Guillermo Cabrera Infante - Quotes

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My parents were founders of the Cuban Communist Party, and I grew up extremely poor. ---->>>

I read the Odyssey because it was the story of a man who returned home after being absent for more than twenty years and was recognized only by his dog. ---->>>

American literature had always considered writing a very serious matter. ---->>>

Puns are a form of humor with words. ---->>>

No, absolutely not, writing doesn't have to be like a jigsaw puzzle, it can be a very linear undertaking. ---->>>

You are just in the middle of a struggle with words which are really very stubborn things, with a blank page, with the damn thing that you use to write with, a pen or a typewriter, and you forget all about the reader when you are doing that. ---->>>

I believe that writers, unless they consider themselves terribly exquisite, are at heart people who live by night, a little bit outside society, moving between delinquency and conformity. ---->>>

It means that no matter what you write, be it a biography, an autobiography, a detective novel, or a conversation on the street, it all becomes fiction as soon as you write it down. ---->>>

My mother had been educated at a convent, and she had been converted to communism by my father during Stalin's most rampant period, at the beginning of the 1930s. So she had two gods, God in heaven and god on earth. ---->>>

Well, I write in exile because I cannot return to my country, so I have no choice but to see myself as an exiled writer. ---->>>

I think writers rush in where everybody is very frightened to tread. ---->>>

If you look closely, there is no book more visual than Three Trapped Tigers, in that it is filled with blank pages, dark pages, it has stars made of words, the famous magical cube made of numbers, and there is even a page which is a mirror. ---->>>

For me, literature is a complex game, both mental and concrete, which is acted out in a physical manner on the page. ---->>>

I don't have any style. ---->>>

I was an avid radio fan when I was a boy, as well as a great lover of comic strips. ---->>>

I am a writer of fragments. ---->>>

I think that I've tried many times to get Cuba in my writings, especially Havana, which was once a great and fascinating city. ---->>>

That is what I define as a novel: something that has a beginning, a middle and an end, with characters and a plot that sustain interest from the first sentence to the last. But that is not what I do at all. ---->>>

I do not consider myself a Hispanic writer. ---->>>

I have one main reader, Miriam Gomez, my wife. She reads everything I write - I have not finished writing something and she is already reading it. ---->>>

I was able to read a movie before I was able to read a book. ---->>>

I don't much believe in the idea of characters. I write with words, that is all. Whether those words are put in the mouth of this or that character does not matter to me. ---->>>

I know that many writers have had to write under censorship and yet produced good novels; for instance, Cervantes wrote Don Quixote under Catholic censorship. ---->>>

I first came out against Castro in June 1968, fifteen months after my book had been published, and you cannot imagine how quickly a void was created around me. ---->>>

I think that like all writers - and if any writer disagrees with this, then he is not a writer - I write primarily for myself. ---->>>

I describe my works as books, but my publishers in Spain, in the United States, and elsewhere insist on calling them novels. ---->>>

A very wise author once said that a writer writes for himself, and then publishes for money. I write for myself and publish just for the reader. ---->>>

But I do not have the reader in mind when I write. No true writer does that. ---->>>

I think all writing is done through memory. ---->>>

For me, words are just words, nothing else. ---->>>

I am against the notion of style in itself. ---->>>

I am the only British writer who writes in Spanish. ---->>>

I do not believe in inspiration, but I must have a title in order to work, otherwise I am lost. ---->>>

I have assiduously avoided calling my books novels. ---->>>

I left my country because I was forced to, and I do not think that I am going to lose my language because I live in England. ---->>>

I live in London and I am a British subject, although I do write in Spanish, of course. ---->>>

I was never a true journalist, I was a movie critic. ---->>>

I wrote for a weekly magazine and then edited a literary magazine, but I did not really feel comfortable with the profession of journalism itself. ---->>>

Many of my books have begun with the title, because naming a work already in progress makes no sense to me. ---->>>

So I do not consider myself a chronicler of my fatherland or even a chronicler of Havana. ---->>>

There were influences in my life that were more important than journalism, such as comic strips and radio. ---->>>

Titles are not only important, they are essential for me. I cannot write without a title. ---->>>

Watching a movie from beginning to end is like reading, because even though what you see are images, they are telling you a story. ---->>>

When I write, I enjoy myself so much that what is being written really needs no reader. ---->>>

When I write, the first blank page, or any blank page, means nothing to me. What means something is a page that has been filled with words. ---->>>

Writers rush in where publishers fear to tread and where translators fear to tread. ---->>>

The relationship between reader and characters is very difficult. It is even more peculiar than the relationship between the writer and his characters. ---->>>

What I do believe is that there is always a relationship between writing and reading, a constant interplay between the writer on the one hand and the reader on the other. ---->>>

Biography

Nationality: Cuban
Born: 04-22, 1929
Birthplace:
Die: 02-21, 2005
Occupation: Novelist
Website:

Guillermo Cabrera Infante (Spanish pronunciation: [ɡiˈʎermo kaˈβɾeɾa imˈfante]; Gibara, 22 April 1929 – 21 February 2005) was a Cuban novelist, essayist, translator, screenwriter, and critic; in the 1950s he used the pseudonym G. Caín. A one-time supporter of the Castro regime, Cabrera Infante went into exile to London in 1965 (wikipedia)