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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 99
WITH THE POET MIGUEL OSCAR MENASSA
Let's see, Menassa.
Miguel Oscar Menassa:
Ms, how do you do?
Very well. Good morning.
Good morning, princess of the night. How are you doing?
"My lost apple inhabits your darkness".
have been reading your book, which we will present next Tuesday, Monologue
between the cow and the moribund, well, really it was last Tuesday because
this interview will be published next Thursday.
Well, we are doing it now, we are not going to cheat on people.
Next Tuesday, then.
We're not going to tell people that we do it on Thursdays directly through
We do it on Sundays, we don't sleep so that the Spanish people can have fresh
There is a statement which is repeated in these two books that we are going to
present: "The silence of peoples is the beginning of their
destruction", it is in both, in Letters
to my wife and Monologue
between the cow and the moribund.
Maybe what I speak with you might be useful for the world (please, clarify this
in the interview), but I when I say the world, I'm speaking about Cero Group.
When I say that my verses are the best in the world, I mean that "in Cero
Group there is no poet who can reach the dimension I can reach in my
verses". In the world, if nobody knows the world, and besides, the news we
know about it, are a bunch of lies, they are previously made up, don't you see
that the Spanish journalists don't understand anything. A news arrives given by
an stupid person
and they broadcast it, it already happened with this question about
Felipe Gonzalez and now with Chávez. It is still not known if Chávez resigned
or didn't and they are criticising him as a dictator since 48 hours ago, it
can't be done.
He took power of the country again.
Chavéz didn't ask for political asylum to Cuba because Fidel Castro has said
that he didn't and that it seems that they want to restate him because they want
to restate legality. Then I say: didn't anybody perceive anything?
parenthesis is only to tell you that when I talk of the world I talk about the
Cero Group world. In any case if you want, make it extensive, for example, to
the world of poetry, but also circumscribed to poetry in Spanish and to the bad
translations which I had been able to have access. When I speak of
psychoanalysis it is more general, because there is only one psychoanalysis,
everybody knows what psychoanalysis is, of course, but also according to Freud's
that what is happening now doesn't happen, I'm explaining to you that when I say
"The silence of peoples is the beginning of their destruction", I'm
talking about the psychoanalytical communities, I'm not talking of the world,
I'm not talking of the communist China, nor talking of the United States. I'm
talking about the world I'm studying. When I say "The silence of peoples is
the beginning of their destruction" I'm thinking of the psychoanalytical
communities which, in order to silence things about genital matters, I say it
this way to be understood, matters of the animal in man, to silence that and
silencing money questions, what happens is that they have been degrading
themselves until abandoning the psychoanalytical field, that is what I say.
it is also true that in spite of the recent intervention, it is also certain
that a people, for example, the Argentine people that remained in silence for a
lot of years, now that they also want to speak they can't., they are somewhat
destroyed, somewhat deteriorated, silence deteriorates a little.
I arrived in Spain in 1975/76, the Spanish people suffered from the same thing,
I already know that the brain is useful for this and that and that words link
one another indistinctly, but the Spanish people when I arrived in Spain spoke
with 200 words, that is to say that they were in a state of mental feebleness.
The silence of the peoples and not saying that this might mean the collective
unconsciousness, is the beginning of their own destruction, mental
deterioration, nervous deterioration, sexual deterioration, deterioration of the
imagination and fundamentally the nullity of the symbolic process, the question
matter is all imaginary, then the only thing I want is to eliminate the other,
but as the other is stronger, he is a dictator, I remain at ease, I wash my
the world is the world I control. We also had two or three political sessions
where we spoke about this and the other, that I evidently don't deal with those
fields, but it is also a lie because a school of psychoanalysis that doesn't
have a clear political conception not only referred to psychoanalytical politics
but also to the economic politics, I don't know if it is a school of
all the criticisms we had received from the interviews, the only one I clearly
admit is the one that says why I only deal with the Spanish politics, why don't
I deal with Argentine politics… of course, but then I should dedicate myself
to politics, I would have to abandon the things I do.
I want to say is that when someone feels so brilliant as myself, so sharp as to
make a commentary that I haven't already made, he can do it and we will publish
it. It was that.
This book, Monologue between the cow and
the moribund, looks like a conversation among the poet, the psychoanalyst,
the man, the different functions you carry on, or the diverse places through
which the writer goes by. How is that cohabitation? How is that being-not being?
I mean, because there is a moment where the psychoanalyst says to the poet
"look at me, I am also a writer, not only you".
