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  • Agustín García Calvo
  • Agustín García Calvo (1926-2012)
  • Agustín Esquema del Lenguaje - Ella
Home » Interviews » A conversation with Agustín García Calvo

A conversation with Agustín García Calvo

A conversation with Agustín García Calvo

A conversation with Agustín García Calvo

David Eloy Rodriguez and Laura Casielles.

Madrid: June 10, 2009

This interview has been reproduced in the magazine Atlantic Asturian XXI [], in its fourth issue, and the magazine thought of Seville Bite in issue 3.

Is considered, even by those who did not fraternize at all with his philosophy, one of the most lucid and revelatory in this country, but by choice to move away, as may, in the cultural industry. Hondo and stimulating thinker, thorough investigator of several scientific subjects, known agitator, admired poet Agustín García Calvo ... a three-time National Award (Essay of Dramatic Literature, Translation) and has published over eighty books. Just released their latest stories and a book of grammar "for older ones and those children become like children." Is 83 years. Together with the poet Isabel Escudero offers countless recitals to offer poetry out loud. Tireless, magnetic, rebellious, leading a massive, open-resistant and intergenerational gathering that meets every Wednesday at 20.30 in the Ateneo de Madrid. It is thought against power in all forms. This is the war against reality.

(note: spelling peculiarities linguist, who refuses to accept certain conventions that considers the service of a pernicious and pedantic standards are respected in responses Hence the Constitutions and its peculiar ispiraciones or capitalization.).

- You say: "Reality is a lie." You say, "Reality is not all there". You do, Augustine, in various ways, to attack constituted reality. Through the gathering of books, lectures and concerts, in your own life ... and how difficult it is to use language to deny the reality, when he himself, language, defines, holds and lies, that is, make reality. "Set is cenizar" which said Lezama Lima. How can language be liberating if both the trap, the trap?

- Ah ... is very simple: just be left to speak. It is the only technique I know. If one speaks personally, as a single mouth will turn out things already said, and he, like any other element of Reality, will have to obey the law of the defense. Everything, and therefore also every man must obey therefore falsify, lie again. But one is not all that is, because thanks to it can go, if one leaves the common words, the people does not exist. Well, that's what it is. Of the things you say I have to point out that the reality, things in themselves are not, are not, lie: it makes no sense to say that life is a lie, nor, conversely, that Death is a lie. They are lying just to the extent that truths are proclaimed. Just when things, relations between things, facts, events, declare true, as are declaring at every step, we can say that was not true. That's what the language can do, turns against itself in the sense that I said: first is the language, or rather the language in question, one of the languages ​​of Babel, or a dialect more or less or more or less vulgar worship, which is within the Reality too, such as language, language of the nation, the language of self, or idiolect as they say; and the other is the common language which is the language that can face reality and talk about it. As those two things-language and language commonly occur together but are enemies, because that just saying let the other speak, which is not one, and that denies, discover the truths that lie proclaimed. That's more or less the thing.

- Could you tell us about your experience, long and, in the gathering of the Ateneo?

- Yes, we have been going for twelve years at the Ateneo gathering. Well, the funniest thing I have is that it is a singular fact, I do not think that has ever happened, at least to my knowledge, ie Wednesday after Wednesday, Holiday any summer or anything, with an attendance of eighty or about a hundred every day, and keep it up after about twelve years. One of the things that one a little comfort, uniqueness of the phenomenon, it is worth for what it's worth. And indeed, there it is exercised in this art talk left: inevitably have to keep dating reviews, ideas, mine or any of those who attend, but hey, you know that's what it is void and corrected with the art of speaking, and occasionally leaves. And has the virtue, this afternoon we will insist on it, that nobody ever bored in that gathering, which is also very unique because it is commanded in any political, economic assembly in any education center at any show of the offer, it is boredom. Boredom, which is a very important case that the Costitución of Reality, the law of the general boredom and destruction of the possibilities of life.

