Enrique Symns, the writer and journalist "from this filthy place"

This was written two years ago Enrique Symns: “My body, like the dry and creaking wood of an old ship, is very close to resting on the last shore.” With a text of sad beauty, she said goodbye to her existence and her readers. The phrase is the first sentence of the editorial of a special edition of the mythical Pigs & Fishwhich returned for just one issue in February 2021. The journalist and writer died this Thursday at 77 years. He will be remembered as the last cursed; an irreverent and transgressive pen that made room for marginality when nobody did. As a benchmark for a type of journalism that at the time broke the rules and of which only glimpses remain, tributes.

Enrique’s was an announced end. That editorial, published so long ago, proves it. It was known that he had been bad for a long time. The founder of the pigs was monologue of Patricio Rey and his Redonditos de Ricota and exponent of gonzo journalism in the country. A “wild” diabetes –the text is yours– that he was diagnosed in the summer of 2001 punished him for all these years. The excesses–cocaine, alcohol–didn’t help. There will be no wake. His death was confirmed by the journalist Sebastián Duarte, a friend of his. Those who knew him well say that physically he was in very bad shape, although he continued to be lucid and verbally sharp.

In an interview with NaN Magazinein 2011, republished by Citric Magazine, told this chronicler and Facundo Gari that they had taken him “from prepo” to the hospital –in 2001– after he had been vomiting for 24 hours. “Before, I had a truth, a certainty. That being lost was the best path. A stray man is always enlightenedguided by the abysses of his unconscious, by the stars of the infinite cosmos that is oneself. Always, in the worst moments of my life, inside the jail, about to shoot myself or when a woman abandoned me, I left that life and began to have another. I had many. But this time it seems like it’s over.” He said that he wanted to die screaming, like his father, who died in a square, escaping from being taken to the hospital. Enrique also died in his law. At home. He refused to go to the hospital even if it was just so that He ended his days bedridden, watching series.

“The Drums of the Final Battle” It’s called his farewell. First page of 152. A thick edition. Black letters on white background. “The constant flight that has been my life is soon to end. What I always ran away from, has finally found me. I’m not afraid (…). Several years ago I stopped moving, and through that stillness, I began to leave myself. And now, when the pungent aroma of the abyss is all that haunts me, shall we toast or curse?“, continues the editorial. The writer wondered what his life would have been like without excesses, without looking for danger. And he answered that, despite feeling that he had lived wrong, “in that feeling of having been lost” he perceived “flashes sense”. It defined the street as a “companion”, although she recognized that each of them had taken their course for some time. She confessed that she inhabited a “long night” in which she could never sleep.

“Burn and Go” it reads on the back cover, and Enrique is in a portrait with one of those Scottish shirts he wore. Very wrinkled face, little silver hair on the sides; he lights up a bit. He did not want to “resurrect” the pigs; she did not yearn for a return. “I invoked her so that, at last, she would let me go.” This magazine, which he founded in 1983, was a very important part of his life.

He was born on December 22, 1945 in Lanús and spent his childhood in Monte Grande, south of the Buenos Aires suburbs. He said that he had never even gone to elementary school -as he built a character, it becomes difficult to distinguish, from everything he wrote and said about himself, what is real and what is not: the elementary school thing is not). He spent his childhood in correctional institutes, for committing various armed robberies. He lived in train stations. His older sister, a philosophy teacher, instilled in him the vice of reading. she started with critique of pure reasonof Kant, and Crime and Punishmentby Fyodor Dostoyevsky. At the age of 15 he began to write. Was street performer and, during the ’80s, he joined Patricio Rey y sus Redonditos de Ricota, as a monologist. He fell out with the band when he decided to drop the theatrical streak. He Bulacio case it separated them even more, and later El Indio dedicated the songs “Blues de la artillería” and “Héroe del whiskey” to him. She was also a monologist for La Bersuit, Los Piojos and Los Caballeros de la Quema. “I was the first actor to discover the rock world stage,” she boasted. That of Los Redondos, she said, “was a very creative, frivolous, fun stage, with a lot of ‘promiscuous’ sex, which means confusing.”

wrote corrosive biographies. He integrated various editorial proposals. He was, apart from writer and journalist, poet and screenwriter. He crossed journalism and fiction. The most outstanding feature of him within photojournalism was having accommodated the marginality when there was no space in other media. His name is associated with under porteño. And he is often labeled as “the Argentine Bukowski”, also as a beatnik. He is related to William Burroughs and Hunter Thompson. He didn’t believe in politics. He defined himself as an anarchist. The most shocking part of her was his lack of boundaries when talking about sex and how he referred to women. In this sense, some of her writings do not stand the test of time. Integrally, she argued with the moral discourse.