Sure, but when the psychoanalyst clarifies that he is a writer, he is already
telling him that he is hired, that he is hired for something, or by some idea,
or by some state or by some institution, instead the poet is a singer without an
I write those psychoanalytical texts, I'm already bought. Why? Well, because of
my psychoanalytical knowledge, because I'm the Director of a School of
Psychoanalysis, because everybody is waiting for me to say how I understood the
texts or how I produced them, or which was my productive reading. The poet
instead, excuse me, is like a woman, who is apparently connected, but God knows
what a woman is connected to. I'm sure that poetry and the police are linked to
something, but God knows what they are linked to, because if the police were
linked to the law we would be living better. And if poetry were truly linked to
freedom, it would be more fun for us.
"Life was for the poet, his written words".
Yes, of course, because the one who thinks that his life is the life lived… To
say that he is a fool or a madman is to insult more than half humanity. If last
time we complained that only half humanity has food, now we could say that 98%
of humanity can hardly realise before dying that they are mortal.
"In the beginning everyone will have their truth, afterwards they will also
learn to lie: to live knowing that they are going to die but as if that will
never occur, that is the only fun in life".
The guy says that it is the only fun in life because we are a mortal specie, we
come from sexes, masculine and feminine, from male and female. All of the
tell you how the foolish man sometimes reflects without reflecting. The species
that reproduce themselves through a male and a female are mortal, that's why
they reproduce themselves to maintain the specie, but of course, one prefers to
have been born from a pumpkin. He is degraded, he was born from a pumpkin, he
wasn't born from a man and a woman, but better degraded but immortal, the guy
says, than pleased mortal.
Better degraded mortal than pleased immortal.
I think that you put it upside-down, later we'll see it recorded. Exactly
upside-down, I think.
I think the phrase that says "knowing that he is going to die, to live as
if it would never happen, it is the only fun of life", has to do with the
craft of the poet.
did one last poem in a poem book which will be published by the estimated, nice,
lusty, intelligent Cero Group Editorial, where in a poem called "Poetry
came and told me", poetry says to the man, the man who knows that he's
going to die and doesn't care, he knows that each love kills him and
nevertheless he falls in love, he knows that when he writes he dies and
nevertheless he writes. I don't know if the man living together with the poet
knows, but the poet knows that he is going to die. But his function is to tell
things for the time when he no longer will be here, then look if he knows, that
is to say, we don't know if the man accompanying the poet knows, but the poet
To know isn't conscious knowledge. Not the one who knows consciously,
intellectually that he is going to die is a mortal. To fear death is to be
immortal because you have already gone through death, how would you fear it and
you haven't gone through it.
Let's see what else you have read, did you already write what you are going to
I have some ideas. Well, yes, I wrote something though I don't like it.
What did you write? Why? Ask me that I'll end up making the interview to you.
"I'm totally convinced that life can only be lived, nobody can think his
No, because ask the psychoanalyst, the one who thinks his life is an obsessive
neurotic, poor him, don't see how he suffers. Life can't be thought, how one
could think life. It is as if one would say, "yes, I think a lot while I
play" or "I think a lot about playing". You cannot think, you
have to play.
The time to think about life would be afterwards, when you write, when the poet
I thank you that you want to normalise me but it is as I tell you, life can't be
thought, nor before, nor after; what is thought is something else, they are
I agree with you, life can't be thought, life must be lived, but later when the
writer writes maybe one finds out what has happened.
He writes, you said it, when the writer writes, he writes. And, what has he done
with life? He has taken it away from reality, then he realises that life can't
be thought, it can be thought in the writing of the poet who thinks that he is
telling you about life, but that is the poet's writing, that is already the
poem, it is already the essay…
Besides, if life can only be done, of course, later you know about the life you
led, after leading it.
Only after you'll know, of course. This is very important, when a students says:
"when I understand what you give me, I'll pay", you'll never
understand what we are giving you if you don't pay in advance. Let's see if you
can feel the taste of lettuce without paying the greengrocer first what the
lettuce costs, or without spending four months waiting for the lettuce to grow.
There are things which man can only understand by doing them and we don't even
know if it is comprehension or reading of information.
I remember that Freud says that there are concepts that can only be learnt,
comprehended, through analysis.
It was a work where he dialogues with an imaginary young man, and a moment comes
when he says "what follows I can't explain it to you because as you have
many sexual problems, if you don't psychoanalyse…"
Or if not you transform yourself to understand it.
If you don't cause a transformation to understand it you won't understand it,
because in order to understand this I'm explaining to you is against what you
are, therefore, or you change or the mechanism of the ego prevent you from
listening what I'm telling you.
