Kundera and La Jiribilla

When I was in primary school I liked to write (the famous compositions) and reading and writing came easy to me.  Later, in pre-university, I was seduced by technology, the electronics, the telex (telecommunications) and thus I entered into the world of computers and I’ve never left it.  I believe that, like we all carry a Nicanor inside (Frank Delgado dixit),* I carry a writer inside (OK, maybe a scribbler, no?). The world changed for me after reading Kundera, and has never been the same.   And I owe it all to La Jiribilla.*  I don’t recall the details now, but some two/three years ago I read an article where, in passing, the author was wondering whether Kundera was really that good a writer, or if he only knew how to take advantage of the 20th anniversary of ‘68 or something like that.  Then, provoked, I decided to read him, I found him and I read him.  I can say convincingly that Kundera is a GREAT writer and that many of the things they write in La Jiribilla don’t deserve to be given much credit.  I, at least, know it.

Translator’s notes:

Nicanor, the personification of the ‘grey bureaucrat/company man,’ is the title character of a song by Frank Delgado; the lyrics can be found on line.  [‘Dixit’ is Latin for ‘he said’, which I clarify here not to insult the reader’s intelligence, but because when reading works in translation it can be confusing which words are Spanish, which are English and which are something else.]

La Jiribilla is a weekly magazine of Cuban culture.