Students and faculty members of the Northern Kentucky University listened in awe to what journalist and writer Eva Feld told them about her country of origin, Venezuela, during her lecture on Tuesday, Nov 14th.
Ms. Feld was introduced by Dr. Caryn Connely, Chairperson and Associate Professor of the Spanish Department a NKY, who referred to her as an achieved Venezuelan-born writer and journalist who recently wrote her first novel in English, The Beauty of Failure, in which she summarizes not only the everyday struggles of the Venezuelan population, but also the sorrow of nearly two million people who left, during the last decade, in pursuit of happiness at the cost of giving up their families, friends and customs.
Feld’s words were backed by strong images of repression, shortage of food and medicine, indoctrination as well as beautiful pictures of the Venezuelan landscape.
At the end of her presentation, some members of the staff approached her. “I want to congratulate you for writing a novel in English. I very much enjoyed your readings from The Beauty of Failure” said to her Burke Miller, Head of the History Department.
Calderon, responsible of the Latino Students Affairs, expressed his gratitude for her “valuable help at making available such information to English speaking people.”
The Beauty of Failure is the first novel written in English by a Venezuelan writer, we asked the author what her motivation was.
“I felt a personal need to connect directly with the Anglo-Saxon reader in his own language without the intervention of a translator. There might be some adulteration in my novel. The presence of odd expressions or metaphors represent for me the presence of the many Spanish speaking immigrants. The world shouldn’t resemble a tour of Babel, where people don’t make the effort to understand the “others”. Understanding may also mean learning their language on the side of the communicator, and accepting innovative ways of naming or describing people, facts, events or fantasies on the side of the receiver.”
One of the students in the audience asked:” Is there a presence of Venezuela in all of your other novels, the ones you wrote in Spanish?”
“No and yes. The Beauty of Failure is all about Venezuela, mainly through the eyes of an Intellectual who finds himself in the midst of a struggle between thought and action in a country that is falling apart. In my other three novels, Venezuela is a subtle presence because of the fact that I was born and raised in Venezuela.”
The author was pleased to have raised the audience’s interest in her book, in learning about another country, another language, the creative process in writing, and the importance of extraordinary people such as Alexander von Humboldt, Charles Darwin, and Simón Bolívar.