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パブロ・ディ・マルコPablo Di Marco

© Gisella Lifchitz

Photo: © Gisella Lifchitz

When I first met Pablo Di Marco I noticed something very unique about him: he looks like a teenager but his eyes are always nostalgic, even sad. As if he has lived a thousand years. Or maybe a thousand lives, like the main characters of his novels.
When I ask him about the sadness in his eyes, he says he was never “a cheerful boy”, being an only child raised by old people. Maybe that explains it.
パブロ・ディ・マルコに初めて会った時、特有の雰囲気を感じ取った。青年のような見かけに反して、瞳はノスタルジックでどこか哀しさも滲ませている。まるで人生を千回生きたみたいに。あるいは彼の小説の登場人物たちのようだった。その哀しさについて尋ねたところ、年配者に囲まれて育ったせいで一度も明るい子どもではなかった、と。なるほど説明がつく。

いつなぜ作家になろうと思ったのでしょうか?

11歳の頃、国語の先生がギフトのような授業をしてくださったんです。「5分間の時間」というギフトです。その5分間はノートにすきなことをすきなだけ自由に書くことができた。ぼくは不真面目な生徒だったから学校は牢獄みたいでしたが、その時間だけが自由になれる瞬間でした。その時期ですね、作家になること以上の逃避はないと考えたのは。逃れるために書く、その考え方が好きです。

どのようにいつ書き始めましたか?



学校を卒業し、自分の時間を持てるようになったことで書くことはできましたが、あえてそれはしませんでした。それをおこがましく思い、自分にこう問うたのです。〈作家以上の何者かのふりをしていないか?そのためにはもっと度量が必要だ〉と。学生時代の失敗は、精神や自尊心を傷つけました。やがて33歳の頃、人生で何をしたいか再度自問自答しました。幼少から変わらず、その答えは〈書きたい〉でした。

作家としてのこれまでのキャリアはいかがでしたか?

2010年にスペインの文学賞を受賞しましたが、実際は2012年に「放棄の三連祭壇画(Tríptico del Desamparo)」が、ホセ・エウスタシオ・リベラ国際文学ビエンナーレで受賞され、コロンビアとスペインで出版されてから作家としてのキャリアが始まりました。また、幸せなことに、この本は昨年オデリアという素晴らしい出版社によりアルゼンチンでも出版されたのです。さらに2016年にはマドリッドの出版社が「溢れた時間(Las Horas Derramadas)」という小説も出版してくれました。
ブエノスアイレスでは、ボゴタ発の「本と手紙(Libros & Letras)」という雑誌の担当ライターでもあり、作家、編集者、本屋とのインタビュー連載を書いています。そして、それらの25のインタビューが「ブエノスアイレスの一杯の珈琲(Un café en Buenos Aires)」という一冊の本にまとめられ、コロンビアのウナウラから出版されました。

この世界で自分だけの場所と呼べる場所はどこでしょうか?

ブエノスアイレスのバーだと思います。この街にはバーや本屋がたくさんあるという大きな特徴があります。ブエノスアイレスではどこにいようが最寄りのバーが100メートル圏内にはあるのです。物書きにとっては代えがたい環境です。

この世界の誰かとコーヒーを飲むなら、誰を選びますか?その理由も教えてください。

子どもの頃、ブエノスアイレスの典型的なカフェ「リッチモンド」に父とよく行っていました。近くのテーブルに座っていたとある年配の男性に何度か遭遇し、父はその人がこの地域で最も偉大な作家だと教えてくれました。彼はホルヘ・ルイス・ボルヘスでした。6歳のぼくにとってはただのおじいさんで、目の前のチョコレートドリンクに夢中だった。これを思い出すたびに、大人としてあの場にいられたらと悔やみます。そうしたら『ぼくは作家になろうとしているんです。ちょっとお時間いいですか?』と声をかけるのに。ぼくにとってボルヘスは完璧すぎて、複雑で深い人です。彼の本には太刀打ちできない。

別の時間と場所を選べるとしたらどこに行きたいですか?