He says: "With the senseless quill pen of gossiping I'll tell the history,
it will be in verse, clever, clumsy in the crossroads dilemma of having to state
something". This last phrase caught my attention, "in the crossroads
dilemma of having to state something". History always states.
History states for the one who's going to read history, but to state something
is always something commercial, there the poet is referring to the fact that to
combat the cultural intertwining of Madrid, one should asseverate things, one
should act a little like them, the poet refuses to become one of them, he
finally concludes that the only way to change a situation is not being like
them, so that he remains a little helpless. But, of course, a poet who believes
that he remains helpless because he thinks that he has no cultural acceptance is
a fool. I'm talking about myself, because sometimes I say "No one loves
me" and it happens that I write a daily poem, how is it that there is no
one who loves me? The Spanish language has an appetite for me. You being so
Madrilène, sometimes, you must also feel angry because the Spanish language has
more appetite for me than for you.
: Is that a question?
I went on a spree right now.
You want to win, don't you cow. "If they humiliate you a hundred times, you
stand up / another ten, another hundred, another five hundred times: / your
falls will not be so violent / nor even, by law, will they be so many."
as God who never cries; / or as Lucifer, who never prays; / or like the oak
grove whose grandeur / needs of the water, and it does not implore for
example, this is a genial poet, but I'm not like him, I think that the only
thing one can't surrender is poetry, afterwards everything must be surrendered.
Because to act like God who never cries we should live in another world because
in the world we live in, beyond the matter if we cry or we don't, there are
motives to cry, there are about a thousand or two thousand daily motives in the
whole world. And after be like Lucifer who never prays, for the hungry peoples,
for peoples at war, for peoples tortured by the powerful, if you don't allow
them to pray you don't allow them to ask for mercy, because praying is also like
asking for mercy. Do you see how difficult it is to be like Almafuerte? I'm more
conciliatory as a poet. I believe in the transformation of societies.
And, the transformation of societies has to do with the transformation of the
Putting it that way it seems a lie.
It is a question.
When I say I believe, I don't say how, I said that in believing in the
transformation of societies and of cultures as I well see, we weren't always in
the current way of production, how that kept changing. The only thing I say is
that they may not give us freedom to live, that they may not give us freedom to
eat, but the poet has the grace of not needing to be given that freedom to
write, then I say how times change, how the world evolves, right away you asked
me how, I didn't tell you that I was going to change it, I say: I have as a
thought that the world keeps transforming itself since five thousand million
years ago, so I would be an idiot if I think that the current society will be
the definite humane society and that the current health will be the definite
health, no, I think correctly, what happens is that I don't know how, I have no
idea how this state of things can be changed. First of all I try to change
myself, afterwards I try to change my friends, then I try to change my enemies,
then I try to write about everything I see, feel, touch, because some genius who
surely isn't me will understand what was happening to us. I don't know if I've
made myself clear.
if you go on asking more question I can keep talking about this subject which is
a subject in which I'm highly
interested. Because as I can't act I don't do anything, it is as if we
wanted to construct a group, as we are doing with Cero Group, and evidently,
each time that a participant enters for any motive, he/she more quickly benefits
and more than I do, of course. So I feel envy or I don't feel envy, I am envious
or I want the progress of humanity, I am envious or I want to generate a more
comfortable way of living than the current one. Well, then I have to bear that
each time a person comes closer to me, full of criticism, full of doubts and
full of foolishness, in spite of all that person will benefit more than I. If I
can't stand that, we are in the world, we are humans and some day in 2 or 3
thousand years they'll say "look at what these people did, having been able
to capture all the fish…"
Then, writing must be the transforming machine.
I don't want to put it that way, But yes, I do believe it. Why do I say that the
transforming machine is writing? Because I'm no fool, I don't live as I write, I
live as it was written before me.
"I think that my life is the life of a literary character, I can't get away
much from that when I write".
The guy is thinking in these things, don't you see what you are doing to me. The
guy knew, when he wrote this he already knew. A literary character, look, let's
see if one day I might think of it: "Let me tell you the truth". You
don't let me, you say to me, what truth! You are here, you did that, you
published so many books. "No, I'm a person suffering from
inhibitions". "No, Menassa, you can't be that way, if you are known as
a strong, courageous person". Do you understand?
have to understand this well, one is the writing, you have to understand it well
because really one is writing. You investigated the past of the poets who say
that your father was a Czech and your mother an Indian, if you do it, you're
going to realise that many times it has nothing to do with the material reality,
but perhaps has to do with some reality, what reality? The reality of writing,
because that generates it in that way, as it is being said, as it is being
the matter with you, Salamanca, are you sad? You would like to ask me about the
I would simply want to ask you.
