Literary Birthday – 28 September – Rosario Ferré

Rosario Ferré was born 28 September 1938 and died 18 February 2016.

Seven Quotes

  1. Every country that aspires to become a nation needs its heroes, its eminent civic and moral leaders, and if it doesn’t have them, it’s our duty to invent them.
  2. Throughout time, women narrators have written for many reasons: Emily Bronté wrote to confirm the revolutionary nature of passion; Virginia Woolf wrote to exorcise her terror of madness and death; Joan Didion writes to discover what and how she thinks; Clarice Lispector discovered in her writing a reason to love and be loved.  In my case, writing is simultaneously a constructive and a destructive urge, a possibility for growth and change.
  3. A story is like building a chapel; a novel is a cathedral.
  4. Meagre in land but great in heart, generous port, gap, breach, porthole, trapdoor of impossible hopes, ubiquitous as an air mail stamp, ghostly as the snapshot crumpled in a migrant’s pocket when he boards the jet that will take him to the lettuce fields in California, Puerto Rico is the oxymoron of Costa Rica, dollar-licked by North America and language locked with South America, but above and beyond all else: pier, beachhead, anchorage of dreams. The myth of paradise confounds but consoles us. Puerto Ricans are never sure the island exists, precisely because we’re always about to leave it. Our ports defy us, turns us into a population of travelling snails, roaming the world with our home on our back.
  5. Sometimes it’s necessary to believe in love, even if it doesn’t exist…
  6. I think that magic has to do with the subconscious, much as the ancient sorcerers believed. The identification of man with his material surroundings and his active participation in that world are detailed in books of Carlos Castañeda, for example, as well as, on a different level, with the books of sociologists like Lévy-Bruhl and Ernst Cassirer, or Lévi-Strauss. The magical identification has a lot to do with literature, this alternate way of viewing the world.
  7. Death is a woman, and for that reason she’s courageous and just, and never makes distinctions between mortals; she’ll crush the ignorant, the arrogant, and the wise alike under her icy foot.

Rosario Ferré was a Puerto Rican writer, poet, and essayist. She received the ‘Liberatur Prix’ award from the Frankfurt Book Fair for Kristallzucker,  the German translation of Maldito Amor.

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 28th September 2013