Saturday, June 11, 2005

Hinojosa on Writing

Words of wisdom from El Maestro, Rolando Hinojosa-Smith, taken from his interview in Chicano Detective Fiction by Susan Baker Sotelo:

"Without reading, no writer gets anywhere. Imagination is helpful but it will flag without reading .... At present I go to bed with Cervantes, whom I've read a great number of times, and with Montaigne. If one plans to write, one must be like a shark, which, by the way is what defines a writer: you read everything, and like a shark, you have no natural enemies. When Mexican American students tell me they do not relate to Shakespeare, I tell them they're in trouble, and that their language will be deficient as will be their thinking. Someone may think I'm being hard nosed, but that's what writing is ... tough. It's not for people whose feelings are hurt easily.

Living, observing, listening, undergoing a varied number of experiences, knowing the language, and the language used by the different social classes of this country and any other where one's characters appear and so on is not only important, it is also essential. ... One does not need to take classes in creative writing to be a writer [but one does need models and] Graham Greene would be someone who would be a model for any writer of any type of fiction."