Tributes to Francisco Massiani on his 69th birthday

Photo of Fransisco Massiani from Qué Leer.

Born on 2 April 1944, Francisco ‘Pancho’ Massiani yesterday celebrated his 69th birthday. Best known for his 1968 novel Piedra de mar, which has become a Venezuelan classic and frequently cited influence on subsequent generations of authors, Massiani published his latest work Corsarios in 2011. To mark the occasion, Qué Leer published a selection of articles, including an overview of Massiani’s career and tributes from Luis Yslas and Juan Carlos Méndez Guédez.

In ‘¿Qué importancia tiene para la literatura venezolana Francisco Massiani?’, Yslas writes:

La obra de Massiani es a la literatura venezolana lo que el rock & roll es a la música del siglo XX: un rebelde frescor de alegría y sencillez, de sensualidad y poesía, que ha dejado una estela en la que muchos autores venezolanos aún se reconocen.

Massiani’s work is to Venezuelan literature what rock and roll is to music in the 20th century: a rebellious freshness of joy and simplicity, of sensuality and poetry, in the wake of which many Venezuelan authors still recognise themselves.

As for Méndez Guédez, in ‘Massiani Nuestro’ he argues:

Cierto es que Massiani merece que se le sitúe en un lugar de honor, y no sólo en la narrativa venezolana, sino en la del idioma, pues cuando la novela en español estaba inmersa en el desenfreno por la totalidad, por los grandes relatos genésicos (muchas veces tediosos grandes relatos), él y otros dos autores: Manuel Puig y Bryce Echenique, apostaron por un refrescamiento del género, por una mirada tierna sobre la fragilidad sentimental, sobre los excesos de los discursos amorosos, sobre la visión anti-heroica de personajes que constituían su hondura desde los materiales más manidos y gastados de la cultura popular, pero eso es algo que corresponde realizar a los investigadores de ahora y del futuro.

It’s certain that Massiani deserves the pride of place, not only in Venezuelan literature, but in Spanish-language literature, as when the Spanish-language novel was completely immersed in excess, in genetic grand narratives (often tedious grand narratives), him and two other authors, Manuel Puig and Bryce Echenique, took a gamble on refreshing the genre, with a fresh view on sentimental fragility, on the excesses of amorous discourse, on the anti-heroic vision of characters whose depth comes from the hackneyed and worn materials of popular culture, but that is something for present and future researchers to achieve.

One thought on “Tributes to Francisco Massiani on his 69th birthday

  1. Pingback: Piedra de mar | Venezuelan Literature

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s