- Let's talk about your latest book. You just take things in life. 17 stories. Why tell stories?

- Stories have taken many, but if you noticed what happens is that the narrator is never, it is characters, more or less real, but unreal anyway in some sense, talking, that dialogue, discussing with each other. Well, this is what contacts the narrative genre, I practice from time to time is reduced, but not novels, I've never written one.

- In the hope that this outbreak common language, shared that reason, those characters?

- Especially against that there is a purpose, a pursuit, suspense, which is what is usually in novels and movies. About all that.

- New book is also the grammatical elements, in three volumes, which can give us, what can help us know the grammar, as you understand it?

- This is a last attempt nothing less than pedagogical intent, ie, I'm trying, and probably I will fail in the attempt, I actually put it in istitutos. It is intended for people around seventeen people from what is now called school. And it's a dare. I had been developing over many years some discoveries about the language, say, the discovery of the lies that are told about the language in grammatical studies, and out of them too, in the vulgarization. I had developed in the language, the language dialogues between three characters, maybe you remember; but that I wanted to do it now in a way as simple as possible, as small, in the attempt to squeeze amid heavy misfortune that is education and teaching, especially the tongue, with three issues that are separated simply not look like a fat tome. Language is no one, this machine is no more wonderful complexity that whoever speaks love, despite what anyone says men who think they know what happens in the tongue and allowed to give rules for talk. That, what the title says, "elements", that what is there is the discovery of errors prevailing on the tongue. And made ​​as simple as possible. I do not know what you give him, but of course, the disabused of ideas and the power you are about language comes first for any policy, for any other form of discovery. If there is no disappointment about the beliefs about language, and everything else will be flawed from the root.

- There is a recent impressive job of yours, the Treaty of Rhythmic and Metric Prosody and Versification and that being an extraordinary, extraordinary research, sure, by its results, has taken you a lot of life, and that has important implications in the field of study has been outlined escasísimamente or commented on, as you call them, Mass Media Training, those who atronan us with trivial matters and languages ​​grocer.

- This book was the treaty that had started doing that when I was doing a doctoral thesis, so I've been on it almost a lifetime. I never finished because I was dedicating myself to many different other crazy, especially since I gave in to the publication, posting, very late, when he was forty years, and even today. But hey, it's gone out, and certainly is not surprising that so far look as if it had not come to light, because that happens to me with grammar, with the lyric, with poetry, with any of the things I do : as soon as something appears, the reaction of those in power, of those who govern, is to look the other way. Yes, I am used to this, which is annoying and sad, but, well, it's the law of power and majorities.

- You move outside the cultural industry, its renown and noise, and yet you are a leader, a teacher, for many people of different generations ...

- Thank you for the many. Are many of the few, of course, many among very few, ie almost nothing about the majority who consume literature, philosophy, science and politics. Almost nothing, right? Come on, we is not in the middle of the stream, as understood quite well.

- Lucina, editorial in which usually leave your books, is a project that helps I guess you have that freedom, not to depend on the culture industry, which faded it touches. Are thirty, I think, of Lucina, nearly eighty books tell us ... what Lucina? How is the publisher?

- What that publishing in general, and the founding of Lucina in particular, help is on to something. As I was saying before, and from a young age from their twenties, I realized what it was that torrent, the overflowing abundance of publications, books everywhere, which were essentially garbage, but they were occupying a site. I was discouraged to get into the stream, until I started, from year 65, led by the wave of unexpected uprising of students around the world. And then as a result of that I had to drive and I had to go to Paris eleven years ... That's when I turned back and started publishing, first in small presses, then when I came back in 79, are now thirty years with the foundation of this game Lucina, who is there, that seems a publishing company, but the truth is that it is not, in part by the negligence of those who carry, but also itself. And do not know how much help anything or not. Of course there are many other people within the very few, that maybe has learned something through there. What I know, I have my doubts as to how far or anything that I can do good for nothing.

