César Vallejo #13 – Tell Me How You Write And I Will Tell You What You Write

TELL ME HOW YOU WRITE AND I WILL TELL YOU WHAT YOU WRITE

Technique does not lend itself much, as a simple view might suggest, to falsification or simulations. Technique, in politics and art alike, denounces better than all the programs and manifestos the true sensibility of a man. There is no document more convincing or data more authentic of our sensibility, than our own technique. The original schism of Russian social-democracy between Bolsheviks and Mensheviks was produced by nothing less than a discrepancy of revolutionary technique. “But we don’t disagree except on the technique,” the Mensheviks argued to Lenin, in 1903, and he replied: “Yes. But, precisely, technique is everything.”

There are artists who call themselves Surrealists and would like to practice the aesthetic of Breton, but his sculpture, his drawing or his literature denounces, by means of its technique—a complex display of profound personal and social factors—a sensibility that is, let’s say, impressionist or cubist of simply pompier.

Many believe that technique is the refuge for the trick or for the simulation of a personality. It seems to me, on the contrary, that it always undresses what, in reality, we are and where we’re going, though contradicting the false pretenses and the external parvenu cerebrations with which we’d like to dress up and be seen.

DIME CÓMO ESCRIBES Y TE DIRÉ LO QUE ESCRIBES [1]

La técnica no se presta mucho, como a la simple vista podría creerse, a falsificaciones ni a simulaciones. La técnica, en política como en arte, denuncia mejor que todos los programas y manifiestos la verdadera sensibilidad de un hombre. No hay documento más fehaciente ni dato más auténtico de nuestra sensibilidad, como nuestra propia técnica. El cisma original de la social-democracia rusa en bolcheviques y mencheviques se produjo nada menos que por una discrepancia de técnica revolucionaria. «Si no discrepamos sino en la técnica», le argumentaban los mencheviques a Lenin, en 1903, y éste le respondía: «Sí. Pero, justamente, la técnica es todo».

Hay artistas que se inscriben como surrealistas y quisieran practicar la estética de Breton, pero su escultura, su dibujo o su literatura denuncia, por su clase de técnica— complejo concurso de profundos factores personales y sociales —una sensibilidad, pongamos por caso, impresionista o cubista o simplemente pompier.

Creen muchos que la técnica es un refugio para el truco o para la simulación de una personalidad. A mí me parece que, al contrario, ella pone siempre al desnudo lo que, en realidad, somos y adónde vamos, aún contradiciendo lo propósitos postizos y las externas y advenedizas cerebraciones con que quisiéramos vestirnos y aparecer.

1. Taken from El Arte y la Revolución, in Ensayos y Reportajes Completos, Ed. Miguel de Priego, Pontifícia Universidad Católitca del Perú: Lima. Pages 412.

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