Rudolfo Anaya (born October 30, 1937) is an American author who is considered one of the founders of the canon of contemporary Chicano literature.

QuotesEdit

  • My parents, uncles, aunts, they always talked about what they were doing, where they were working, what happened that day. Sooner or later, they’d be telling a story from the old days,” he recalls. “We were very poor, but proud of the hard work that provided what we had.
  • I remember the birds and the animals and going down to the river with my dog to play…My grandparents and uncles who farmed in Puerto de Luna were so beautiful, I wanted to keep them around, to contain them.
  • The heart of New Mexico is, for me, the people, la gente—los compadres, las comadres, los tíos, las tías, los vecinos…It’s the connection and the understanding between my Indo-Hispano cultures. If people don’t make that connection, they don’t understand New Mexico.
  • Dreams are important. They are messengers…Characters have appeared to me. They say, ‘Here I am. Tell my story.'
  • For me it's always been the visitation of characters. Since I was very young l've thought there is a natural creative spirit, a very romantic spirit, that we have within. That spirit seeks expression. It exists in those of us who want to be writers, or think that we are going to be writers; who want to write poetry, to write stories, to jump into novels. But that spirit, that energy, has to be channeled. I think a great deal of channeling for me has to do with the very strong characters that come to me and demand that their stories be told.
  • I felt something behind me and I turned and there is this old woman dressed in black and she asked me what I am doing. ‘Well, I’m trying to write about my childhood, you know, growing up in that small town.’ And she said, ‘Well, you never will get it right until you put me in it.’ I said, ‘Well, who are you?’ and she said, ‘Ultima.'
  • I think that my early novels certainly contained a great deal of autobiographical material, and drawing in of characters from my childhood. I identify in Bless Me Ultima with Antonio, in Heart of Atzlan with Jason, in Tortuga with Tortuga. I had been in a hospital like Tortuga. I had been in the body cast, I had become the Turtleman and I had to work my way back to being a man. All of that material is autobiographical. By the time I write Alburquerque, I am identifying with Ben Chávez, the writer and narrator of the story. But even in my current work, I identify with Sonny Baca, the private investigator in Zia Summer. It's a profession that l've never been in, that I know very little about, but he's still...Let me put it this way, writing is a way for a writer to give his personal "joumey through life" to the character. And so the character reflects the author.
  • One reason that I wrote Bless Me, Ultima was because, to me, the people I grew up with were so beautiful, I didn’t want them to disappear. I knew a book could be timeless. I knew the characters could be preserved.
    • On what spurred him to write his acclaimed novel Bless Me, Ultima in “THE GODFATHER” in New Mexico Magazine (2017)
  • I think the minority cultural groups in this country have to form part of their identity in confrontation with the mainstream culture. We just can't get away from it. The social and political reality, and elements of bigotry, racism and prejudice are there, and we have to deal with them. I think what Bruce-Novoa may have been alluding to is that we, as Chicanos in the 70s creating the artistic Chicano movement, couldn't stay at that place. There were those of us who had to incorporate that dialectic into our work, but then move into all sorts streams. Our literary characters had a lot of other needs, desires, and passion of life to be lived, besides the confrontation with the Anglo-American mainstream culture.”
    • On a past interview with Bruce-Novoa that pondered if African American and Chicano literature might be compared in “Interview with Rudolfo Anaya” (CARMEN FLYS JUNQUERA, Universidad de Alcalá de Henares)
  • My parents, uncles, aunts, they always talked about what they were doing, where they were working, what happened that day. Sooner or later, they’d be telling a story from the old days,” he recalls. “We were very poor, but proud of the hard work that provided what we had.

External linksEdit

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