例えば1955年のブエノスアイレスです。全ての答えは過去にあります。どこにいても場違いな気持ちになりますけれど…

こことは別の場所にいる方がいいのでは?とパブロは時々思うらしい。彼の小説の登場人物が時の迷路をさまよい旅しているのはそのせいだ。『文学は時間と戯れさせてくれる。時間を変幻自在に操り、好きなように伸ばしたり縮めたりできる』と。

彼の作品の中で、時間は巨大な怪物であり主要人物だ。時間を通じて人々は移動し、円を描き、大きな穴に飛び込んだり沈んだりする。また、時間は未解決の謎であり、全てに対する答えでもある。現実であれ想像であれ時間を巻き戻ることは、読者として私たちがプロットの流れを理解することだ。それと同時に、彼のストーリーは何度も覗き込む鏡のようであり、私たちの人生、現在、過去、未来について考えさせてくれる。

Text: Gisella Lifchitz
Translation: Hikaru Nakasuji
How and when did you know you wanted to be a writer?

When I was 11 years old, I had a Literature teacher who gave us the start of each class as a “gift”. We only had to write “Five Small Minutes” in our notebook, and from that moment we were free (for five minutes) to write whatever we could think of. I was a lousy student, school for me was nothing more than a prison, and that was my only moment of freedom. So it was around that age that I suspected that I had no more escape than trying to be a writer. Write to escape, I like that idea.

How and when did you start to write?

The particular thing was that once I finished school and I was free to devote my time to writing, I did not dare to do it. I treated myself as presumptuous, and I said to myself: “Do you pretend to be nothing less than a writer? For that you need a capacity that you do not have.” Apparently so many years of failures in school had undermined my spirits and confidence. A good time later – when I was about 33 years old – I asked myself again what I wanted to do in life. And the answer was the same as my childhood: “I want to write.”

How was your career so far?

Although in 2010 I won a literary prize in Spain, I could say that it all started when my novel Triptych of Abandonment (Tríptico del Desamparo) won the International Novel Biennial “José Eustasio Rivera” in 2012. That prize allowed me to publish that novel both in Colombia and in Spain. And that book luckily does not leave me, because last year it was also published in Argentina by the hand of a very beautiful publisher, Odelia Editora. In 2016 an editorial in Madrid published another novel called The Spilled Hours (Las Horas Derramadas). 
I am also a correspondent in Buenos Aires of the magazine Libros & Letras from Bogotá, where I have a series of interviews with writers, editors and booksellers. And then, a book entitled “A coffee in Buenos Aires” (Un café en Buenos Aires), which compiles 25 of these interviews, was published by the UNAULA Editorial Fund in Colombia. I also have two other unpublished novels that will surely come to light soon, we’ll see in which country.

What would you say is your place in the world?

I guess the bars of Buenos Aires. This city has a great point in favor: it is full of bars and bookstores, in Buenos Aires nobody is more than a hundred meters from a bar, and that for those who write is invaluable.

What do you want to do that you have not done until now?

A great plan would be to go on tour around the world with Paul McCartney, but I sense that you ask me about the literary, so… I would like to be a better writer. What do I mean by “being a better writer”? Among a thousand other reasons, I write to understand myself, to understand my fears and my doubts, and that looking inward is not always easy. To swim in such deep pools requires a quota of time and courage with which I do not always count. And when it comes to publishing, I would like my books to reach countries that have not yet arrived.

I will borrow one of your questions of the book “A coffee in Buenos Aires”: if you had the chance to have coffee with anyone in this world, who would you choose and why?

When I was a kid, I used to go to a typical Buenos Aires cafe, “La Richmond”, with my father.
 We had tea with my father at that place, and more than once my father pointed me at an old man who was having tea in a table nearby, who was the best writer in this part of the world. He was Jorge Luis Borges. For me, a 6 year old kid, he was just an old man, I was more interested in my chocolate beverage. 
When I remember that, I wish I could have been there as a grown up man, to be able to say: Sir, I´m trying to be a writer. Can I sit with you for just a minute?
 To me, Borges is too perfect, too complex and too deep. When you read him, you can´t compete.

And where would where would you like to go if you could choose another place and time?

To 1955 in Buenos Aires, for example. All of the answers are back. The answers to everything. I always feel “out of place”.

Sometimes Pablo feels he should be somewhere else. Writing allows him that possibility, and his characters are always wandering and travelling back and forth, mainly in time labyrinths. “Literature allows you to play with time, he says, you turn at the time into an elastic element. You can stretch and shrink to your liking”.

In his work, time appears to be the great monster, the main character. It is through time that people navigate, sometimes in circles, sometimes jumping or just sinking in big holes. Time is the unresolved mistery and its also the answer to everything.
Going back in time, real or imaginary, is when we all, as readers, understand the process of each plot. But at the same time, he keeps us wondering about our own lives, our present, past and future, as if the stories were a mirror for us to look, and look again.

Text: Gisella Lifchitz

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