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Claudia Sosa Lichtenwald
Translation: Patricio Doyle
Published on the newspaper Diario UNO - Argentina - Entre Ríos -
Sunday January the 18 th 2004


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Cristina Castello

Naked noun, pure verb.


By email the journalist
and poetess put blue wings
to a necessary and reflexive


Cristina Castello writes without masks. The woman that blends journalism and poetry (she is aflame with them),from her web site tells about ins and outs in French, Italian, German, English, Spanish and Portuguese: the mature seed of a good word, well spoken, and with excess.

In her poetry, life and commitment are alive (and live together). During the seventy’s dictatorship she was branded by jail scent. “ That jail smell. That smell. That... It would penetrate to the core of my soul. God. It penetrated me when I would visit the poor darlings, cloistered up by repressive murderers under life, justice and liberty’s flag. I never cared to what political fraction they belonged to or not. I was never a militant, excepting for life, and always alone...” says Cristina. And this life militant is the daughter of “the chicken (El Pollo)” Esteban Castello, and “the wee (la chiquita)” Rosita Castello Batmalle, and the sister to Martha. She is the child that - possessed by word and poetry, started writing when four year old.


- What’s the difference between “working” as a journalist and “being” a poetess?

- The same as between doing and being, I work as a journalist, but I am a poetry smuggler. My Paul Eluard has said that a poet is more who inspires than who is inspired. And this is the point, because poetry is an outlook at universe and a way of discovering it through child eyes. It’s , yes, an aesthetic beauty that penetrates us, but also an ethic, thanks to which people’s faces are not only eyes, nose and mouth. They are interior geography maps, showing plenitudes, chasms and histories. Poetry is eternity. A silence burst.


- Does you our condition for intuitive feeling and your rational style choice, speak about the paradox of the human condition?

- Oh, mankind! For years and years I could not understand man’s horror creation capacity. Cruelty, falsehood, torture...... I still don’t understand, but now I know that “this” also is human condition. As far as I am concerned, yes, I am intuitive at feeling. I enjoy and suffer intensely. I am beauty’s slave, and my own slave, at loving my others and my yearning for light. You know... indifference is death... and I love life. But everybody’s life. An so I get committed to the chore of my soul, and I live in implosion, in and inward explosion, agonizing and being reborn several times a day. It is true that I am rational in my style, but, in my television language or writing’s apparently calm sea, you can breathe a spiritual tension.


- Journalism interview has it’s secrets. Is diving into the interviewed person learnt as you do and feel it?

- Let me see...how can I give a brief answer? Let us say that an interview is showing the multitude and each man in detail, with what he loves and despairs; all he illuminates in his human life, his hope and blood, his history and sorrow. Do you see? I have interviewed three thousand persons, I have an almost finished book on the secrets and techniques of this, I have been a teacher in this area, but I answered with Paul Eluard’s words. And now mine are linked to his. To interview is to scatter seed to give life to truth. And with seed we can change the world... Still.


- What do your voyages mean to you?

- They mean being other people’s twilight and dawn , a life and dreams jester. I am a nomad and a sedentary, all in one. As a nomad, the people I love, art, and the other countries’ skies are my geography-less fatherland. As a sedentary, I could seem almost an autistic, because I need to be with and in myself, at home, alone, silent. Meet myself. But there are two place where my soul expands: Paris, and the sea... It’s a mystery.


- Who guided the choosing of “la salvia” , as you call a section of your web, nourished by Paul Eluard, Baudelaire, Borges, Vilariño, Whitman, Lennon, Monet, Pessoa, Pizarnik, Vallejo or Rimbaund, among others?

- My own thirst. And Eluard and Desnos; and Redon and Carriere; and Eduardo Bendersky and Juarroz. and Pizarnik and Gustave Moreau. And “Chiquita” Castello: she sowed poetry in me. She carved my thirst. She’s my mother, and now, she watches us from the Blue. Blessed poetry, blessed thirst.


- From where does this perpetual thirst spring? Are the Córdoba stones and breeze the genius of such a stored curiosity?

