What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos

1

Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more
Close
With rendition switcher

Transcript

Question: Do you feel that male critics have been unfairly harsh toward your work?

Isabel Allende: I think that every writer receives criticism.  It’s impossible to please everybody when you do anything that is public you get good and bad reviews.  And I don’t pay much attention to the good reviews or the bad ones.  I write what I have to write.  So, I don’t worry about that. 

Now, there is some pettiness in my country, for example, in Chile, because if anybody, except a soccer player, is successful, everybody gets angry because they think that one is stealing space or oxygen from everybody else.  And the truth is that if a writer is successful, you gain readers.  It benefits all the writers.  It’s important for all the writers that as many of us as possible be successful.

Question:
Why do studies of Latin American literature focus chiefly on male writers?

Isabel Allende: Because it’s only recently that women writers have had a space in Latin America.  In publishing, editing, teaching in the universities, reviewers—all men.  And the writers were like clubs of... like male clubs where women were not accepted except if you were some kind of poet or wrote children's books.  Then that was... or cookbooks, that role was accepted in women, nothing else.  So, we were kept in silence for a long time and women have been writing in Latin America since Sor Juana Inés De la Cruz .  So, it’s really been a sort of conspiracy of the male patriarchy to keep women mute.  And now, more and more, because the publishers know that more women than men read fiction, more women authors are being published and now translated and their work is better known.  But this is a recent thing. 

When I published "The House of the Spirits" in 1982, I was... people were saying in the reviews everywhere that I was the only writer of the Latin American boom of literature.  Women have been writing forever, but nobody knew them.

Recorded on May 3, 2010
Interviewed by Priya George

 

Are Latin American Critics ...

Newsletter: Share: