94 was traumatic and marked a change of course for Mexico: Monero Patricio

In an interview with SinEmbargo for his first novel, Monero Patricio Ortiz shared how his foray into narrative fiction was with a story about three friends who travel back in time to 1994, a few days before Luis Donaldo Colosio is assassinated.

Mexico City, January 15 (However).– The monero Patricio Ortiz has published his first novel Three friends, a Maserati and the Mayan lords of time (FCE), an uchrony in which he explores a parallel world of the year 1994 in which Lyou want to get Donald Colosio he is saved from being assassinated in Lomas Taurinas.

“(94) was a very traumatic moment for the country. As they say out there, ‘it has been as it has been’ marked a change of course for the country. Who knows if for better or for worse, but that’s how it was”, shared the writer, screenwriter, illustrator and monero in an interview with SinEmbargo when asked about the relevance of this year in the modern history of the country.

In the novel Aristarco, Chuy and Martina, three inseparable friends, travel to Campeche, where by chance they meet a Mayan lord of time and without looking for him they end up in the year 1994, but corresponding to another reality that little by little is revealed in history.

With a scathing style, Patricio punctually describes the ins and outs of Mexican politics and weaves a whole series of intrigues in which his characters are involved and which they solve with an ingenuity that captivates the reader from start to finish.

The author points out that, without a doubt, things would have been different if Colosio had survived and won the 1994 elections, although he points out that for him he would have been “another PRI President” since “his background was for nothing else. However, it would have been different.”

“Colosio also died young. There was no time for him to spoil his career and his legacy, as happens with so many other politicians and national heroes who live to old age and end their own legacy. Perhaps Colosio is mythologized by the fact that he was killed when he was young and that he was the victim of dark powers that do not affect everyone.

Three friends, a Maserati and the Mayan lords of time.

they wronged you It is very easy to put him on the pedestal and make him a statue because he did not have time to do great barbarities either, ”he shared when talking about why the former PRI candidate has been mythologized.

As for whether he will continue delving into the genre of the novel, Patricio shared that he has other projects on the horizon, including a second narrative novel and a series of joint graphic novels “with a very good cartoonist cartoonist friend.”

—You make your debut in narrative fiction with this first novel: Three friends, a Maserati and the Mayan lords of time, before getting into the subject of this fun uchrony, tell me what it was like to take this step from monkeys to narrative fiction.

—Something that is perhaps not so well known, although many people have read me, is that almost since I started publishing cartoons I also began publishing humorous texts. I always really liked writing. He was very influenced by the texts of Woody Allen and some other humor writers; also by Jorge Ibarguengoitia who always loved his novels.

So I started posting. Everywhere he published short stories of absolutely absurd humor. When I was in The chamuco he always published comics or caricatures and also some humorous text. When I was in Millennium —for about seven years— I had a column on Saturdays called “The original fish”, which were always humorous texts.

One of my favorite authors is Paul Auster and I started to publish things that are fiction, but that are written to make the reader believe that they are reality. I have very funny anecdotes with texts that I published and caused a stir at the time. I’ve had that for a long time and I wanted to write a novel. Something had already started, but it just didn’t gel. Suddenly this idea came to me, which is the one in this novel. On a walk the complete idea came to me, I took it down from the cloud and said that it was great to do something.

That was when it occurred to me to start writing a novel and so I did.

without doing too much spoiler, the story you present is as you say “between political fiction and less orthodox scientific fiction”. A story of three inseparable friends — Aristarco, Chuy and Martina — that takes place in 1994 in a parallel world. Why is this year key to understanding the current national events?

—I didn’t choose it for any particular political-historical reason. Even in the same book it is explained that they end up there by accident. It is not that they have decided to save Colosio. That’s what the book is about, says the back cover. They arrive by accident at 94 a few days before the assassination in Lomas Taurinas. They already know what is going to happen and they wonder what to do, if it is worth saving Colosio or not and how they would go about saving him. Then comes the whole story.

There is no particular reason why they ended up on that date, but rather that is how the story came to me at the beginning and I thought it was very funny to put them in that absurd situation in a convulsive moment and great changes, because It was the year of the Zapatistas, of the assassination of Colosio and that marked a very strong moment.

It was a very traumatic moment for the country. As they say out there, ‘it has been as it has been’ marked a change of course for the country. Who knows if for better or for worse, but it was.

—The assassination of Luis Donaldo Colosio was the watershed of our reality? Had you survived the attack, in reality, would things have been different?

—That they would have been different, they would have been different, because Colosio would have been President and who knows what he would have done. I believe, like many others, that he would have been just another PRI president. His background did not give for anything else. However, it would have been different.

