José Narosky, the king of aphorism

For Mariano cerrato

Popularly regarded as « the king of short thinking », Jose Narosky is modest and does not believe that this nickname corresponds to him, and actually considers himself a person who was « lucky ». However, it does not deny its status as a reference for the writing of the genre of aphorisms in Argentina, with a dozen published books and more than 3000 aphorisms within them, which had such a level of success in our country that they were worth the sale of about two million copies.

« The writer does not choose the genre, but the genre chooses him, » Narosky emphasizes in dialogue with « Chronicle », who explained his bases to be who he is in his profession, the topics that arouse interest, its origins, its relationship with the media and the way it carries out its writing process.

His origins

Son of a Lithuanian father and a Ukrainian mother, José spent his childhood in a nomadic way, raised in the lands of La Pampa, then in Bahía Blanca and finally settled to the south of the Buenos Aires suburbs in the towns of Lanús and Adrogué.

As he explains, his mother was a person « who read a lot, especially books in French » something that motivated him to start reading from a young age. Although, in reality, the one who sowed his passion for aphorisms, without looking for it, was his father. “My father smoked cigarettes in La Pampa and inside the bundle there was a piece of cardboard and underneath there was an aphorism. I used to put them together since I was 7 years old, I felt an attraction for those short phrases ”, Narosky explained.

Smiling, in the library of his house.

Raised in a home where he maintains that « nothing was ever left over », makes an assessment of the place where he grew up as a source of motivation to become who he is.

“I believe that the person who grows up in a place where nothing is missing does not learn many things because he does not need it, I was lucky to be rather humble and that made me read, learn more, have had pasture, and not to play football where I am bad. Because some kids don’t know what scarcity is ”, he remarks.

After finishing his studies in high school, Narosky decided to study Law at the National University of La Plata (UNLP) and it was received at the age of 30, to later set up its successful notary in the town of Lanús.

“I wanted to study Literature but I didn’t because I was a very obedient son and Mom didn’t see much of a future for me with that career. I never felt it was a profession at the clerk’s office, ”he explains.

The approach to aphorism

It would be only at 45 years of age that Narosky would have his approach to the possibility of writing, from his entry into the media, which was through a client.

« One of the people I had as a client at the clerk’s office was the manager of Channel 7 and he told me to go to a casting for a film series, in which I stayed, » explains the writer, who he gave « a chocolate » to the person who interviewed him, something he believes was essential to enter « with the right foot ». Hence, the possibility of being able to write aphorisms and have them published was facilitated.

José’s parents, León and Sofía.

« In the first publishing house in which I published my first book ‘Si todos los hombres’ (1975) Narosky pointed out that the publisher told him about the book: « That you are in the media is going to be sold » so they agreed to publish it.

“I started with a small publishing house. I went one noon and they told me you can come back at 5 in the afternoon. I had a column on TV called if all men, I would come back at 17 and tell me you are going to make 4 thousand copies. They told me that by going out twice a week on Channel 7 that helped him in the sale, ”Narosky said.

His path in the media did not go unnoticed and consisted of large participations, as in television programs «Our values» and «Sobremesa con Crespi», in which he shared the program with the writer Arturo Jauretche.

While on radio did the program «Human brush strokes» on Radio Splendid and the radio drama «La Piel de Buenos Aires» (under the pseudonym Hugo Nardi) with Irma Roy.

Writing process

“I do not seek to write aphorisms. If they don’t come to me alone, I don’t write. When they come, they come alone, linked with some life experience. Love, friendship, pain, understanding, writers, the chosen ones, come alone and in the form of aphorisms « Narosky argues on the way he carries out his writing process.