love, ani xo

everything you ever wanted to know about uruguay. right here. right now.

enter your email and subscribe to love, ani xo!

rss feed

Thursday, January 12, 2006

british author martin amis lives in montevideo

if you don't know who martin amis is, read this.

you can read the whole interview here.

RB: How much time do you spend in England?

MA: I live in England.

RB: I know, but how much time do you spend there?

MA: We spend what's changing in our lives is that we are spending more time in Uruguay. My wife is half-Uruguayan.

RB: Are you familiar with the Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano?

MA: No. [Does he live] In Montevideo?

RB: I think so. A wonderful writer. Loves what most of the world calls football, if that means anything to you.

MA: Oh yes and I love football too.

RB: Is Montevideo nice?

MA: It's sort of second world. Not Mercedes and BMWs Ciats and Scottos.

RB: Galeano was mentioned in piece that Lawrence Wechsler wrote in the New Yorker [later becoming the book, A Miracle, A Universe] and he was asked why he lived in Montevideo since he is half-Argentine. Galeano, who is a leftist in the Latin American political spectrum, said, "If I killed in Montevideo people would know it was my enemies, but if I was killed in Buenos Aires people wouldn't know if it was my friends or my enemies."

MA: It's a civil society now with strong traditions, and I have never seen any unpleasantness in the six or seven months that I have spent down there. But I did talk to an Uruguayan novelist and she said Uruguay can't support any writers because the population is small and shrinking. It's the size of England and Scotland and has a population of three million and falling. There is nothing there and all the beef industry is gone and it’s got some wine and that's about it.

RB: No tourism?

MA: The Argies come and have their holidays there, on the cheap. But it suits us and it feels I don't know, your heart lifts when you go there.

RB: And when you touch down at Heathrow?

MA: Horror, yeah.

RB: [laughs]

MA; Coming in through the mist from the train. And you realize that most of the time that you are in London that you are in a state of mild depression. When you go there, you realize that. [pause] Low level, daily depression.

RB: So have you built your house in Montevideo?

MA: Yeah, we are going to hunker down over there.

RB: It’s not even a skip and jump to Buenos Aires, one of the mythical, great cities of the world?

MA: Yeah, it’s a forty-minute flight.

RB: The Argentines seem to be in perpetual tough shit.

MA: Argentina is recovering. Although we went through one day when there was a national strike and just before the [economic] collapse. And Brazil is very volatile and, by the way, there is a huge area of Paraguay and Brazil of Al Queda down there. Whole province of Al Queda.

RB: Ungovernable.

MA: Ungovernable, no go. Meaning no one goes there. But Uruguay is this little jewel of civility even though they suffered when their giant neighbors groan, they groan too. But lots of voluntary stuff, very American like and a unitarian feeling. We got through fine. And unless there is a cataclysm, unless the emigration goes on until there is no one left, it's heaven for us.


Post a Comment

<< Home