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Eduardo Galeano: The Hunter of Short Story

Nadia Hannawi

      The short story captured many writers who were dazzled by its trans literary genre capabilities, first on the novel, the prose poem and the essay, and secondly on other forms of narration such as the very short story, the flash poem, the haiku, etc., and thirdly on patterns such as dialogue, drama, news, scene and techniques starting from intertextuality and ending with irony and monologue. .

All this may be important in giving the short story a distinction over other narrative genres, but there are features related to its transient form, which can intensify to a great degree, but with all this condensation, it remains for its independent form, capable of being more contained and at the same time asymmetry with any written form.

 On the one hand, it is prepared to digest other literary templates and formulas, and on the other hand, it deceives the reader with its shortness and also falters in the extension of its themes that follow quickly, not to end but to begin again.

The paradox of the short story in that, it combines shortness and written extension, may be similar to life itself in the movement of its daily temporality and the infinity of the periodicity of this daily movement, and then the short story becomes the type of life in its past and present, and the historicity of anticipating what is coming in the future as well.

The Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano is at the forefront of narrative writers, not because he belongs to a continent known for most of its writers with great and original talents, but also for his uniqueness in keeping pace with the historical stage that is teeming with many cosmic and tragic changes.

There is no doubt that his original talent is what made him not afraid of any experiment, so his soul was constantly searching for what was innovative, whether this innovator was formal, objective, or both together.

The short story would have been so important to Galeano only because it is the most capable of embodying his great obsession with history as a dynamic engine that provides stories with permanence.

The short story has characteristics, the most important of which is the reductionism in which this story builds its template, which makes other literary genres fall within its limits without the reader feeling it, so it deceives him by the formality of its shortness, but it pretends with the extension of its themes that follow quickly, not to end but to begin.

Because of this similarity between the short story wrapping its reader and the periodicity of life in its existence, the short story becomes life in its present history and in its foreseeable present for its coming. Manipulating time in his own way, Galliano says in his book (The Hunter of Stories): “I had no luck getting to know Scheherazade. I did not learn the art of storytelling in the Baghdad Palace ..The unknown storytellers taught me..I was a very bad history student, but I discovered in cafes that the past can be present and that memory can be told.” In a way that you don’t come back with her yesterday to turn into now.”

Writing, according to Galliano, is experimentation, and experimentation is writing, and this is what makes him an eccentric writer who overlooks the world through a keyhole, writes the past with a vision of the present, and builds the novel out of the short story. It is undoubtedly difficult to write that easily.” He explained: “”My dreams in general are so ordinary and modest that they cannot be revealed, delayed flights, bureaucratic transactions, cities I do not know, falling from the tenth floor”.

Galeano tried to make the past and the present available for experimentation, with which there is no longer any temporal difficulty at all. Galeano’s experiments with formulas and forms are evidence that his consciousness is directed towards complex areas. He tried to dismantle their problems, delving into human history in general and the history of the Americas in particular, contemplating the world in its present and anticipating its future image.

Without this awareness of experimentation, Latin American writers would not have been able to renew and innovate while addressing the conditions of their countries, embodying the narrative of the American colonists while facing two shocking experiences: the experience of uprooting and the experience of brutality, which resonates strongly with the pessimistic mood of the uprooted city dwellers while they are in their homes.

However, Galeano surpassed them by making his written adventures focused on the short story, predicting what it will have in the coming decades, and he is confident in the capabilities of the short story to support his project and help him in his adventures.

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