A Colloquium on Violence and Literature

Los nueve Mártires son fusilados

Date:       Thursday, October 27, 2005
Time:       3:00 PM
Location: Troy Moore Library
               Georgia State University
               Corner of Decatur St. &
               Peachtree Center Ave.
               (2 blocks from Five Points Station)

List of Panelists:

The Colombian Case: Literature and Bloodshed
By Anabel Torres
“Do as I have done: behead everyone who knows how to read and write, and in this way you will guarantee peace in New Granada” was the enthusiastic recommendation of Spanish general Pablo Morillo to his troops during his rule of terror in the early 19th century. According to Torres, Colombia’s history draws on this tradition of violence against knowledge, in which discrepancy is resolved through the literal elimination of critical thought. Ultimately, nurtured by censorship and torture, this practice has contributed to something dramatically worse: the loss of national memory.

Madness and Inner Freedom in Delirio, by Laura Restrepo
By Álvaro Pineda Botero, EAFIT                                                     (In Spanish, with translation)
Pineda Botero analyzes Delirio (2004), the award-winning novel by Colombian author Laura Restrepo and a shrewd assessment of life in contemporary Colombia. Pineda Botero focuses on inner freedom as a literary theme and resource, amidst the frenzied and chaotic environment surrounding the main characters: a German immigrant at the beginning of the twentieth century, and his granddaughter in the early 1990s.

The Unburied Corpse, A Novel by Arturo Alape: Secrets of Power, Epiphanies of Writing
By Carlos Vásquez Zawadzki, Universidad del Valle                         (In Spanish, with translation)
Carlos Vásquez Zawadzki discusses Arturo Alape’s The Unburied Corpse (2005), the first modern novel to deal critically with the assassination of liberal presidential candidate Jorge Eliécer Gaitán, a populist leader whose death engendered widespread revolt and bloodshed in Colombia in 1948 and spiraled onto the Violencia, a period of violence covering the 1950s and 1960s, and that serves as prelude to the contemporary debacle in Colombian society.

Additional Event Notes

Anabel Torres
Anabel Torres is a Colombian poet. From 1983-1987, Torres was Deputy Director of Colombia’s National Library. She has a B.A. in Modern Languages from the Universidad de Antioquia in Medellín, Colombia, and a Master’s in Women, Gender, Development from the Institute of Social Studies (ISS) in The Hague. She left Colombia in 1987, lived in Holland until 2002, and currently resides in Barcelona, Spain, where she works as translator and writes poetry, fiction, and essays. She has published eight books of poetry, several of which have earned national poetry awards in her native Colombia.

Álvaro Pineda Botero
Álvaro Pineda Botero is a Colombian novelist and literary critic who currently directs the Writer’s Workshop at the Escuela de Administración, Finanzas y Tecnología (EAFIT) in Medellín, Colombia. He has a Ph.D. in Hispanic Languages and Literature from Stony Brook University. In 1983, he won the National Prize of Novel with Trasplante a Nueva York. He has published novels, as well as short story and essay collections. His work has been translated to German.

Carlos Vásquez Zawadzki
Carlos Vásquez Zawadzki is professor of Literature at the Universidad del Valle in Cali, Colombia. He currently teaches at the Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano and the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá. His Master’s and Ph.D. are, respectively, from the Université de Toulouse and the Université de Montaigne in Bordeaux, France. He has published extensively and his work has been translated to English, French, Hebrew, Italian, and Portuguese. He is a co-founder, together with Enrique Buenaventura, of the Theatre Arts Program at the Universidad del Valle.

This event is free and open to the public.
Presentations will be followed by a Q&A session.

For more information, please contact Prof. Héctor Fernández L'Hoeste at 404.651.2265.