Excerpts from an interview w/ Juan Sanchez Pelaez by Miyo Vestrini

"In Elena y los elementos there's a crisp tone that borders certain tragic zones. It's a youthful, desperately romantic book. There's a deliberate desire to name the body. Almost a necessity."

"There's a surrealist tone in my work, especially in my first book. I'm a surrealist even in the strictest sense, since many of my poems are made through automatic writing."

"I lived an initial season in Paris in the worst of financial circumstances. Oswaldo Barreto, when we ran into each other by chance in front of the Luxembourg Gardens, gave me a place to stay in his little apartment as soon as I arrived. But why dwell on poverty? I was in Paris, there were luminous days, and I was among friends!"

"It's difficult for the poet to find his voice within contemporary chaos. There are many obstacles, few elements of inspiration. I believe in the muse and woman has ceased being a muse. In the middle of industrial expansion, man is abandoned. Progress cripples being's intimacy. On the one hand, there are many new editions being published, more support. But the poet assumes that poetry has no audience. The interest in antipoetry grows. I think that poets participate in the contests precisely to see if their voices resonate. Dialogue is lacking, a dialogue that the workshops can't replace. Poetry is a team effort. Lautreamont spoke of this, a poetry made by everyone. In the interior of the country, it's different. There are vigorous, more communicative groups. It's just that Caracas gives so little..."

{Miyo Vestrini, "Juan Sanchez Pelaez: Entre abismos y plenitudes", El Nacional, 1982.}

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