Saturday, July 2, 2011

News for the Blind

There are people who are blind, even though their vision is intact. Others can´t see, but they´re not blind, “muses the protagonist of Blind Date, the latest work by playwright Mario Diament, a Miami resident for the past twelve years. Certainly, the concept of blindness holds profound metaphors for the weakness of the human soul. In a play recently nominated for the Carbonell Prize, Diament´s characters cross each other in episodes that like Chinese boxes contain infinite possibilities.
It´s no coincidence that the blind writer Jorge Luis Borges is the central figure who listens to the actors in Blind Date. “He has been a big influence on my way of seeing the world”, explain Diament, who is as Argentine as his idol. “Like him I´m fascinated by chance, time, and seemingly irrevocable destiny”. Clearly the playwright needed time to complete that play as well as the intellectual maturity to approach his obsessions without fear.
On the other hand, moving and challenging, a play called Esquirlas, attempts to make sense of the last Argentine military dictatorship (1976-1983). “I´m a product of that generation”, Diament confesses. “The stories I tell in the play come from my experience and the experience of my friends”. Although there are already countless literary and cinematic treatments of that theme, Diament offers an approach whose interest lies with the victims and not the victimizers. “It´s important to ask yourself if you did everything that you could have done”.
The writer, journalist, screenwriter, and translator admits that he has no work routine; he describes the atmosphere where he concocts his fiction as chaos—especially since he´s a tireless traveler who has lived in various cities across the United States, Europe, and the Middle East. For the moment, he´s made a home base as a professor at Florida International University and contributor to El Nuevo Herald. “The city is growing more interesting everyday”, he observes, “with good writers and actors who express the vicissitudes and hopes that they carry with them from their home countries in their own language”.


     Interview Mario Diament (Loft Magazine)