“I started as a journalist by chance”he told Juan Mendoza in the interview that he opens a compilation with the best of pigs and fish (edited in 2011). In 1982, the journalist Jorge Pistochi saw him in a performance for a festival of the magazine hot bread and offered to replace the editor-in-chief. Before this she had lived in Brazil and Europe. Gabriel Levinas proposed that he also be an editor for the Porteño. The pigs emerged as a “fringe” supplement to The Porteño. It showed the “last savage traces of life,” according to Symns. For Levinas, the magazine –which began to be published independently in 1984– changed Argentine journalism, because through it “a whole new, cursed world entered the graphic media.” It was regularly published until 1987, with sporadic subsequent reissues. When it closed in 1992 Symns was out of work for several years. The project had made him a “vagabond”, but at the same time it had given him the “enormous satisfaction” of “contaminating souls with pure words and shamanic intentions”. In 2004 two more issues came out.

With a combination of “rock, madness and thuggerywith “knowledge” as an enemy and many closures and openings, “the magazine of this filthy place” it marked a generation with contested journalism in the 1980s, when there were still strong consequences of the military dictatorship, as stated by Duarte, who was a chronicler for the publication in the 1990s. Legalization of drugs, homosexuality, explicit sex, anarchism, squats were some of his topics, always avant-garde or taboo. Although some of them are already integrated into the public agenda, the way of treating the information of the pigs It seems so far away in time. The protagonists of the pages were street people, transvestites, artists under ignored by the media. The magazine was branded as apologetics. It suffered an attack in its beginnings; she was denounced for defending the crime for dealing with the issue of sex with children, in a case that reached the Supreme Court; and it was raided by the Police after organizing a march against John Paul II in April ’87. In the Alfonsín government there was a “kidnapping” of numbers.

pigs and fish sought to be that drive that brings you closer to a true existence.” Symns created apocryphal authors, published under pseudonyms, and was the author of the editorials. He always wrote them under the influence of cocaine or alcohol. When finished, he would read them to a cadet: if the man started crying, he would realize that they worked. “It’s strange, because I wasn’t a journalist; however, almost immediately, the trade clung to me like we were childhood friends. I think it was due to a curiosity that I always felt, a rather cold curiosity in the sense of suspicion, a tendency to disbelieve in the human species, “she said in that conversation with Mendoza. He preferred to interview a prisoner rather than a judge. Or a madman before a psychiatrist. For him “the certainty of what the world was” was found at “the edges of society, never in the center.”

He was also pro-secretary of satiricon and collaborator in eroticon and End of century. he worked in The voice and Southcollaborated with Clarion and Criticism. In 1993 he founded The hunterand between 1998 and 1999 he wrote for The magician. She lived in Chile until 2003, where he founded the newspaper The Clinic. posted on THC. His life can be traveled in the lord of poisonsa well-known fictionalized autobiography that he published in 2004. His journalistic chronicles were compiled in invitation to the abyss (1995), within the subgenre of fictional journalism, just like Life is a bar (2002). Among his literary output are the gang of jackals (1987), in search of the murderer (2005) and big bad city (2006). She wrote biographies like Paez (1996), about the life of Fito Páez, and The last song (2002), about the Chilean group Los Tres. He also wrote theatrical texts and ventured into the world of video clips: he wrote the script and lyrics for “Soy un virus”, with music by the Uruguayan group La Tabaré, in 2004, and in 2018 he wrote “Un brindis de piratas”, with music by Miguel Molins.

In the last interview, for orsai, Enrique acknowledged that he had an “interesting life.” And that was because he was a writer. The curve of his life goes from being “a bum, a guy who didn’t know how to do anything, a drunk and a drug addict” to writing everything he wrote, polluting souls. In the trade he found “a way to be”. And it is true that he wrote according to what he was. Or vice versa.

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J. A. Allen

Author, blogger, freelance writer. Hater of spiders. Drinker of wine. Mother of hellions.

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