Interview with Wilson Rogelio Enciso
By María Beatriz Muñoz Ruiz
Today I am going to introduce you to a great writer who, due to lack of time, as happens to many people, had to postpone his lyrics, but despite having started in this literary world somewhat late, his work is so extensive and impeccable that no one would notice this minute detail.
The success of his works has no secrets, since whoever reads only one of them can enjoy an entertaining novel, but at the same time critical and social. One of those novels that not only amuse you, they also make you think and learn.
Now we are going to learn more about this great writer and get more into his literary and personal world:
1. At what point in your life did you decide that you wanted to enter the literary world?
Thank you for this great opportunity, María Beatriz, it is a pleasure to be your guest. Warm and literary greetings to your vast audience and readers on five continents.
There were two crucial moments. The first, when, over there in my soul Chaguaní my love for reading took hold of me … I was, perhaps, less than ten years old and the first novel I read fell into my hand: ‘The twenty-fifth hour’.
From then on, but especially in Bogotá years later, I discovered libraries and, of course, books. Around fourteen I began to scribble short stories and prose poems, which I baptized: Romantic Narrations.
At 17 I finished the first novel. This and many other writings were lost from fretting to fretting. But I kept writing and since then I haven’t stopped.
The second moment was when in 2015 I was notified that one of my works was a finalist in the IV International Latin Contact Novel Contest, in the United States. It was ‘De mala prosapia’, the initial title of ‘The illuminated death of Marco Aurelio Mancipe’, as we finally agreed with the publisher that it would thus come to light.
In this way I peered into the literary world. He was, by then, 57 years old.
2. What literary genre is your favorite as a writer? Which author has marked the literary genre that defines you?
I am self-taught in writing and literature, so there is very little and nothing that I dominate over these academic issues. I define my works as follows: novels as social fiction, I refer to my stories as imperfect subcontinental stories and prose poems as romantic narratives.
There are quite a few universal writers who speak in my ear. For example, in my prose poems, that is, the romantic narratives, and just to mention one, my idol, is Pablo Neruda. In the narrative, without a doubt, of some thirty of my favorite authors that I could cite, there are the first ones that I discovered in the libraries of the Council and the Luis Ángel Arango in Bogotá: Gabriel García Márquez, William Shakespeare, Alejandro Dumas, Fiódor Mijáilovich Dostoyevski, Nikolái Gógol, Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra …
3. You have recently published with the Ayame Editorial your work Matarratón, tell us about your work, tell us what your argument is and how it came about.
This December 4, 2021 Ayame Editorial and the young Nicaraguan poet Carlos Jarquín did me the immense honor of presenting internationally via Zoom my fifth published novel: ‘Matarratón’. It was a moving event that managed to wet my mind, not only because of the quality of the attendees, but also because of what they said and the topics that were discussed there.
‘Marathon’ is part of a saga of social fiction novels about a country that had everything … except national love. In this, Carlos Alfredo Pataquiva faces, without looking for him, much less wanting him, the most perverse and powerful of the masters of that subcontinental country, Senator David Túnez Congótez, better known as the Old Montesiano Tiger, because of his accurate claws. and criminals against whatever, as long as they keep everything.
The novel portrays Concordia, la grande, a subcontinental country located in the Tropics, during the last decade of the 20th century, that of national ignominy. In addition to the photograph, whose background is magenta, in this the reader, when holding it in their hands and opening and turning its pages, will perceive a smell: that of the green leaves of the mouse killer when they are burned at sunset to drive away mosquitoes, like this like that of the entrails of the bocachico freshly caught in the Revueltas river. Also, as you advance in the plot, your taste buds will be soaked in the juice of the slice stirred with absinthe when you drink it on an empty stomach and you will perceive, in the background, a mixture of rhythms between the joint, the puya, the fandango and the mapalé.
This novel, like almost all my works, arise from the observation and experience of Latin American sociopolitical events. They are stories made up of two atoms of reality and one of fantasy, which I call social nostalgia.
4. If you had to define yourself with three words, what would they be?
Unrepentant social storyteller.
5. In all my interviews I ask my star question, a question that I always ask because of the original answers that the interviewees give me, so… If you could give Wilson Rogelio Enciso some advice from the past when he started in this literary world, what would it be?
There would be two answers, one for each crucial moment in the literary life of Wilson Rogelio.
For the child in his bucolic Chaguaní when he discovered literature: “Young man, never stop reading, because there is a universe of letters that, without leaving your refuge, wherever you are, the books will lead you to it. Then, you will come across magical worlds that will mark and guide your life ”. From here my initiative ‘A novel for each school’ was born, whose main objective is to bring literature to wherever there are possible readers, especially young people.
For Wilson Rogelio at 57, when he was a finalist in that international competition: “Look, man, from now on don’t stop publishing that pile of works that you have ready, whatever, even if you don’t receive a peso for it, because you write is to be read and time is running out. Nor, to write until when the sun sets on Loma Gorda, the girlfriend of Cerro Con Oro, because you still have so much to tell ”. These are two landforms from one of my novels: ‘The cold of oblivion’ and from several imperfect subcontinental stories.
