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Culture

The small stories about humans and the technology of Samanta Schweblin

Bogotá / Contemporary literature does not sound mobile, WhatsApps do not arrive and social networks are not used, as if all the authors had agreed to make a deliberate omission of a technology that, according to Samanta Schweblin, “is being a problem for literature.”

 

“I believe that literature is (…) the space by definition where societies think, we prove ourselves, it is a space of reflection and we are clearly not reflecting anything of this hyper-technologized world in which we live, then when going to literature seems strange, strange, “says Schweblin in an interview with Efe.

Samanta Schweblin (Buenos Aires, 1978) breaks that void in Kentukis (Random House), a novel formed by small stories about humans and technology that starts from a sinister point of view, the puppets that give title to the book, a kind of virtual pets controlled by human beings from remote places.

In the novel, the two faces of technology are crossed: from dolls controlled by pedophiles who use them to spy on children, to mothers who care for other people.

“I believe that technology is not good or bad, it is a tool, as a hammer can be (…) In any case what gives that positivity or negativity is that other that is on the other side of the device. that is, you can go to those two opposite ends, “he says.

The writer attributes this growing risk to the lack of protection on the part of the States: “for a long time, companies and States no longer take care of us in any way and these very dangerous corners begin to appear”.

 

Technology in human life

Una mujer revisa su teléfono móvil en la playa de Cabo de Gata en Almería en una jornada marcada por la ola de calor que azota Andalucía. EFE / Carlos Barba

Mujer revisando su teléfono móvil EFE/ Fototeca

Schweblin is surprised that the critics pigeonhole his novel in the genre of science fiction “only because it talks about technology” which, he says, “is very funny and at the same time very worrying”.

Therefore, the “kentukis” are just an excuse for Schweblin to speak of “all the nonsense and behaviors with which we relate in social networks and devices.”

“I think that in ten years the problems are going to be more or less the same, maybe those networks have other names.” The kentuki “allowed me to get rid of that problem and name it all in a different way,” he says.

Essentially, the book is a sample of the extent to which technology conditions human relations, although the writer believes that to find a clear answer to that “I would have to write another book”.

Kentukis was my way of trying to glimpse an answer or think about it. I think technology evidently amplifies a type of communication that is superficial but also very beautiful and very global, “he says.

To build this scenario of remote communications, the author used her own life experience: she has lived outside of her country for seven years and communicates with her family and friends with social networks.

“I do not know if without the social networks and without being able to talk once a week with my friends or my parents, I would have lived outside so much”, he says honestly, although he admits that “it costs so much to generate a more personal contact”.

Although this standardization of social networks generates, for Schweblin, “a number of labels increasingly global, more standardized, more deceitful than we are each of us”.

 

Schweblin, one of the best young writers in the Spanish language

La argentina Samanta Schweblin ha sido la ganadora del IV Premio de Narrativa Breve Ribera del Duero, entre los más de 850 originales presentados, en un evento celebrado hoy en la Casa América donde ha recibico el premio de la mano de Enrique Pascual García (i). EFE/Luca Piergiovanni

La argentina Samanta Schweblin EFE/Fototeca

Winner of innumerable prizes and finalist of the prestigious Man Booker Prize with her novel “Rescue Distance”, Schweblin is considered one of the best young writers in the Spanish language.

The novelist quotes the poet Ann Carson and the short story writer Amy Hempel as the contemporary writers who have most influenced her because they belong to that small group of authors “who get into your writing and change the decisions you make about how to tell a story , beyond what one tells “.

 

(14 de mayo de 2019, EFE/Practica Español)

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(Español) Comprehension

Lee la noticia y responde las preguntas. (Read this piece of news and answer these questions)

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Question 1
Según Samanta Schweblin, ¿Qué ocurre con la literatura contemporánea? (According to Samanta Schweblin, what is happening in contemporary literature?)
A
El tema principal es la tecnología
B
Tiene muchas referencias a la tecnología
C
No tiene referencias a la tecnología
Question 2
Según Samanta Schweblin, la tecnología es... (According to Samanta Schweblin, technology is...)
A
Mala
B
Buena
C
Ni buena ni mala
Question 3
¿Qué muestra esencialmente el libro Kentukis? (What does Kentukis book essentially show?)
A
Que la tecnología la desarrollan los humanos
B
Hasta qué punto la tecnología condiciona las relaciones humanas
C
Que la tecnología no condiciona las relaciones humanas
Question 4
¿Cuánto tiempo lleva Samanta Schweblin viviendo fuera de su país? (How long has it been since Samanta Schweblin doesn't live in ther country?)
A
Siete semanas
B
Siete meses
C
Siete años
Question 5
¿Qué poetisa influye a Samanta Schweblin? (What poet influences Samanta Schweblin?)
A
Amy Hempel
B
Ann Carson
C
Alfonsina Storni
Question 6
¿Qué es un Booktuber según la noticia relacionada en vídeo? (According to the linked piece of news, what is a Booktuber?)
A
Un Youtuber de libros electrónicos
B
Un Youtuber de literatura
C
Un Youtuber de libros de aventuras
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(Español) Vocabulary

Vocabulary

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Question 1
Una acción deliberada, es algo hecho... (A deliberate action, it's something you do...)
A
sin querer
B
inconscientemente
C
a propósito
Question 2
Cuando Samanta Schweblin dice que vivimos en un mundo hipertecnologizado quiere decir que... (When Samanta Schweblin says that we live in a hyper-technologized world it means that...)
A
Usamos muchas tecnologías a veces
B
Utilizamos mucha tecnología todos los días
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No usamos la tecnología frecuentemente
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¿Cuál es el artículo posesivo de la primera persona del singular para el sustantivo herramienta? (Which is the first person singular posesive article that suits the noun herramienta in Spanish?)
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Mis
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Me
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Mi
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Encasillar es sinónimo de... ("Encasillar" is a synonymous for...)
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Dividir
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Diferenciar
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Clasificar
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¿Cuál es la forma masculina del sustantivo poetisa? (What is the masculine form of the noun poetess in Spanish?)
A
Poeto
B
Poeta
C
Poetiso
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