"I have always written only for myself. To clarify things, to clarify things with myself" (Herta Müller)

Foto de Roberto Gargarella.
Herta Müller. 

En estas noches leo The Land of Green Plums, de Herta Müller:

"The words in our mouths do as much damage as our feet on the grass. But so do our silences.

Edgar was silent.

To this day, I can't really picture a grave. Only a belt, a window, a nut, and a rope. To me, each death is like a sack. 

Anyone who hears that, said Edgar, is bound to think you've lost your mind. 

And then, I have the feeling that whenever someone dies he leaves behind a sack of words. 
And barbers, and nail-clippers -- I always think of them, too, since the dead no longer need them. And they don't ever lose buttons either.

Maybe they sense the dictator was a mistake in a different way than we did, said Edgar.

They have proof enough, because we considered ourselves a mistake. Because in this country, we had to walk, eat, sleep, and love in fear, until it was once again time for the barber and the nail-clippers."

La fuerza de su narrativa eriza. Deja a una en completo silencio, en absoluto proceso de duelo con una misma.

Sobre escribir, Herta Müller dice lo siguiente, en una de las entrevistas a raíz del Premio Nobel de Literatura (2009):

[MG] When you started to write, for whom did you write, and whom do you write for now?

[HM] Well, actually, I have always written only for myself. To clarify things, to clarify things with myself, to understand in an inner way what is actually happening. Or: What has become of me? I come from a very small village, and then came the city, and there were always discontinuities and then I was a minority, German ... and one didn't belong anyway. Then I had this major conflict with my compatriots, with the German minority: they excommunicated me, already when I wrote my first book, as someone who fouls their own nest, so to speak, because I wrote about the situation with the involvement with National Socialism, and about the archaic fossilized way of life in the village, about its ethnocentrism. And they did not forgive me for that.

They wanted literature about their homeland, "Heimatliteratur", and they felt that I, well that I compromised them. It is a very conservative minority and thus I was excluded, and I was excluded from Romanian society for political reasons. And then I came to Germany and here in Germany I was always the Romanian, and in Romania I was always the German. So somehow one is always the other ...

[MG] Yes, indeed. Is that important, do you think, that you felt you were on the outside?

[HM] I don't know whether it's important. It's certainly something one can do without. And sometimes it hurts. People want to belong in certain respects, but it was as it was and I got used to it and at some point it was just a matter of fact. And that's what it is. And, one can't force oneself upon people and betray the way one thinks? If I don't belong because of what I think and because of my opinions, then so be it. What can one do about it? One can't bend over backwards or pretend to be someone else just to belong. And in any case it doesn't work. Once you no longer belong, it's over.

[MG] Is literature for you ... writing ... does one have to be very honest?

[HM] Yes, one has to be honest with oneself. Through writing one experiences something different to what one experiences with the five senses one has because language is a different métier. And in writing one searches, and that is what keeps one writing, that one sees and experiences things from another angle entirely, one experiences oneself during the process of writing. Writing itself does not know what it looks like while one is doing it, only when it's finished. And as long as I am writing I am in safekeeping, then I have some idea of how life could go on, and when I get to the end of a text I don't know it anymore.

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