Walls in Our Heads and Beyond

The writer's work is to build bridges rather than walls. This idea, with which hardly anyone would disagree, was the leitmotif of a meeting between three authors - the Guatemalan-born David Unger, currently living in the US, Columbia's Luis Fayad and Álvaro Enrigue, author from Mexico. 

The last writer has expressed his view on the erection of walls in the minds of people but also the real, palpable ones with ironic distance: "I have the feeling lately that politics have become a part of the entertainment industry rather than creating some kind of benefit for the citizens. And I don't just mean the current US president - something similar also takes place in Mexico. The Mexican president has a press conference every day, which you can watch on television, and which is, essentially, a telenovela. In their speeches, politicians encourage public debate about things which hardly even exist. In most recent years they started coming back to 20th century's repulsive nationalism. 

They draw imaginary lines in the world that had once been drawn and nobody knows why. The uneducated layer of politicians has discovered that this is a way of gaining large political capital, and so - they build borders. It's not just crazy Trump - similar things are taking place in England, Hungary or Spain." It remains a fact, however, that real literature can never be bound by borders, be they made of propaganda, thoughts or iron and bricks.

-IK