- You always said that when you arrived in France, when you returned to Spain, not were all optimistic about the future of the country because you already knew very well what was that democracy, and, of course, was not what was claimed in the student uprisings.

- No, no, and besides the uprising in Madrid I felt drawn to contemporary with is happening in Berkeley, in Tokyo, then in Germany, in France ... The uprising was against the establishment then a blatantly , the regime we have today, which is a word the regime of Money, Power movement simply serving the Capital, and the majority of course obeying the power that sends you buy, or that sends all the things commanded you, all such overwhelming vanity so heavy. It was then that he was setting therefore more than forty years ago, and the uprising was to me a sign that most are never all, there is always something that is alive. He had then, and was manifested in a relatively splendid manner, and remain, of course. The truth is that Joy is what somehow still living in the gathering and outside the party. A finding that a lie: they are not all that most are never all that Reality is not all there.

- What's in this time outside the rule of money you're talking about? Or what is the same: joy suffer under the regime that is possible? Where?

- Well, I just talk about it. He said I lived in the joy of that relatively splendid 65 check; and me now is still worth the same, although no manifestations of these less educated people as brilliant as in the establishment of the regime sassy. But of course, those who believe that the regime is that there must be, and is doomed to an inevitable future, with costante Progress and others, are they, those at the top, people at the bottom does not believe come on, people laugh or get bored when given the opportunity to hear such things: there is no such Future, the Future is theirs, and of course that's what always remains, that kind of suffering that lie Future we sell and everything we sell him, whether of Democratic Regimes or anything else.

- And is it possible to live forgetting the future?

- Of course, one can not forget that one is personally costituido for the Future, by Death. Death's always future, that it is never here, but that is as Future here, and condemned to life a few possibilities that remain. But one is not all that is evidently that's what can go on living in spite of everything, because one is never quite where it is.

- What does the poet when he succeeds and gets to write poetry? And we know you're a poet despite Poetry capitalized, but when a poet succeeds in making poetry, which is what you are doing?

- Yes, yes, the truth is I'm a little tired and also increasingly tired of poetry, because poetry can not be called more than what is sold as poetry, can have no illusions of changing the vocabulary, right? There is one thing, a production also increasingly crowded, which is called poetry, and of course I have to say, however, that the things I do are not poetry, because I have to stick to that poetry is that it is sold and occurs. However, as I have found it all kind of writings of thinkers of the past, poets, which I found much food, lots ispiración; I can not plead now completely newborn in this world, is not it, nor deprive me of the possibilities of writing. When it was over I walk reciting out there (now rather than recite what I do is hum, that as little as possible to the poetry of poets seem), used to warn you of what was sound, the good, which anyone tell listeners really something that was not mine, that had escaped me. And that change everything bad was mine, of course; everything bad that was my stay. And that's the technique: to hit out of the way, even for a moment, and let it speak the language. That talk, sing or whatever. The attention to art, the art, the pace favors that because if one understands that poetry refers to the content, to what he says, then is almost lost, then it will not say more than what he has to say and perhaps express something. The foremost attention to rhythm and technique that is very distracting, and then favors occasionally wave rhythm is something other than what is said.

- Why are we so afraid that leave us be, let us say that?

- One is forced to defend himself. One is that it is, is the lie that is all that is, but one as anything, animals and plants and inanimate beings, obey the law of the defense, though in vain tends to defend. Then the fear of destruction is what causes this form of fear is quite understandable, as if we fiáramos, losing each time anyway, but even so continues to prevail in each, and the same power, the claim to have a future, a destiny, in a word, be it is. And so if you walk poking as hurgarle is easy to claim that stability, that makes her shake, right? It is opposite and complementary to fear fear of the known, ahead of the announcement of Death. There are fears that contradict each other to some extent and can kill each other.

- The science that interests you much, does more than cover part or revelation?

