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.
  • Aleph
    Notes on Leaving

    “When you face up to those in power you always do it from the periphery, whether you are in a neighborhood in Maracaibo, a housing estate in Valencia, a university in Caracas, or in any other part of the world.” Venezuelan writer Israel Centeno on exile and the ongoing struggle with having left.

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  • Student Protest
    Existential Exile

    “My exile began long ago, before I left Venezuela.” Author Israel Centeno – former City of Asylum Pittsburgh exiled writer-in-residence – on how the extreme political polarization and violence that swept through the country in recent years has torn apart relationships and his beloved Caracas.

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  • Chavez cutout
    Notes on Venezuela

    In this week’s column, Israel Centeno takes a look at the political myth-making behind “Chavismo”, which he describes as “a religious movement,” fifteen years in the making, used by the government to veil the country’s deepening economic and social crisis.

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  • Vuelvan Caras!
    The Coup

    Fiction and reality blur on a crumbling internet. “S was lost in his fury. He realized that his old friends, with whom he had shared revolutionary ambitions and hopes in these online communities, had passed into exile, outside the realm of Java, Twitter, and Facebook.”

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  • newspaper_pulp
    The Stone-Throwing Analyst

    Political analyst or disruptive propagandist? A disturbing trend in newspaper editorials in Venezuela. “Analysts interpret. They don’t rebuke, punish, exclude, or explain; that is the job of a propagandist.”

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  • Doctor Who
    Ars Amatoria

    Israel Centeno shares private notes, previously used with readers and students, containing considerations surrounding the art of writing fiction.

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  • Courtesy of Roberto Chile/ Cubadebate
    El Caballo

    Israel Centeno writes to Fidel Castro about how he has outlived his counterparts and is seemingly unchanged from when he first took power in Cuba.

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Fearless, Ink.