You would like to work for the world.
they finally hire you for El País?
CS: No. It was you who they should hire as a forecaster of news.
I have accomplished to be a completely free man, no one loves
me nor even the one whom I feed, nor even the one to whom I offer my
knowledge, nor even the one who lives from my thought, no one loves me nor even
the one who learnt to love by my side. The life of a creator is very
interesting. Why? Who's going to love you if he can't possess you? I know,
people can't be possessed. I know, but they have the illusion of possessing you.
Last Sunday I asked you who the great teachers were and you repeated it in the
afternoon. Maestro is everyone who has done something before me.
Who has done something before me…
And better than I.
Well, the fact of having done it before means that he did it better, so much so
that I to be able to surpass him I have to take him, I have to use him as junk,
I have to use him, if you will, as raw material.
There is a very interesting thing, you also said that the writer doesn't know
what he writes about, but he is forced to know about what he reads.
It's all right, we will allow him to create whatever he wants but after reading,
he has to know what he reads, when he reads a book he has to know what he reads
about, because at this point he will show us what position he has in the world.
It's all right, we give him the freedom, whatever he may write, writing cannot
be repressed because there is an aspect in man that is that shit you wrote, but
afterwards you will have to demonstrate that you know what you're reading about,
because likewise when you read you only love the poverty of your writing, there
are many writers like that. Look, if you get up one morning and open your eyes,
Spain is full of that kind of writers. For example, we will forgive the
stupidities that Paco Umbral writes, but he reads very badly, he understands
everything the wrong way round. Or the ones from the School of Language, who
think that people are born poets, they read badly, that is reading. They write,
they write a lot of nonsense, they say that to be a writer is noble, to be a
writer is like being a king, if you aren't born in the king's palace you are no
Of course, that there can also be an ideology, but there are economic questions
in the middle.
What are you saying?
I mean that also, that thought has economic implications, market ones, the more
writers there is the less the ones who already are, will earn…
Writers earn nothing.
Well, the publishers.
Yes, it may be for that reason. We have no growth, we haven't surpassed nor even
the ancient Egypt. In ancient Egypt there was a spoken language which was only
used by the people and there was a written language which was only understood by
the powerful, why do I say the powerful? Because all the commercial transactions
were made in the written language, therefore the people of Egypt couldn't make
commercial transactions, we continue living in the same way. Our writers are
still Romans, what can we do, or Greeks, which is more or less the same. Some
got directly drunk and the others a little latter because they poured
water into the wine.
Then life has no sense.
Well, if you want to put it not so bluntly, life has five billion senses. Life
is like the unconscious desire. They end up saying that the unconscious desire
has no object, why? Because all bug that walks is object of desire, which has no
object, so it is the same for it if it is this or the other way. And that is the
movies are in charge of showing us that life is the life of a decent worker, or
life is the life of a wealthy person or the life of a poor, it is also the life
of a criminal. If you think a little, you must have cried watching a
well-produced movie when they killed the murderer or caught the criminal or the
evil whore who cheated everybody, died at last and at this point, a big tear
rolled down your cheek. Well, if someone cried when the murderer was killed, it
means that they want us to believe that everybody has feelings, that everybody
is life, that the murderer loves his mother.
We all carry a murderer inside us, don't we?
I wouldn't say so, but of course, after 35 years of analysis. Neither a victim,
because I am realising that if you accept a competition where you can win, you
must accept to lose, one shouldn't participate in competitions where you can win
or lose, that is to say, if I accept that any man has a killer inside, I also
accept that all man has a victim inside, and I disagree with that in getting out
of that dialectic. Because, let's see, Menassa, what are you a proletarian or a
bourgeois? An old well-known Marxist from my childhood could have come to ask
me, and I would say I'm not one thing nor the other, I'm an alien. To my
understanding, my answer is a marxist answer. When somebody asks me, proletarian
or bourgeois? If I would answer "I'm not one thing nor the other, I'm an
alien", that answer would be a marxist answer.
Neither with madness or reason we can take possession of health…
Any comments about politics?
You know what happens to me, sometimes the news hurt me so much that I try to
avoid them, so if you help me… Nothing, you haven't even read the newspapers.
