Saturday, February 11, 2006

Interview with Carlos Fuentes

Carlos Fuentes, one of Latin America’s foremost novelists, talks to Isabel Hilton about his latest book “The Eagle’s Throne” which explores the nature of power and presidency in a future Mexico.

Isabel Hilton: The Eagle's Throne is an epistolary novel which deals with the drama around the presidency in Mexico. It's a novel which gives rather a bleak view of politics. Now Mexico is in an election year, it's gone through an extraordinary political evolution in the last 10-15 years. Reading The Eagle's Throne, is that really how you see Mexican politics?

Carlos Fuentes: Well this is a satire; it is not a truthful portrait of politics. It is a satire and satires are merciless. They do not pardon anyone. There are no heroes in a satire; you have to demolish them all with wit and poison. In that sense it is a political novel because it does describe what in Mexico, and all over the world, passes as nine tenths of politics. Politics is like an iceberg and you see the tiny white cusp that sticks out in the ocean, and there you find statesmen. Many I like and admire. But the nitty gritty that is under the water is treachery, knives in the back, intrigues of all sort. This is common throughout politics. Someone said once that politics is like a pack of dogs. Only the first dog knows why he barks, the rest just follow him. So this is a satirical novel about politics. It does not pretend to be a truthful portrait about the many levels of politics but a satire of the kind that Jonathan Swift or Evelyn Waugh would have written about their own times.

You can find the full interview here.

Find Carlos Fuentes' Books at

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