Siri Hustvedt

Racism, Trump and politics, machismo and the #metoo movement
Oct 2020


Racism, Trump and politics, machismo and the #metoo movement

Referring to Memories of the Future, Veronica Boix prefaces her interview with Siri for Clarin: "She likes to play, and it shows in her writing, that she blurs the border between memory and imagination through two voices, that of a young aspiring writer recently arrived in New York, and the same mature woman who observes and reflects on that moment of youth. The two are, in a way, projections by the same author to continue investigating the issues that she has always been investigating: the place of women, memory, creation, psychoanalysis, gender violence, even American politics with a fierce criticism of Donald Trump."

VB: When Trump took office as president, you said that you were elected because misogyny was still alive. What is your current view on the issue?

SH: One of the problems is that Trump is the personification of something that is already in the culture. If he didn't have millions of people behind him, he would disappear tomorrow. It is important to remember that Trump is only as strong as the people who support him. It is increasingly distressing, because these forces are linked to misogyny, racism and xenophobia. However, if you look at the fascist movements of the 1930s in Italy, Spain and Germany, these issues also always appear related. They all wanted to control the lives and bodies of women. And for many fans, Trump became the path from shame to pride. They are the men who feel humiliated just because a woman has a position of authority. I believe that the simple elevation of diverse subjects in American culture, especially from a black man to the presidency, was the ultimate humiliation for this sector of the white population of the United States. We are fighting the republican world of family, Christian values, which is full of racism, misogyny and, of course, discrimination against everything different, including the LBGTQ community. America is as divided now as it was just before the Civil War. With my husband [Paul Auster] and my daughter we are part of the organization “Writers against Trump”. Joe Biden wasn't necessarily the candidate we wanted, I tell you the truth, I preferred Elizabeth Warren. However, it is what we have and the difference is enormous. It is the difference between maintaining some form of democratic republic and losing it. This choice is the most important of my life and I am afraid of what will happen.

Read the whole interview.