Would you like me to tell you how ridiculous journalists are, today
in El País they say "Argentina keeps falling into the abyss", but
what I want to say is that in order to know how Argentina is they ask the
opposition. And, why don't they ask Zapatero how Spain is doing? No, they ask
that to Aznar, but for Argentina they ask Alfonsin's people, who were the ones
who fell, what a bad luck. And besides they put it as a headline. In reality,
inside the newspaper the current president says that in July they will come out
of this situation. I don't know why he says such thing. I don't care if
Argentina is right, I state how journalism is. They say they don't know which is
the yellow journalism, but the truth is, they are the yellow journalists.
sure that that report can have ten better headlines than the one they put, why
did they put that one? or at this point they become uncultured? No, it is
because they want to bother.
Díez wasn't surprised today that in the play Las
Criadas (The Servants) they end up shouting "Argentina". Las
Criadas by Genet.
There is a punishment which is to deport people to Argentina and they talk of
going to Afghanistan and worse than Afghanistan is Argentina.
Didn't you realise that since the Argentine economic crisis increased, the
advertising in Spain with Argentine people also increased?
A lot of commercials.
That is to say that what we understand is that everyone wants to earn some more,
but that question that we all want to help our fellow man…that we already
know, but it is known that everybody wants to earn a little more and that they
take advantage of any situation to earn more money. I think that if the sale of
newspapers decreases because people aren't interested in national politics and
they stop being interested in football, I believe that a 100% of our journalists
would see with pleasure the beginning of a war, only to sell more newspapers. We
are in that situation.
I know that in the last statistics El País said: El País is the only newspaper
which increases its sales, but it happens that they have come out with the
promotion of the peseta bills (I know that a great part of the population is
collecting them) so they took advantage to say that sales were increasing, they
discontinued it for some time and they came out with it again. They use little
Little tricks, you're too good.
País should be more careful because it was born with democracy, then they
should always keep up that spirit, under any circumstance, and they're losing
it, they already lost it.
they want to solve with the "populares" the problem they have with
Aznar. With the question of Felipe Gonzalez, whom they wanted to punish because
they had behaved badly and I don't what else, the truth is that before Felipe
Gonzalez had broken their ass with the Medical School, in the beginning the
Medical School won a litigation they had with El País, and then El País rushed
at the Medical School. I think that certain inexplicable medical plans they had
were because they were vexed with the Medical School. Considering that press is
the fourth power, they had become for an instant,
the fifth power.
scandal in all aspects, to show what the XX Century was, it says, poverty
was a time, a stage in my life
used to lie on the diaphanous little whales
time, an age, I still remember everything today.
woman and another woman and, even so, desperate night.
feel I'm growing at super-sonic speeds and I must say that that precisely
makes me frightened.
I also was the worst, unmoveable rock disguised as a thirsty animal, the
one who would never change, your greatest failure.
tip-toes on future intentions, I see over-dried thoughts falling, empty
shells which moulded my gaze with blows of silence.
far, I dragged alien wills, firm omens for my steps, atavistic chains in
fancy for the future a mature woman, serene, quite wiser. My body moulded
with rotundity by experience, trace of what was lived, made writing.
woman of intense attractiveness, a complete female, who bought her freedom
because she understood the price:
resign the throne, to chain oneself to work.
fancy your proud gaze, when they grant me the Entrepreneur Woman of the
I won't renounce is to go on loving you. Neither do I care that everything
I'll do will be done to be worthy of your love.
don't say to me that your love I already have…
says that she regrets having improved. Then there was half an hour of silence,
where I thought that she doubted everything when she didn't want to doubt about
to conclude added:
How difficult life is on the couch! How terrible!
We continue the next
sleeps at the foot of the mattress, which takes the place of a bed, on the
floor. I get excited looking at her sleeping there and I think she doesn't
slightly close my eyes and see her naked. I calculate desperately and
promise myself that next week I'll study all week long. I touch her
sleeping body and decide to wait until she becomes two. In the mean time,
I gradually adapt the light to a semi-darkness and my heart starts to
dazzled firefly by itself!
thought that it was an impertinence to wake her up and that thought though
it excited me more also allow me to go on writing.
earn money. To spend money. They are aspects of the same drama. Someone
who ends up giving his life for money. In reality, a worker.
relations don't exist. However, in capitalistic societies, sexual
relations have the consistency of money, that existence.
MUST SAY IT: I'm a writer, the rest was all research.
married twice, having had six children, having studied medicine,
continuing to exercise that discipline even after more than thirty years,
is part of the general knowledge that all writers should have.
the case of painting, certain extravagant sexual practices, gambling and
certain revolutionary inclinations, everything was seeing, everything left
in me traces of writing.
should have been made all over again and that is what would have happened,
what was happening.
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