Santa's Report continued...
Córdoba - December 2, 2010
Image Eliana Gorelick Czenik.
© 2010 Negro&White.
I continue with another little bit, girls. I tell you, Viggo is such a great guy that he said in public that he hadn't brought the big books of Canciones de Invierno because they had some mistakes. The girls from SL who always attend talked to me about the price of the books, given that they asked the people from the organization and they said he would have had to set a very high price, and that didn't sit well with him; that's the truth. People in general were calm. The girls from SL were few and calm; I met one and she introduced me to her friend. There was also one of those women who are always praying in the SL chapel. At the end, she invited him to a celebration there that they're going to have on December 8, but Viggo told her he wouldn't still be here then. I think he said he was going to Spain.
The rest of the people were varied. There were the unbearable rabid fans, but only a few; older people, but I also saw this old bohemian who, it was obvious, didn't go to see Viggo but rather to listen to poetry - how fantastic that seemed to me! There were young people, but very few out of their element. Farol will help me with this; she'll tell you her impressions of the people. There weren't only women; there were a lot of men, even middle-aged ones. It's clear that of course people want to meet him in person, but after Farol took a taxi and I bought a soda because I was dying of thirst because of the heat, I went back to the cultural center and there were still people in the line to have books autographed and from what they told me almost everything was sold, including Kejner's, which will have pleased him very much. Later I'll continue with the event itself.
[...] The event started 45 minutes later than intended. When they entered, Viggo, Kejner and Gustavo López, well, the photographers setting off loads of flashes and also people with their cameras. He allowed them to take some pictures and then he told the photographers, cameramen and journalists to move, please, that they were to read poetry. They kept setting off their flashes when they started the reading and, well, Viggo got fed up and said enough, that it was very annoying to read with the flashes. Then the decibels turned down a lot. There were some babies crying behind us, but, oh, well! Those women wanted their babies to have their picture with Viggo for posterity, and it's understandable, so they held till the end and the poor things cried a lot because of the heat and probably they were hungry - I saw when they had their picture taken with Viggo; he is very tender with babies which is logical.
First, Gustavo López spoke briefly. I will tell you he is a man "muy guapo" [very handsome], as you Spaniards say, although he is a bit short for my taste. Viggo had to start and, well, you could feel he was nervous. I think he read, I'm not too sure of the order, La Cuesta [Hillside]. Short things, nervous, he was drinking lots of water; it seems he was feeling the heat. He was wearing a long- sleeved shirt (obviously - he was coming from the cold and he had not been aware of how hot it was in there), and it's evident that, because of his modesty he felt uncomfortable reading his own things. Talo is an elderly man and it shows on his face; he has the marks of deep suffering. (When I was close to him, I could see it in his eyes). He had to exile himself during the dictatorship and that struck deeply into him and into his poetry. Talo didn't want to read; it seems he is a very shy man and says he reads badly. So he brought a writer, I think Farol remembers her name, to read instead of him. That woman read several poems by Talo, very tough, even bitter. She is an excellent poetry reader. Viggo was already more easy and relaxed. He said it was the first time he was reading in Spanish and that's why he was so nervous. He's always read in English before. He read something from Talo, all short things. He asked Talo to read something of his and finally the man agreed and read Viggo's Te Veo, which is beautiful. At some point, Viggo read Te Doy; he read it fantastically.Then he was completely comfortable and at ease. Later on, so great, Viggo also read Sonata en fa menor de Scriabin, para Sabina Spielrein. Almost towards the end he read, with great feeling, Pastoral. He would read a little and then the writer from Córdoba would read a little more of Talo's poetry. Everything beautiful.
I was left with the idea that in these readings he puts himself in order in the chaos. And why do I say that? Because he searched and searched in the books to see what he would read and what this would generate in people. He was looking for improvisation, the unexpected, something characteristic of the true artist. Nothing pre-established, what happens in the moment and the emotions generated between the audience listening and the poet reading, a true emotional interchange. And there I understood a bit why he is such a great actor.
At one point, I turned around and I said to Farol (she was sitting in the row behind me),"This man is unpredictable, even chaotic, but... he comes out whole through all this chaos he himself causes." I think it's the spark that lights the artistic creation. A man with an utterly open mind and soul, trying to make all this reach the other. For me, a fantastic experience!!!!. Everything I'm saying is subjective, but wanting to or not, at least for me, he opened a world I don't enter, which is the emotional interchange through the reading of poetry. I'm a very organized woman because of my education and my job and this is truly something new to me and that's why I said that now I understand him a little more.
And it´s true that when we allow emotions to flow life is much better!!! That's why I told Farol he is unpredictable and chaotic, because I like that kind of person.
But, honestly, it was therapeutic for me to be there last night and share with all of them and with the people. Well, today I don't have a crick in my neck, so I´ll have to be attended to more often by Dr. Viggo.
[....] I'll tell you very quickly that he explained that Talo is really a civil engineer and he wrote all the time, from a very young age. Nobody ever published a single poem. He owned an important construction company in Cordoba. He was accused of financing a revolutionary group (ERP) and had to go into exile, and there his suffering began. Talo's son worked in marketing on The Lord of the Rings, and being Argentinian, began to connect with Viggo. They did the promotion of the movie in Latin America. Then Talo's son told him about his father's poems and so they kept in touch. Viggo said that from the start, the rawness, the truthfulness of this man's poetry had a profound impact on him. Some poems talk about old age with all its miseries and illnesses, without half measures. Viggo told us that we should read the book carefully because it talks about love in different stages of life, when you're young, "how love is at 50", which interests him very much, how it continues in your 60s and 70s, and his poetry seemed very truthful, stark. He couldn't find the right words and then he looked for a poem and read it... This book is truly marvelous!!! He said that poetry is for reading, not explaining!!! THOSE WHO LIKE PLASTIC SURGERY SHOULD ABSTAIN FROM VIGGO. At one point talking about Talo's poetry, he said that it doesn't have anything to do with current culture, where you have to be eternally young, where old age is not accepted. People have plastic surgery, they put plastic in themselves and he sketched a woman's breasts with his hands. "To me, they're sick!!!!" said Viggo!!!! And I agree!!!!! You can see why I adore Viggo!!!! It's unprecedented that an actor would say something like this!!!!
That's why he fell in love with Talo's poetry, for its rawness, because it talks about life, about death, about love but for real and about the decline of the body just the way it happens, because you have to accept that as well, Viggo said!!!! A luxury that this man actually speaks our language. Now I remember that at one point talking about language and his way of speaking Spanish, remembering his childhood again, he said that in Spain, they'd "**** up his language." Then he was sorry and asked the Spaniard from the cultural center who was sitting next to him to forgive him and the man laughed and let him know he didn't have any problem with what he had said. He says that in Spain they tell him,"You don't have to say this or that thing; you have to say..." and then pitching his voice like a woman said, "good-looking, beautiful, beautiful". Who will be the lucky woman to whom he says, when he looks at her, "beautiful"?