Carlos Fuentes Quotes – Latin American Journalist and Writer

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A selection of the best quotes from Mexican journalist and writer Carlos Fuentes.

  • Mexicans descend from the Aztecs; the Peruvians descend from the Incas; the Argentines descend from the boats.
  • Today you have an absolute freedom in Mexican writing in which you do not necessarily have to deal with the Mexican identity. You know why? Because we have an identity … We know who we are. We know what it means to be Mexican.
  • Diplomacy in a certain sense is the opposite of writing. You have to scatter so much: the lady who comes crying because she had a fight with the secretary; exports and imports; students in trouble; thumbtacks for the embassy.
  • For me, life without literature is inconceivable. I believe that Don Quixote in physical sense never existed, but Don Quixote exists more than any that existed in 1605. Much more. There is no one who can compete with Don Quixote or Hamlet. Then, in the end, we have the reality of the book as the reality of the world and the reality of history.
  • Recognize in him and her that they are not like you and me.
  • I discovered very quickly that criticism is a form of optimism, and that when you keep silent about the deficiencies of your society, you are very pessimistic about that society. And only when you speak honestly about it, do you show your faith in that society.Carlos Fuentes Quotes
  • In a world torn apart by all kinds of fundamentalism – religious, ethnic, nationalist and tribal – we must give first place to economic fundamentalism, with its religious conviction that the market, abandoned by its own means, is capable of solving all our problems . This faith has its own ayatollahs. His church is neoliberal; your credo is gain; your prayers are for monopolies.
  • Love can isolate us from everything that surrounds us. But in his absence, we can be filled with the fear that something comparable exists.
  • No, it’s not that they’re bad. It is that they are forced to pretend that they are good. They have been educated to cheat and be clever, to protect themselves from our society. I do not want to be like that.
  • The citizen takes his city for granted too often. He forgets to marvel you.
  • In literature, you only know what you imagine
  • In the name of certainty, the greatest crimes have been committed against humanity.
  • Reading, writing, teaching, learning, are all activities aimed at the introduction of civilizations among themselves.
  • Religion is dogmatic. Politics is ideological. Reason must be logical, but literature has the privilege of being equivocal.
  • By its very nature, the novel indicates that we are becoming. There is no final solution. There is not a last word
  • What the United States does best is to understand itself. What makes it worse is to understand others.
  • You, yesterday, did the usual things, like any day, you do not know if it’s worth remembering. He prefers to remember, there in the penumbra of the bedroom, not what has already happened, but what is going to happen. In your semidarkness, your eyes would prefer to look forward, not backward, and do not know how to foresee the past.
  • Children know how to be cruel, and the cruelty of their elders is the surest residue of the discomfort young people feel towards strange things, the things of others, the things that reveal our own ignorance or insufficiency.Carlos Fuentes Quotes
  • The French equate intelligence with rational discourse, the Russians with an intense search for the soul. For the Mexican, intelligence is inseparable from malice.
  • The language of Mexicans arises from abysmal extremes of power and impotence, domination and resentment.
  • The women that I have loved have wished for them, but also because I feared myself.
  • In retrospect, I agree with Luis Buñuel that sex without sin is like an egg without salt.
  • There is no creation without tradition. Nobody creates from nothing.
  • I always felt a little worm inside me: ‘Now you need to write a novel with a woman protagonist.
  • Art gives life to what killed history. Art gives voice to what history denies, silences or pursues. Art brings the truth to the lies of history.
  • Writing is a fight against silence.
  • I love having reviews for breakfast
  • Death is the great patron, death is the great angel of writing. You must write because you will not live anymore.
  • There are people whose external reality is generous because it is transparent, because you can read everything, accept everything, understand everything about them: people who carry their own sun with them.
  • Some writers reach great popularity and then disappear forever. The sales charts of the last fifty years are, with some happy exceptions, a grim cemetery of dead books.
  • Reading and writing is a paradise.
  • Children know how to be cruel, and the cruelty of their elders is the surest residue of the discomfort young people feel towards strange things, other things, things that reveal our own ignorance or insufficiency.
  • A tradition without intelligence is not worth having. T. S. Eliot, After Strange Gods (1934) There is no creation without tradition. Nobody creates from nothing.
