Rubi Guerra: “Este libro es más que una biografía” / Raquel González V.

Rubi Guerra: “This book is more than a biography”

The writer Rubi Guerra reveals the life of the poet Ramos Sucre in 110 pages

What would have happened to the writer if he hadn’t suffered from insomnia? Would he have consolidated his figure or would he have remained buried in obscurity? These are some of the questions that emerge upon reading La tarea del testigo, from the winner of the Rufino Blanco Fombona Novella Prize in the year 2006, Rubi Guerra (b. 1958).

The story is divided into 9 chapters and an appendix titled Tres historias perdidas. Each one of these sections recreates, with the help of the imagination, the life of the poet José Antonio Ramos Sucre (1890-1930), a citizen of Cumaná who dedicated his life to the world of letters, until committing suicide with a drug overdose.

“People always think that by glancing through the book they’re gonna find a short narrative of his life. More than a biography what I’m trying to do is show the character’s fragility. A figure inspired in the poet, but not the representation of the actual man,” Guerra expressed.

One of the aspects that stands out the most in the text is the mixture between dreams and reality. In these 110 pages, the author awakens the reader’s curiosity by constantly playing with reality and fiction.

For the writer this interest is due to the enigma surrounding the figure of the man from Cumaná. “He remains very cherished by the public, he wanders between the oneiric and the vigil, between reality and mystery,” said the author of the collection of short stories Un sueño comentado (2004).

This work displays the artist as a witness to the time he was fated to live. A man who through his words told the memories of his own story. Many followers of literature consider this poet to be enigmatic, while for others he represents an irreplaceable reference point.

The text centers around his final stau in Switzerland, the longing for his native land, the anguish produced by insomnia and the need to write and make himself read. Throughout the story, the author leaps between the epistolary genre, fiction and on some occasions draws near to the Gothic novel.

The story that began to move around the author’s mind was crystallized in 2006. “I finished that very year and it ended up winning the prize that hasn’t been convened again after that,” Guerra pointed out.

When asked about the literary scene in Venezuela he emphasized that it’s grown and that there will always be good writers and others that aren’t quite. Additionally, he pointed out that books have increased, but not the quantity of readers.

{ Raquel González V., Tal Cual, 7 March 2013 }

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