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Saturday, March 25, 2023

Inspiration or illusion factor?

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Eugenia Gallardo
Eugenia Gallardo
Literariamente Eugenia se define como hija de Asturias y Cervantes; prima de Monterroso y Batres Montúfar; amiga de Yourcenar y Christie. Su obra ha sido traducida al italiano y francés, e incluida en antologías. Publica poco y escribe mucho; la crítica ha sido generosa con los frutos de su inventiva. En 2020 y 2021 fue nominada al Premio Nacional de Literatura. Floreció en dos hijas y dos nietas. Casada de dos hervores, hoy es soltera empedernida. Creció en Cobán, Huehuetenango y la Ciudad de Guatemala. Entre aventuras y exilios ha vivido en Nueva Orleans, Sao Paulo, Atlanta, Carolina del Norte, Londres, Madrid y Costa Rica. Es Máster en Ciencias en Economía de América Latina (Universidad de Londres). Como economista política se ha dedicado principalmente a la investigación social. Escritora, dramaturga, actriz y artista plástica, su principal motivación es la creatividad y la experimentación.

Inspiration is talked over and over again. What if it’s a crush, like Cupid’s. What if it is a flash, some muses, some magicians, a miracle, a door, an ancestor, a mischievous spirit that suddenly opens the way for us to a beautiful text or gives us a key or a map or a compass towards a subject that lends itself to our literary adventures. In the context of writing our story, that inspiration would tell us where to start or which characters are key or which places to recreate or what treasure is in our memory that serves as the foundation for the narrative. Inspiration is that varied. It is revealed in a different disguise and its enormous importance cannot be denied. In my case, I feel it as a push, a mandate, a sudden clarity that I don’t know (nor do I want to know) where it comes from. I just thank her and obey.
However, in my experience as a writer, I have discovered something as important as inspiration. I call it “the illusion factor”. Inspiration is the beginning: compulsively continuing to write until finishing a piece must be attributed to the illusion factor. As the text progresses, one wants to know what happens if he takes this or that path. If it introduces a dialogue or a digression, if it rearranges some paragraphs. The illusion factor is like a shot of adrenaline. In addition to speeding up the process, it begins to establish an emotional relationship between the writer and the material they produce. The illusion factor is the path (traveled with enthusiasm) and it is also the vision of the final piece. I want to complete my narrative piece because the illusion factor wants to know how it turns out. He wants the satisfaction of a duty accomplished, a duty well accomplished. And I think that the illusion factor is in almost all undertakings that require our dedication, patience and excellence. The cook does not mind spending hours finely chopping, monitoring cooking, stirring sauces, checking seasonings, etc. because it maintains and stimulates the illusion factor of seeing their finished food and trying their delicacies and enjoying the delighted expression of their diners. This is exactly how the illusion factor works in literature and that explains the hours we spend in silence dealing with letters, words, meanings, structures that aesthetically express our emotions and thoughts. The illusion factor: our friend and companion who deserves a place in paradise next to inspiration. Hand in hand with her.

Eugenia Gallardo
February 20, 2023
Raleigh, N.C.


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