I don’t believe in the abolition of genres: Margo Glantz

The essay came before literary fiction to the life of Margo Glantz, if there were marked differences between both forms of writing: a good part of her novels establishes a clear dialogue on some occasions, somewhat veiled on others, which is reflected in the themes and even in the way of telling those stories.

This is shown in the volume Body against body (Sexto Piso / UAM-Cuajimalpa, 2020), whose selection and prologue was commissioned to Ana Negri, which was not easy for the compiler if one takes into account that the essay has been a of the preferred forms on Margo Glantz.

“For many years I have written and published essays, before publishing fiction, although it seems to me that there should be no barriers between essay and creation, they are literary genres. I work very rigorously with my sources when I do essays, at the same time I see that they are very creative essays, as can be seen very clearly in this compilation, where Ana Negri did an extraordinary job of juxtaposition ”.

In an interview with M2, the also university professor acknowledges that, although in the compilation there are essays that apparently have nothing to do with it, Ana Negri’s conjunction totally changes the meaning of each of the essays, « which I think is wonderful, because I have always argued that, in literature, the order of the factors totally alters the product.

“I think the genres are very free and I’ve spent my life trying to prove it, both in my fiction and in my essay. I insist: I don’t want the essays to be different from the creative work and I think that with the publication of several anthologies that have come out, such as Incandescent Matter or Body against Body, it is shown that my essays have a very visceral, very close relationship with Fiction ».

La Malinche, the language or interpreter of Cortés during the conquest of Mexico; Santa, the prostitute protagonist of the novel of the same name by Federico Gamboa, sold in pieces like the meat of cows was sold in butchers; the body of the mutilated in India; that of those murdered and cremated in the extermination camps; that of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, her muses and the Virgin Mary, are just some of the themes that appear in the volume, born in many ways: “Because of my readings, which are very varied, because of my classes at the faculty of Philosophy and Letters, for some requests.

“Despite the fact that many of the essays are from many years ago –there are some very recent–, there is great mobility, a great capacity to revive them, because together they acquire another connotation. For example, in 2019 I published the book of essays The text finds a body, where I put into circulation a series of articles that I had published as a popularization of many writers who have interested me, especially analyzing the role of women in male writing and 17th century female: a very creative book, because at the same time I mix it with essays that are absolutely fictional and that are more or less academic: I don’t find canonical barriers between the genres ”.

Body against body, already armed by Ana Negri, becomes a group of pieces of stone, ceramic or glass to form compositions « whose themes can range from mythology to scenes of everyday life. »



In the works of Margo Glantz there are usually elements typical of the essay, but also of poetry, as in the text Los Niños de Pedro Páramo, whose reading “inspired me to write a kind of poetry only by listing the names with which he baptized his characters ».