Antonio Avaria: “Interview With Manuel Rojas”

“Árbol de Letras” Magazine, Santiago – Chile, 5th of April, 1968

Arbol_de_letras_Avaria_ch

Any central subject, a kind of fixation, would be the key of your vast literary work?

- No. Experience has provided me the themes. I write of what I know, of what life has made me feel. I am a writer who has lived in many settings and had the fortune of entering Chilean literature after knowing much of Argentina and Chile.

  • This explains the great variety of your scenarios and the natural quality -nothing bookish- of your work. In your narrative flows hundreds of folk characters, workers with paltry wages, vagabonds, criminals, illiterates, humble masters of all trades. These men lives, they prevail on, however, you avoid phonetic reproduction of their language, the linguistic naturalism…

Germán Ewart: “Manuel Rojas”

“El Mercurio” Newspaper, Santiago – Chile, 23th of July, 1961

Manuel-Rojas-German-Ewart-El-MercurioInterviewing Manuel Rojas is like hitting a rock. While talking flatly and smoothly, that belies its sturdy physique, his words weigh less than his silences. You sense the presence of a constant internal monologue, an intimate world that does not support meddlings.

If in his heart there is uncertainty, it is not shown outdoors. His answers and opinions are clear and forethought. He is not an intellectual or a speculative desktop theoretician, but a man who has lived long, who knows action in its various forms. He does not react quickly and brightly. He thinks before speaking. At times he daunt. And always, always, he leaves the feeling of an inscrutable inner world. Not because he did not want to show it, but because he cannot. “Talking was not and is not his weakness”, wrote González Vera, in his Rojas’ fine and sharp portrait.

Rojas himself admits :

– I have a constant daydream of inner thought. When I’m with people, there is a counterpoint between external stimuli and this inner strength.

Lenka Franulic: “A Character Against the Light”

“Revista Ercilla” Magazine, Santiago – Chile, 17th of December, 1958

Manuel-Rojas-Lenka-Franulic-Revista-ErcillaWho is the author or authors that have a greater influence on you as a writer?
- All the good ones that I have met, from Solomon to Kafka.

To what extent your work reflects the experiences that you have lived?
– The writer is the son of his experiences. An inexperienced writer is an inconceivable being.

What has led you to write now for the theatre?
- Having recently studied Eugene O’Neill, the encouragement of some friends and the desire to learn how to do something.

What is the theme of the play that you have written in collaboration with Isidora Aguirre?
- It is based on a premise that says: “The evil of poor people is misery, and neither the divine love or human love could save them.” The first part is from Bernard Shaw, the second from the Aguirre-Rojas signature.


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