“Literature overtakes history, for literature gives you more than one life. It expands experience and opens new opportunities to readers.”—Carlos Fuentes
Born on this date in 1928, novelist and essayist Fuentes is perhaps best known for his books The Death of Artemio Cruz – often called THE seminal work of modern Spanish American literature – and The Old Gringo. The New York Times described Fuentes as "one of the most admired writers in the Spanish-speaking world.”
The Guardian called him "Mexico's most celebrated novelist,” perhaps in part because of his being honored by his home nation with its highest civilian award, the Belisario Domínguez Medal of Honor. He was often named as a likely candidate for the Nobel Prize in Literature, though he never won (the Nobel is only awarded to living artists and writers and he died in 2012).
Fuentes described himself as a pre-modern writer, using only pens, ink and paper. He asked, "Do words need anything else?" Fuentes said that he detested those authors who from the beginning claim to have a recipe for success. In a speech on his writing process, he related that when he began the writing process, he began by asking, "Who am I writing for?"
many millions, Fuentes hated being pigeonholed into one classification or another. “I'm a writer, not a genre. Don't classify me, read me.” As for advice to young writers, he said simply, “I am not interested in slice of life, what I want (from a writer) is a slice of the imagination.”
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