- Well, the last five or six years I have been interested in a special way the investigation of physical, especially budding physicists, more or less lawless, most published books that have great things they put on the network. I've read well over a thousand entries in the network of this type, thanks to the finds and the good sense of José Luis Caramés, a mathematician friend, who accompanied me on this. And what interested me, and I was still interested, is that even though the vocation, the basis of science is certainly serve to power and, therefore, ensure Progressive Future on the line is planned and orderly, nor physical, nor Science itself, are entirely what they are, occasionally, by the force of the research itself, by curiosity, by the passion for the unknown that still lives in everyone, is escape things. And the testimony of shocks, doubts, contradictions, with the same physics research is certainly is a help and costante ispiración for me.

- The exercise of translation, how you get it?

- Well, it's a very interesting puzzle to which I have dedicated myself occasionally with enough passion. Obviously, the languages ​​are not the language, languages ​​are condemning language to Reality; and when you have put a dictionary, especially if things are what is called poetry, what it is to find if there is something that may sound in any language in the language of the original, and despite the language. From there, having come to that, you'll see how it would sound in the language into which the translation will stop. That's what I try to practice doing both versions to sing versions of Brassens, as refined by the sonnets of Shakespeare, or of Belli in his romanesco, or whatever. I searched actually saw things that could give you that, they were not determined by language but through the common language did feel something, and that naturally do feel a bit of skill and luck in any other language.

- There are two realities within the atrocious reality, prisons and psychiatric detention centers, systematically invisible. You both know well: in the case of jail because you directly affected in the case of psychiatric because you've written, for example, 17 cases of insanity. It's terrible that society apart and ignore these two realities that are so close. How do you think it would be possible to change the status of these two realities? Is there any way to put at the center of social debate these two issues, to transform?

- Well, first, you have to correct that that state power and not much concerned because much concerned. Much of it is concerned, and indeed, I do not know how much is the capital that do run in the manufacture and maintenance of prisons and psychiatric facilities, but is certainly much, no doubt, in their own way and to what the Power interests you, which is precisely in these centers separate cases of personal priorities that are difficult to sneak in a majority, which is what the Power requires. Then, the procedure very old, is the classification, which is achieved by the definition, and the definition through modules, fences and any other procedure to improve the separation. So you must be well aware of this, and naturally think that anything you do can not be of the same order, can not be an attention as Power: caring, compassionate hypocritically, for the insane, or with criminals under the Justice or medicine. It can not be that, just have to fight classification.
I, as to the madness, I still have around me quite crazy friends, with whom I speak and of which I try to understand the extent of my ability what there may be ringing, and certainly what I tend it is no classification.
The prison never get to try at all, so I ran away at 69 when I was no choice; What I do is I lived near the dungeons of the Puerta del Sol and the Prefecture of Paris, those do know them very closely, I have visited a lot. And of course, this type of enclosure seems somewhat milder than the crazy, because after all is a rude enclosure, through walls and such, the alleged deprivation of liberty. Of that distinction was between political prisoners and prisoners of others, should be made to feel that the other prisoners are just as political prisoners, and sometimes more, that they call political prisoners, and the secret is to dispel the myth freedom, in recognizing that what course there is suffering in prison is not exactly the person who is imprisoned the same inside than outside, but something that is not the person, which is below, and in a way costreñida special is there but it is not the freedom of the individual. It is rather something that is against the same person who is against jail.

- Tried once, in an important collective process, build and disseminate a "Newspaper backwards." Could a "School backwards"?

- Well, in this as in other things that we talked about, the trouble is that one has the feeling of actually doing those things. And do Reality can not be, because if it gets to make the Reality, is an educational institution, be it a newspaper itself, be anything else, to the extent that they have done, they are now like the other begin to be like the others, is the price paid for the performance. And the temptation is difficult to maintain and control it at the same time; that is, trying to do something but not actually doing, not doing a Future, but a little more or less blindly, more subtle and diffuse ways. Because done, done, you can not do anything good. Reality is against the good, it is something that should not be forgotten.

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