AWARD-WINNING WRITER ASKED TO BELIEVE IN THE POWER OF THE WORD

UPON RECEIVING THE "JOSE DONOSO" AWARD, PABLO MONTOYA HIGHLIGHTED THAT THE MAULE REGIONíS NOVELIST BELIEVED THAT WRITING WAS A WAY OF SAVING THE WORLD.



November 9, 2016

With an invitation to believe in the power of the word, formulated in the name of late writer Jose Donoso, Colombian Pablo Montoya received from the hands of President Alvaro Rojas, the award that, since 2001, is delivered annually by the UTALCA to prominent Latin American writers in memory of the recognized Maulean novelist.
 
 
"I wholeheartedly thank the jury that chose my work, to the University of Talca, to Banco Santander - which hosts the event - and to the Chilean people for this honorable distinction bestowed upon me," he said during the ceremony in which he received the award, held at the "Gabriela Mistral" Cultural Center (GAM) in Santiago.
 
An avowed admirer of the work of the author of "The Obscene Bird of Night," Montoya urged the large audience that participated in the activity to "believe in the motto of Jose Donoso."  
 
 
"He, who fiercely fought the ghosts of his own personality and of his society, believed that writing was a way of saving the world. I would like to request, on behalf of his memory, that we believe once more in the power of the word. Before the world that is daily attacked by the beasts of evil, let’s protect it and fix it with the strong consolation of the word", he reflected.
 
 
For his part, the president of the University of Talca, Alvaro Rojas, stressed the vast trajectory and the enormous potential of the Colombian author.
 
 
"It is a pride to have rewarded a writer who is opening an important space within literature. He is called to play an important role. In the long term there is no doubt that his work is going to be recognized, especially due to the issues that he investigates", he said.
 
Likewise, Rojas said that, for our Academic Institution, the "JOSE DONOSO" award - which consists of a medal, a diploma and 50 thousand dollars that are provided by Banco Santander - represents a "cultural capital of international recognition and a great responsibility".
 
 
"For us as, as Latin Americans, it is important to promote our literature, to recognize its cultivators. To give this prize, which has a monetary expression, the only thing driving it, is that the authors can write quietly, that they do not depend on publishers and certain demands to produce material annually, but that they have the possibility to take a sabbatical year with the prize and write," he said.
 
 Colombia
 
 
During his speech, the author took advantage to make a thorough and crude analysis of Colombian reality.
 
 
"I am part of a failed and cruel state, where the landscapes are destroyed by transnational mining companies, the people is manipulated by politics, crime has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives," he said.
 
 
Notwithstanding the foregoing, the winner of the "JOSE DONOSO" prize also left room for optimism. "I believe, I hope, that Colombia has sufficient maturity to confront the coming periods ahead, of the peace that, despite the fierce fights still going on, can be achieved. That’s we hope," he said.
 
He also took the stand to talk about the results of the elections in the United States, won by Republican Donald Trump.
 
 
"We have to become accustomed to the big defeats of human wisdom. First, about the United Kingdom, with the triumph of Brexit, second, with the defeat of the Plebiscite in Colombia through a terrible manipulation, and now this mister who is a kind of harmful political caricature, who is now in power. We do not know what is going to happen," he said.
 
 
 Conversations
 
 
Pablo Montoya also took the time to travel to Talca and have a dialog about his ideas and works with the local public, carried out at the "Emma Jauch" hall, in the of extension center of UTalca.
 
Writer and academic Javier Pinedo, from the Institute for Humanistic Studies and Coordinator of the Latin American Award, commented distinctive aspects of the works of Montoya, in particular his novels "The Defeated" and "Triptych of Infamy", which are solidly based in the historical research developed by the author.
 
 
Some of the elements that call the attention in his work are the connection established between different times and episodes that correspond to these times, as the life of the famous botanist Francisco José de Caldas, excecuted in Colombia during the Reconquista and the revolutionary struggles of the past centuries. It also establishes a relationship between the intellectuals and the revolution, and the loss of the projects of the thinkers and artists involved.
 
The director of Cultural and Artistic Extension, and also of the publishing house of our University, Marcela Albornoz, thanked the availability of Pablo Montoya so that this publishing house edits a title of his authorship. "He is willing to give us a work, but we do not have the title yet," she said and added that the fact that a book by Montoya joins the collection of the "JOSE DONOSO" award goes to show "how alive it is and growing, which leaves us very pleased".



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