“Literature is the best way to overcome death. My father, as I said, is an actor. He’s the happiest man on earth when he’s performing, but when the show is over, he’s sad and troubled. I wish he could live in the eternal present, because in the theater everything remains in memories and photographs. Literature, on the other hand, allows you to live in the present and to remain in the pantheon of the future.
Literature is a way to say, I was here, this is what I thought, this is what I perceived. This is my signature, this is my name.”
Ilan Stavans, Professor of Spanish, Amherst College
From “The Writer in Exile: an interview with Ilan Stavans” by Saideh Pakravan for the fall 1993 issue of The Literary Review