- I couldn’t tell you... So much I don’t know. I know that thirst is my soul’s breath. Its passion of the Absolute, along with the absolute’s dizziness, according to “my also mine” Louis Aragón. It’s what Pedro Salinas says “I mean to take your best yourself out of you / the one you haven’t seen and I do see”... All I know that thirst, embracing and enkindling valour, poetry and life, is my spiritual resistance fibre.


- Writing gives silence a voice, according to you... how did you learn to listen to it?

- I didn’t learn it, sensitive and talented Claudia, but I listen to it during instants that are breaths of eternity. As to the rest, I try, and my whole life goes with this yearning.

A Russian poem says: “What’s a sheet of paper?... It’s something you cannot turn over till you have taken out of yourself the last line”. This is what it’s about. Look here... When writing I rather have verbs and nouns.. I abhor adjectives and articles. And this is what I want for myself: to be a naked noun, a pure verb. It is not at all easy, but it’s a road to build, of detachment and inwardness. I hope my soul can stand it, and that art, in its life changing, may keep on embracing me.


- For whom are the bells mourning?

- In today’s world bells mourn for so many deaths, so much sorrow, so much murdering madness. But some day a song to human plenitude shall be sung. Then, as I say in my poem “Semillas” (seeds), Shiller’s Ode to happiness, Beethoven’s ninth, all just men on earth’s hymn shall be chanted.


- “What do we sow in the human heart?” you ask in your web site ... what do you sow?  

- I try to sow goodness and transparency, because I love crystals. But for this, I first work on myself, and try to be a better person every day. Still, I am not the right person to talk about this.


- What is commitment?  

- The only way to live. I know no other. To commit oneself is to love.


- Are poets innocent writers of guileless ness?

- Innocence, a very ill treated concept, is one of my words and one of my challenges, though, as far as artists are concerned, there are more questions than answers. Was Ezra Pound, accused ob being a fascist, really innocent? Was Borges innocent when in the midst of military dictatorship, he said we still needed a hundred years of military government? There is an abundance of cases and I don’t want to generalize. “Mine”, Paul Eluard, Miguel Hernández, Robert Desnos, Louis Aragón, Celan, Whitman...and there are more... were not naive, but certainly innocent, and wrote guileless ness. The wrote their thirst for a world of freedom, always straight up against every winter, and always with their eyes towards the Blue.


- What are masks?

- To lie. Power. triumphalism. The need of being a “winner” at all costs... and there is more.


What . gives poetry wings to fly, echoes to make itself listened to, light and shades to see?  

.- I couldn’t tell you. I know that poetry is God’s revolution.


Torn labels, destroyed masks  

Journalist graduated at the “Escuela Superior de Periodismo”, in the Córdoba city, Cristina Castello means graphic radio and TV journalism

“I have written leagues of words in graphic media. I was in charge of the notes on the title page of “Viva” (Sunday weekly of the Clarin Newspaper).I was chief journalist for “Gente” magazine ( for the serious sections, I hate emptiness); for a certain time I made the large interviews for “Playboy Internacional”, and I worked for the following newspapers: “Tiempo Argentino” “La Voz del Interior” “Córdoba”, “Los Principios”, and others. Y also collaborated in “Clarin”, “La Epoca”, “La Voz”... and others. There were many. I also wrote for “Somos”, “El Gráfico”, “Para Tí”, “Arte al día”, “ La semana” and...” so go her ink streams through out the world.

On the radio she was writer of “Amanece que no es poco”, and “Convengamos que.. con Cristina Castello”.

On TV , till March 2001 she had her program “Sin Máscara” stressing culture - always, always poetry - but pierced by life.

How is it that a teacher of journalist interview is editorial adviser and writer for “Página Digital” (www.paginadigital.com.ar) and works for other Internet media, some paper publications in Madrid, Paris, Rome, Perú , Portugal, and other countries. There are five books for print. And should this not be enough, you can discover her in www.cristinacastello.com (C.S.L)




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