logical positivism, "The limits of my language are the limits of my world", commenting that in literature it is the opposite as what philosophy was for the latter philosopher: "Enlarging the limits of language to enlarge the limits of the world". He also stated that language is not a mirror of reality but that the world is a totality of what we say and, in m subjective interpretation, giving a slight nuance of European existentialism because of the emphasis on the primacy of human deed.

The Uruguayan writer then continues his root mentioning the Italian writer, philosopher Umberto Eco and his mathematical-logical language in relation to religion. The author of Imigraciones de Arkham then condemns the traditionalists, although not pronounced by the writer, and their policĂ­a del idioma. Inevitably, he talks of fiction as the force which can move mountains expressing his opinion on the Bible with the latter definition: a courageous and, in my view, well thought decision. All of this to come back on Wittgenstein, "though the second, the pragmatic one, the author of the Investigations" which evaluates the sense of the word and syntax as its own function.

The postmodernist touch can be felt again when Martinez mentions (use a synonym) Woody Allen's comic but profound correction on Emily Dickinson's definition on hope as "that thing with feathers", saying that "that thing with feathers is his uncle": Martinez then corrects the Jewish movie director by defining language as "that thing with feathers", a phrase which will be used as a conclusive statement. "Language is God" writes and pronounces Martinez. "Fiction moves mountains" Martinez repeats.

The conclusion is reserved for, obviously, Wittgenstein and his immortal metaphor of language as a cup of tea, though what the philosopher did not take in account, Martinez suggests,was that "language is a cup of tea in Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland which" using an intense imagery "grows constantly". "Language is infinite and thus the key to our freedom, language is that thing with feathers." The audience, understanding that the thesis is over without Martinez having to say it, inevitably applauds with fervour.

Juan Cristobal
"I like open spaces and the image of isolation, although for myself I don't like isolation! I'm fascinated about how people live in these areas, their authenticity and pureness. Most of them have never seen a camera!! When I get close to the loneliness of the highland of the country, I feel happy. Maybe it's something I miss in my life..."
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