What is a "two-shore writer"? Something amphibious moves in that idea, which puts the entire Atlantic as faithful to the balance and invites strangeness. "I was always the weird one," recalls Fernanda García Lao, "the only Mendoza who spoke with z." Emigrated to Spain in 1976, then returned to Argentina, the author of Sulfuro (Candaya) now lives in Barcelona, where she teaches workshops as cosmopolitan as her training, in which the works of Marosa di Giorgio and Leonora Carrington encourage participants to connect with the wildness of writing itself.
The age at which one leaves makes a difference. Andrés Neuman, who emigrated to Spain as a teenager, says that his dialogues with Telmo, his two-year-old son to whom he dedicated Umbilical (Alfaguara), are furrowed with simultaneous translations of the type of: Now we walk along the sidewalk (which in Argentina is called sidewalk), to go to the swings (which there are hammocks) and if we have time we will climb a kite (barrel, in Argentina), okay? (Give it?).
Clara Obligado, exiled from the last dictatorship, has written about this in the beautiful Todo lo que crece (Pages of foam), which records those first linguistic juggling in Madrid, between pots that she calls pots and geraniums that will always be evil.
"Of those who participated in the book, only I returned," says photographer Dani Yako, author of the moving images of exile 1976-1983, an intimate testimony of his foreign season.
"My son doesn't even know I'm Argentine," jokes Mariano Peyrou (Buenos Aires, 1971), whom exile transplanted at 5, who participated for the first time in the recent Buenos Aires Book Fair, where he presented his novel Lo de dentro fuera (Sexto Piso).
Born in Madrid since childhood, Peyrou reread all his poetic work to compose a diamond anthology in its hardness and edge, which has just been published by Espasa in Spain. The hospital sea is the airport sea recreates his exile, but except for two or three poems that expressly speak of forced uprooting, the others seem to have been written by the author forbidding himself to name him (as Perec did with the letter e in The kidnapping), something that, paradoxically, reinforces its gravity in verses such as "I have / exactly more but it is far away".
In a country that has self-inflicted coups d'état since 1930 and cyclical crises since the democracy recovered in 1983, being outside, at a distance, is one of the many possible ways to be an Argentine writer. Part of Argentinidad is expressed in that wandering without cutting ties and always longing for some form of return.