6. If you could meet a writer alive or dead, who would it be and why?
To Pablo Neruda, not only to congratulate him on his work and shake his hand, but to thank him for the influence that he carries in my veins.
7. Marathon is not your only work, tell us about the others.
I will try to quote from each of my works a phrase that identifies it.
From the published novels:
to. With an uncertain course: History of how poverty, especially rural poverty, affects a person’s life from childhood to adulthood, therefore, society in general.
b. The cold of oblivion: That was a society that, having everything, lacked everything, perhaps because it was condemned to repeat its sad history.
c. The enlightened death of Marco Aurelio Mancipe: “Idalia, I fulfilled everything … the only thing I needed was to make you happy”, a phrase that marks the beginning of the family, economic, political and criminal disaster of that powerful and feared gamonal.
d. Sick of the soul: When the economic ambition of a few is imposed on the most felt need of a society: health.
Now, for some unpublished novels, without titles, because they could change during the editorial process:
to. No one can be forced to be happy, not unhappy either. This is carried inside and no one can steal it from us, nor impose it.
b. I really do not understand the strange behavior of the big people … It scares me to think about becoming an adult.
c. Cipriano had no eagerness, nor did he forget. He was moved by revenge, characterized by his astonishing coldness in everything he thought, did and said.
d. Three old men, with the weight of their stories on their backs, decide to mount an inhospitable rock to try to forget the world that hit them viciously. However, there was no shortage of those who made them a reason to die.
and. High school seniors describe the ambiguous and hypocritical world around them. It would cost six their lives, another the way to emerge and complicate it for others.
F. That writer who only wanted to leave the city to breathe the pristine air of rurality, on his journey he came across mythological stories that impacted his prose and life.
g. They never imagined (nor knew) that their success with the women of their crazy youth during the seventies, when they reached the portal of goodbye, would mark their final path.
h. Despite the fact that the social criminal deserves death or misfortune, or together, when any of this happens only makes his replacement worse and more cruel than that.
From imperfect subcontinental accounts it would be endless to quote even a word. There are about one hundred writings, of which almost sixty have been published. Perhaps this sums them up: From what little I understand has to do with the unreason of the human being, capable of spitting fire on his fellow human beings and bringing destruction to any part of the fragile house that he has temporarily, on loan! , in the universal plain.
From the romantic narratives, from the published compilation, “I loved in silence, and in silence I die”: It is a hymn to ungrateful love, a farewell to youth and a languid greeting to old age. Of which is in process: Feelings, mere feelings and memories of youth with experiences of adulthood.
8. If you were one of your books, which one would you identify with the most?
Each of my works has something of me, they all carry my DNA. They are my literary children. Therefore, trying to prefer one of them is something like when parents are asked which child is the best.
Of those published, perhaps, ‘The cold of oblivion’. Of the unpublished, suddenly that of the three old men that I mentioned to answer the previous question.
9. How do you see the literary world in Colombia?
Like almost any country, I imagine! There are two underworlds. A very small one, but one that is aligned with the circumstances of time, manner and place. That is to say, that of the authors who somehow appear in showcases and to whom films and documentaries are made. The other is the great underworld, that of the uncomfortable invisible.
This as for the writers.
As for the readers, as I once wrote an article, they seem to be an endangered species.
10. Can you tell us about your future projects?
As for writing, I have a literary commitment to publish an imperfect subcontinental story each month. These appear in the Magazine NC Latina and in my networks. Also, there are two novels in development, three in design, and a second compilation of romance narratives in progress.
During 2022 I have a commitment to publish the sixth novel. This is about “That writer who only wanted to leave the city to breathe the pristine air of rurality, but who on his journey came across mythological stories that impacted his prose and life.” This is due out in the first quarter of next year. By the middle of the year, perhaps, I will publish the first compilation of subcontinental imperfect stories. By the end of the year, perhaps, the seventh novel will come out.
All this, of course, except for the sixth novel that has a contract, will depend on whether or not a publisher or person with a serious proposal appears to take charge of the editing, publication, marketing and distribution process of all my unpublished work. Otherwise, I will continue to write and publish at my pensioner pace and wallet capacity until the deer sun sets over Loma Gorda. Moment from which, then, I hope so! The Guardians of my grandfather’s literary treasures, that is, my grandchildren, jump to the stage to do what I cannot do for me.
11. If you were told that 2022 is going to grant you a wish, what would it be?
Some literary recognition, to which, from now on, I would be inviting you to join me, cover and spread the event.
12. One of your works is entitled The cold of oblivion, do you think the publishing world is cold and easily forgets or do you think that each work is immortal despite the cold?
This novel, ‘The cold of oblivion’, which itself is two in one, covers the history of that country from 1886 to 2007 and by premonition three more times this period into the future. Its title, in short, and as you say by taking it to the publishing world, refers to that behavior, so sadly of human beings, of just living in the moment, forgetting the past and ignoring the future. Which is why, perhaps, not only the Mencino society, that of this novel, but the entire humanity is condemned to repeat one, and another, and another, and again its calamitous history.