What would have happened afterwards? Who knows, but like any historical event, I imagine many of us wonder what would have happened if he hadn’t been killed. The same about what would have happened if the massacre of 1968 had not occurred, if Hernán Cortés had not conquered Tenochtitlan. It is a very fertile material for the imagination because we can imagine anything.

—You lower Colosio from the pedestal and place him among your characters, although you clarify that it is a parallel world. Why do you think that the figure of Colosio is so high up to the present?

—For the same reason that national heroes are usually put on a pedestal: almost all of them were kicked out at an early age. Hidalgo, Morelos, Villa and Zapata died young doing what they were doing. Colosio also died young. There was no time for him to spoil his career and his legacy, as happens with so many other politicians and national heroes who live to old age and end their own legacy.

Perhaps Colosio is mythologized by the fact that he was killed when he was young and that he was the victim of dark powers that offended us all. It’s very easy to put him on the pedestal and make him a statue because he didn’t have time to do great barbarities either.

Who is making a statue of Carlos Salinas right now? Nobody, because we know what he did. The same with Calderón and with almost any other President. But Colosio did not have time to be President and many people can imagine the good things he could have done. It makes me very curious at this moment – I wrote the story because it occurred to me and it was very funny – that now that the book comes out, Colosio’s son begins to be relevant and that he could even be a candidate for the presidency in 2024 It is interesting this curious coincidence.

I will insist on one point. In reality there are few uchronies that have been written in Mexico, recently Omar Nieto published The Secret Game of Moctezuma (Harper Collins), which has a precedent with a story by Héctor Chavarría in the Chronicle of the Great Reformer. Both take place in Pre-Hispanic Mexico, a window in which you have looked out with your collection Mexico before being Mexico (Grijalbo), how did you resist taking your story to 94 and not to that time in which you have focused your studies?

“It’s a curious thing. I go back to Paul Auster, this author I quoted, who said that stories come to people who are ready to tell them. The fact is so. I went for a walk in the garden and in half an hour I had the story from start to finish, with characters, with some important facts of the novel. The story made me laugh a lot. So there was no reflection or debate about where I am going to take them, if I put them in pre-Hispanic Mexico. Since I had all that I started to develop it.

Also something that happened was that this story occurred to me just before I made Mexico before being Mexico, that is, I was studying about the Mayans, who were called the lords of time for their extraordinary ability to handle mathematics and astronomical calculations. I was immersed in that world when I came up with this story. Between one book and another, in the course of making volume II, I thought it was also a good break to let that topic rest for a while and dedicate myself to something else. Now make a fictional story, dedicate myself to narrative, write my first novel and take a break from these other books that, although they are humorous and caricatured, also require more study and are not as playful as the novel. That is the reason.

Is there a character you identify with the most? One of them is from Veracruz like you. Do you have any alter egos?

—The three characters are like an amalgamation of many people, particularly several friends of mine. Physically, I imagine Aristarchus as a friend, but his personality has a bit of mine, but also of several friends together. Chuy is based on a friend named Chuy precisely. But his personality is not exactly the same and some of the stories he tells are stories that friend told me, but they are worked and modified.

Martina’s character is also based on some friends and even on some characters from comic series that I really like. They are an amalgam that I was working on. What took a little more work was separating the characters and giving each one their personality. Chuy and Aristarco suddenly seemed very similar to me and as the pages went by I began to find the personality of each one, and I began to distinguish them. But I think those two characters both have a bit of my own personality.

—Finally, Patricio, will you continue exploring this line of narrative fiction or what next?

—Yes, writing that novel for me was a very pleasant process, incredibly enriching. I could spend an hour talking about everything that happened to me. It was very magical. My beans are burning to start the next novel. I already have the story and the name.

Right now I’m working on another project that is also narrative, but I’m not going to advance anything because I don’t want to spoil it. It’s a project with a very good cartoonist cartoonist friend to make a series of joint graphic novels. I would write and he would draw. After that I start the new novel and start the new volume of Mexico before being Mexico. I just finished the third volume and I’m starting with the fourth. There I am going to combine narrative with my history books, graphic novels and cartoons.

We can’t even go out to the corner, so I start to work. There is no date or deadline to deliver anything. You have to give everything your time. For example, this novel took me about four years to come out: a year of writing, a year of resting, a year of proofreading, a year of editorial process. Volume III of Mexico before being Mexico I’m about to deliver it and that will come out this year. The others, as well as I finish, I will deliver them, but I don’t have any deadline at this time. I hope it’s quick.

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94 was traumatic and marked a change of course for Mexico: Monero Patricio

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