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FUSIONED - DIRECTED - WRITTEN AND CORRESPONDED BY: MENASSA 2002
DON'T KNOW HOW TO SPEAK BUT WE DO IT IN SEVERAL LANGUAGES
GRIS, IS A PRODUCT
INDIO GRIS Nº 103
WITH THE POET MIGUEL OSCAR MENASSA
Your book I, the sinner is full of
characters. It gives
the sensation that you knew them, that Grandma María and Grandpa Naur
really existed. What can you tell us about those characters?
Oscar Menassa: That they aren't characters, they are my family.
They are your family. What were they like?
Menassa always uses names belonging to his family…for fiction.
"María, the sorcerer", was she a witch?
You already called her witch.
She was a sorcerer, not a witch. María the Magician they used to call her.
María the sorcerer and María the Magician. She was a woman, let's put it some
way, with curative attributes, from whom I have inherited that power, I posses
look at me with that face! Don't you see the poems I write with my hands, or do
you think that my poems aren't therapeutic enough? I have inherited that from my
Grandma María, the sorcerer.
this woman who was my grandmother, who was a really marvellous, interesting
woman, I learnt what hysteria was, being very little, at 6-7 years old. A man
who was paralysed came to consult her, then she started to treat him and after
three months of treatment, the man came running to tell her that he was going to
give her a truck, a truck for her grandson, a truck for her son. He was totally
nuts but he had come running and before he was paralysed. My grandmother didn't
do anything to him, she put some egg yolk on the legs with bandages, a sort of
plaster, the egg yolk got hard in the bandage. The man had been 4 to 6 years
paralysed. But of course, when he stopped being paralysed, he turned crazier
than a tomato, an out of season tomato, because a seasonable tomato isn't mad.
husband kidnapped her when she was 15, grandfather Antonio, who lived to be 107.
He kidnapped María because she was 15 and couldn't get married, he needed her,
he loved her. The man went and kidnapped her, he took her away. Afterwards they
had some children, around 10 or 11 children. He was 55 and she was 15.
He lived a lot!
105-107 years. I knew him blind, when he died I was around 6 to 8 years old;
for me he was always blind, but he became blind the last 10 to 15 years of his
And who was that?
My mother's father.
Your father's family must have been in Lebanon.
The father and the mother were in Lebanon and a brother in Argentina. Why are
you asking me about my life as an exile? You, that belong to the world of
psychoanalysis, you could interpret that in the end I ended up doing what my
father did, exiling myself. It may be so.
In the opposite direction, one went to the left of the map while the other went
to the right. Afterwards you speak about "my cousin Miguel who was killed
by the back". It is a book where death is quite present, the sea which
kills our men, a poem said.
is the way of reading because there is also a birth there. Because men died in
the sea I could be born, because men died at sea my father escaped from dying a
winter morning in the sea and arrived in Buenos Aires, which was a city at that
are various stories, like when my father went to see who was going to be my
mother, well the one who was to become my father because he wasn't my father at
that time. He had to cross Alsina Bridge. " Alsina
Bridge which yesterday was my lap, with a blow of its paw the avenue reached
you, old solitary and confident bridge, you are the trace that in the forehead,
progress has left you, the revealed suburb sucumbed at its passing by."
He had to cross Alsina Bridge, he
carried a revolver with him, a 38 Colt and before going into the bridge he shot
twice so that the criminals would know that he was armed and allowed him to go
by. He went to see my mother. That happened in the early thirties, the last
Yes, of course, almost 100 years ago.
Cachafaz was one of the greatest tango dancers. Well, my mother danced tango
with Cachafaz. He worked for the Compañía General de Fósforos (General
Matches Company). But of course, evidently if my father would have been able to
rescue the fortune he left in Lebanon when leaving, it isn't that I would have
dedicated myself to smuggling butterflies, of farfalle, it would have been
easier, I would have done what I did, but just a little easier.
I was thinking if the motherland is like the family, like the mother and the
language, it must be a hardship to change your language.
I, when I came from Buenos Aires, I thought that my motherland were the streets
of my city but, in reality, any city are the taxes that one pays. But of course
if I had discovered that at 35 I would have suffered less. All cities are the
taxes that one pays, if I pay the light tax I live in a lit city, if not I live
in a dark city even if the light is there. I pay for sweeping and cleaning and
sometimes I see the streets clean, if I don't pay for sweeping and cleaning I
always see the streets dirty.
We will have the Book Fair in a short time.
We have to invite people because, how many novel things are we taking to the
15 novel things, 11 poetry books and 4 psychoanalysis books.
Saint Isidro the Plowman
land gets furious or rests
man who doesn't clearly know where to go, ends up going anywhere. And up
to now it hadn't occurred to me to think that a man had the necessity to
know where he was directing his steps to. I rather thought that it was
better not to know.
I mean my current life, certain events that happened in my own heart, they
are showing me that a man (and I would like to be one) thinks before he
talks and knows before about living. That is to say, men in general live
exactly the other way round to the way I lived up to now. There is
something in me that deviated all the senses.
- My father put me in the bathroom when he shitted (while he talked he
allowed a sort of deaf whistling to escape) and didn't let me out and there was
a smell of shit that was unbearable. With this shit (he agitated some written
papers that has in his right hand), the mouth is also a sphincter; the last time
I was with my woman, we kissed and we
kissed and I introduced a finger in her ass and I stained it with shit and I
think that was the last time.
And he quickly answered me:
And he quickly answered me:
wanted to fall asleep and I couldn't, she didn't let me close my eyes.
When she wasn't with me, because her weeping could be heard whatever
distance she was; and if she was with me, because she cried in a
grandiloquent way for the whole time that we were not together.
the time I am not with her she imagines me making love to other women.
Sometimes she is so desperate, her desire is so intense that i end up
making love to several women.
today on, all exaggeration is bad until the contrary isn't demonstrated to
man who spends all day finding out how and when he's going to use his
penis, finally only learns that and not at all well.
man must let himself be carried away by all the ideas, also the sexual
time of the philosophy of squandering is coming to an end, no one is
capable of a truly free sexuality and, on the other hand, everybody ends
up asking for what they believe they had put. And how much you have to
own, I say to myself, to return so much.
give out food is a way of producing more food. It is the space to remove
the grains in verses.
total sinking of the personality, if it doesn't kill you, makes you
intelligent and, here I am; I can say that I know the bottom of any
intelligence, of any death.
touched with my words all the possible registers for man and, I must say
it, God and the State were always against my discoveries.
have nothing to reproach to anyone and that makes me great.
never belonged to anybody and that also adds to my grandeur.
knew desire and, since then, I am a living being who permanently lives out
of his circumstances.
have stopped fearing death, at last life has started for me.
if I was able of that, I have been able a lot for me. Now I set my words
free so that they can face the world.
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