Off-Screen
From his lonely watch post Albert Camus asked who among us has not experienced exile yet still managed to preserve a spark of fire in their soul. "We're all alone," Natalia Sedova cried in exile on hearing of her husband Leon Trotsky's affair with Frida Kahlo. In his novel Night Watch, Stephen Koch follows the incestuous love affair of David and Harriet, wealthy siblings watching the world from their solitary exile. Koch's writing, Camus's theories, and Trotsky's affair all come back to exile and lead me to reflect on the human condition. From my own vantage point, my Night Watch, I will reflect on my questions of exile, writing, and the human condition.
Israel Centeno was born in 1958 in Caracas, Venezuela, and currently lives in Pittsburgh as a Writer-in-Residence with City of Asylum/Pittsburgh. He writes both novels and short stories, and also works as an editor and professor of literature. He has published nine books in Venezuela and three in Spain.
  • Torre David, Caracas, Venezuela
    David Versus Venice

    In this week’s column, Venezuelan author Israel Centeno issues a sharp critique to the Venice Biennale – and, by extension, the European left – for awarding the Golden Lion prize to the Tower of David, a 45-story “shantytown” project in Caracas, Venezuela.

    Read more...

  • Students gather in Venezuela and raise their hands for peace. Photo: ervega. Creative Commons Licensed
    A Deaf and Dumb War, But Not Blind

    Venezuelan writer Israel Centeno draws troubling comparisons between the government-tolerated militias in Venezuela and Benito Mussolini’s shock troops. These armed militias are alleged to be responsible for the growing number of violent crimes.

    Read more...

  • Venezuelan flag
    Venezuela Express

    In this week’s Night Watch Venezuelan writer Israel Centeno traces the history of violence in Venezuela from the turn of the 20th century up to the present. “Venezuela is a cocktail of poverty, injustice, resentment, a rentier mentality, and clientelistic wealth.”

    Read more...

Fearless, Ink.