Great Quotes from Alvaro Enrigue

The kitchen is the heart of the house.

Alvaro Enrigue

I was not able to be the front forward of a soccer team – that is a way to make people super happy every Sunday. What I can do is tell stories and try to put my coin in that discussion.

Alvaro Enrigue

Writing is so fun precisely because if you take out the right adjective, the readers can decide what kind of book is in their hands. Suspension of disbelief should not be mandatory in contemporary writing.

Alvaro Enrigue

In ‘Dublinesque’, Spanish writer Enrique Vila-Matas inverts the terms of Joyce’s ‘Ulysses’ and tells the story of a man who, after living a hyperkinetic life like those of Odysseus and Leopold Bloom, resolves to never leave his room again and to reduce his mental activity to a minimum.

Alvaro Enrigue

Caravaggio was a tormented, defiant, bisexual, angry young man – a maestro who looked nothing like a maestro.

Alvaro Enrigue

I work with history because I come from a country that has a tremendous thirst for reality.

Alvaro Enrigue

I don’t believe in inspiration at all. We live in a world that demands explanation. And fiction has the capability to offer explanations for things.

Alvaro Enrigue

I don’t think that books are wondrous, magical things that come from nowhere. It’s important that a book has clues about where and how it was written.

Alvaro Enrigue

If you read the poets of the 19th century in Latin America, you would see that Havana or Mexico City or Buenos Aires are incredibly modern and global cities that they were not. And eventually they became real, and they became real because people read these books and tried to live in a better world.

Alvaro Enrigue

There is this brutal side to tennis. It was invented as a game for kings and cardinals and people with a lot of power who didn’t have to share the field with other players.

Alvaro Enrigue

New York offers a bubble out of the literary life that is very useful. We have more time for the children, for the cooking.

Alvaro Enrigue

Great rock n’ roll comes from suburbia.

Alvaro Enrigue

In Mexico, I think I’m considered conservative. Not politically – in terms of form and experimentation.

Alvaro Enrigue

I’m always reading a novel. If it’s good, I remember why I love my job.

Alvaro Enrigue

Vivian Abenshushan and Veronica Gerber write brilliant books that defy generic conventions.

Alvaro Enrigue

I read everything from comics to magazines to fiction – I learned to read in English, years before being able to speak a word of it, by reading ‘National Geographic.’

Alvaro Enrigue

My definition of freedom is still ruled by the reluctance to live a conventional life, from Emilio Salgari’s pirates.

Alvaro Enrigue

I don’t write historical novels but novels that wonder, ‘And what if it happened in this way and not in this other one?’

Alvaro Enrigue

History is like Santa Claus: a language construction. We have some registers about the existence of Santa and history – the presents under the tree, the archives – but none have really seen them.

Alvaro Enrigue

Walter Benjamin used to think that languages expand their register thanks to translation, because translation forces ways of using words and structures that were alien to the original speaker of the target language.

Alvaro Enrigue

Fidel Castro’s most scandalous show trial was not mounted against a political figure but against a writer: Heberto Padilla. In 1971, after 38 days of detention, Mr. Padilla was forced to ‘confess’ at the Cuban writers’ union to the charges of ‘subversive activities.’

Alvaro Enrigue

Flaubert’s Parrot’ is an amphibious book in which what appears to be a personal essay about Flaubertian writing is gradually, delicately transformed into an extremely sad novel in which the differences between character, author, and narrator are less clear than they appear at first glance.

Alvaro Enrigue

The well-known inspiration for ‘Ulysses’ is made clear by the title itself: Joyce’s novel is based on Homer’s ‘Odyssey’, under the ever-fascinating premise that all of Odysseus’ extraordinary adventures can be experienced by a modern man in a single day, provided that the writing consists of his mental activity.

Alvaro Enrigue

In ‘Where the Air is Clear’, Carlos Fuentes composed a polyphonic portrait of Mexico City amid the growth and modernization brought on by the economic boom of the 1950s. The novel can be read as a jazz interpretation – free and in a Mexican key – of John Dos Passos’ ‘Manhattan Transfer’.

Alvaro Enrigue