  • The facade of the Conquest, severe but jocular, with one foot in the Old World dead and the other in the New.
  • The American world blinds us with its energy; We can not see ourselves, we must see you.
  • It was a break with the past to recover the past. We tried to deny that we had an Indian, black and Spanish past. The Mexican Revolution accepted all inheritances. It allowed Mexico to be mestizo.
  • Can you imagine coming to this country to exploit a post office? I told them, My bombs are my books.
  • A tropical Mussolini
  • You start writing live. You end up writing to not die.Do not classify me, read me. I’m a writer, not a genre.
  • Memory is satisfied desire.
  • I need, therefore, I imagine it.
  • If the Soviet Union can renounce the Brezhnev Doctrine for the Sinatra Doctrine, the United States can renounce the James Monroe Doctrine for the Marilyn Monroe Doctrine: Let’s go to bed with the perfume that we like the most.
  • No government works without the grease of corruption.
  • Culture consists of connections, not separations: to specialize is to isolate.
  • There is no creation without tradition; the ‘new’ is an inflection in an earlier form; Novelty is always a variation of the past.
  • Robinson Crusoe, the first capitalist hero, is a self-made man who accepts objective reality and adapts it to his needs through the work ethic, common sense, resilience, technology and, if necessary, the racism and imperialism.
  • The contract between the author and the reader is a game. And the game. . . It is one of the greatest inventions of Western civilization: the game of telling stories, inventing characters and creating the imaginary paradise of the individual, from which no one can be expelled because, in a novel, nobody has the truth and everyone has the right to be listened and understood.
  • The great wheel of fire of ancient wisdom, the silence and the word that engenders the myth of the origin, the human action that engenders the epic journey towards the other; historical violence that reveals the tragic error of the hero who must then return to the land of origin; the myth of death, renewal and silence from which new words and images will emerge, keeps turning despite the blindness of purely linear thought.
  • One wants to tell a story, like Scheherezade, so as not to die. It is one of the greatest impulses in humanity. It is a way to stop death.
  • The possibility of being as free with the camera as we are with the pen is a fantastic perspective for the creative life of the 21st century.
  • I believe in books that do not go to an already made public. I am looking for readers that I would like to do. To win them, to create readers instead of giving something that readers are waiting for. That would bore me to death.
  • There must be something beyond slaughter and barbarism to support the existence of humanity and we should all help find it.
  • Like all of Latin America, Mexico, after independence in 1821, turned its back on a triple heritage: on the Spanish heritage, because we were newly liberated colonies, and on our Indian and black heritage, because we consider them backward and barbarous. We look towards France, England and the USA. To become progressive democratic republics.
  • Contrary to the macho culture of Mexico, my two grandmothers were very brave and young widows. I was always very close to these intelligent and hardworking women.
  • I am a morning writer; I’m writing at half past eight in my hand and I continue until half past twelve when I go swimming. Then I go back, lunch and read in the afternoon until I do my walk to write the next day.
  • The United States tolerated dictatorships in Latin America for much of the twentieth century.
  • Diplomacy in a certain sense is the opposite of writing. You have to scatter so much: the woman who comes crying because she has had a fight with the secretary; exports and imports; students in trouble; thumbtacks for the embassy.
  • Today he has absolute freedom in Mexican writing in which he does not necessarily have to deal with Mexican identity. You know why? Because we have an identity … We know who we are. We know what it means to be Mexican.
  • What the United States does best is to understand itself. What makes it worse is to understand others.
  • Literature surpasses history, because literature gives you more than one life. It expands the experience and opens new opportunities for readers.
  • I was lucky to have a happy family, very united.
  • The perfect order is the precursor of the perfect horror.
  • What happened at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq is one of the most serious violations of human rights under the Geneva Conventions that we are aware of. It is simply monstrous.
  • I am a writer, not a genre.
  • The United States has written the white history of the United States. Now he needs to write the black, Latin, Indian, Asian and Caribbean history of the United States.
  • Do not classify me, read me
  • I always felt a little worm inside me: ‘Now you need to write a novel with a woman protagonist’.
  • I am a literary animal. For me, everything ends in literature.
