Secreto de desamor
Novel of an exile: JAC interview published in “La Primera” in Lima. (21/12/07)
Is there such a thing as ‘exile literature’?
Adam and Eve were the first exiles. You can find this literature recorded in Genesis. Our own Garcilaso de la Vega was not immune to this phenomenon: his “Royal Comentarios reales de los Incas” were produced in Spain. Exile literature is a defined genre, seeking its own place in the firmament of the literary world. Creators travel the world. The Indianos, a term given to the Spaniards who emigrated to America, then returned to Spain, have also been known to produce literature in exile. Many famous works have been written in exile: One Hundred Years of Solitude in Mexico, Autumn of the Patriarch in Barcelona, The Communist Manifesto in London, the list is long.
Has Peru Changed?
Yes, for example, the urban sprawl of Lima and other cities. Peruvians, in the absence of a central government to provide them with support, have generated their own work and development. It is unfortunate that the state has not done anything to support them. The Peruvian state in fact shows strong signs of corruption; the cause of socio-political unrest, which has intensified emigration, lack of employment and real social benefits.
Who has left?
The Peruvian migration flow has increased as the adverse living conditions in our territory has grown. All sorts of labourers, professionals and small entrepreneurs have left, only to quickly join other immigrants working in the service industry.
Is your book fiction?
Literary discourse is always fictional although with strong ties to reality. Poetic mimicry and language can be used to reflect ourselves and the reality of life, but not in a truthful or scientific way, rather by creating a believable and credible concept in a poetic reality, not a historical one. In the novel I present a poetic reality mixed with real life: the character Venancio mentioned in the first chapter is real. He is the former printworkers Union Leader of Arequipa, Raul Acosta Salas, who was tortured by Odria’s henchman in El Fronton. In “Secreto de desamor” there is a reality that its author knows but has exaggerated, distorted, changed, and presented as fiction.
What does your book mean?
It is a critical response to the brain drain. El Dorado is the gold of Peru, oil in Venezuela and Mexico, copper from Chile. In the novel the narrator is subtly critical, sometimes sarcastic, towards the attitude of the girl who has decided the only solution to her poor existence is to get out of Peru and marry a gringo, before she can have a ‘life’. The novel is a delicate denouncement of the hardships suffered by workers, of child abuse. A denouncement of the crime and corruption prevailing in Peruvian society. It shows the other side too, the riches of Peru: its people, food, climate, idyllic landscapes. The truth is that we have been led to believe that we are a poor country but the truth is otherwise. How naive!