  • I’m not interested in life, what I want is a portion of the imagination.
  • I have no literary fears.
  • I love having reviews for breakfast.
  • I must write the book in my head now, before I sit down.
  • In Latin America, even atheists are Catholics.
  • One deviates from biography as if postponing death. Writing an autobiography is recording the words on your own tombstone.
  • Here, among my books, my wife, my friends and my loves, I have many reasons to continue living.
  • What I want is to respond to the challenge posed by the media, to allow the novel to say what can only be said by the narrative, to allow it to be itself.
  • Cuba needs a dose of perestroika.
  • I do not think any good book is based on objective experience. Bad books are about things that the writer already knew before writing them.
  • The new world economic order is not an exercise in philanthropy, but an enlightened self-interest for all concerned.
  • I have lost audiences, I have recovered them.
  • Writing requires the concentration of the writer, demands that nothing more be done than that.
  • I have two children who died before turning 30, so who am I to complain about being alive?
  • The United States still thinks that Mexico is a nineteenth-century industrial society. It is no longer that, it has to adapt to a new reality. But we have a serious responsibility in Mexico, which is to give work to our own people. As long as we have a system that denies work to 50 percent of the population, it will have immigrants who come to the United States.
  • Mexico is a very complex and mysterious country. I will never fully understand it, and that is why I write a lot about it to try to understand it.
  • I like to fight. I get in lines all the time.
  • I started my own magazine with drawings, comments, news, movie reviews and drawings.
  • I use many movie images, analogies and imagination.
  • My system to stay young is to work hard, always have a project in motion.
  • The historical problem of the United States is to admit that it is a multiracial and multiethnic nation.
  • The real bombs are my books, not me.
  • The United States is very good at understanding itself and very bad at understanding others.
  • Now there are 30-year-old Mexican writers who make great novels in which Mexico is not even mentioned.
  • Work is what saves you.
  • Under the veneer of Westernization, the cultures of the Indian world, which have existed for 30,000 years! – continue living. Sometimes in a magical way, sometimes in the shadows.
  • At age 50 I find that there is a long list of characters and forms that demand words right outside my window.
  • I am a Mexican The United States lived seventy-five years with the single-party system in Mexico, the PRI, without batting an eye or demanding the democracy of Mexico. Democracy came because Mexicans fought for democracy and we made a democracy outside of our history, our possibilities, our perspectives. Democracy is not something that can be exported like Coca-Cola. It has to be raised from the inside, according to the culture, the conditions of each country.
  • Now the masses of Latin America elect governments that believe they can carry forward the democratic reforms of the last 20 years and transform them into social and economic reforms. This is, I think, extremely important, because it also means that the left has abandoned the revolutionary solution proposed by Che Guevara and has taken the democratic path.
  • I have never considered myself a writer in exile because I grew up outside my own country, because my father was a diplomat. Therefore, I grew up in Brazil, Chile, Argentina, the United States, studied in Switzerland, so I always had a perspective of my country, I am grateful for that.
  • Most writers in Mexico have had positions as ambassadors, secretaries, that is no longer the case. Now a writer can live by writing. He has a hearing: there are editorials, there are newspapers, so the situation is not as terrible as it used to be when there were no means and he had to enter the government service, be an ambassador or a minister of the cabinet, etc. Then, things are changing in the sense that civil society is now the protagonist. Therefore, the writer occupies a different position, but no less influential than in the past, in a new and democratic society.
  • Things have changed in Latin America now. For the most part we have democratic governments in Latin America, so the position of the writer has changed. It’s not like Neruda used to say, that a Latin American writer walks with the body of his people on his back. Now, we have citizens, we have public means of expression, political parties, congresses, unions. Then, the position of the writer has changed, now we consider ourselves citizens, not spokesmen of all, but citizens who participate in the political and social process of the country.
  • Anything would be better in the USA. What you have As a government, it is of very low quality, given that this country produces eminent intellectuals, has large universities, and then the people who come to the government are very mediocre. The Latin American situation has been very different, in the first place, because the writers have spoken for those who have no voice. The rate of illiteracy, poverty and unemployment in Latin America has been so great throughout our history that if the writers did not speak for the people, nobody would.

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