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Articles tagged "Latin America"

Living with the Beast

  Wilfredo Inuma is the chief of an indigenous Amazonian community. But above all, he is the guardian of the lavatory. Wilfredo founded the Shipibo community of Bena Gema twelve years ago, together with 150 families fleeing the misery of the jungle. They settled in the outskirts of the city of Pucallpa, capital of the Peruvian region of Ucayali. They wanted schools for their children. And jobs. Wilfredo has worked guarding oil company facilitiess against attacks by locals. He has...

At Peace

“We die from the moment we’re born, but only say we die when we’ve reached the end of that process, and sometimes that end lasts an awfully long time.” Thomas Bernhard, Breath Mariana Speranza! It’s been four years since I last heard my name. I’d almost forgotten what it sounded like. Someone knocks on the door three times. The last time I heard it was on a Thursday, four years ago, as I was leaving the office. It was my last day of work. I resigned. I...

Lindbergh

So it all boils down to this. A whole morning seeing my face and Paulo’s on the television screen. Ten reporters camped out at the entrance to the building. Three policemen on phone-tap duty, reading the soccer pages in the dining room. They might get in touch at any moment. Waiting is all that’s left for me. I’ve called Lucía to tell her that, obviously, I won’t be doing the program today. She started to cry. This can’t be happening to you, she...

Q & A with Alberto Salcedo Ramos

Alberto Salcedo Ramos is a Colombian writer and one of the most celebrated crónica (literary journalism) writers in Latin America. Here he tells Words Without Borders about his work and influences, and about "Queens Football," a crónica featured in this month’s Queer issue and part of The Football Crónicas, a collection of soccer-themed writing from Latin America, published by Ragpicker Press. Jethro Soutar: How did you find out about Las Regias and...

Contraband Forms: An Interview with Ernesto Pérez Zúñiga

Jonathan Blitzer:  You have written three books of poems, two short-story collections, and three novels.  But for the first part of your career—and while you lived in Granada, where you grew up—you dedicated yourself almost exclusively to poetry.  When, and why, did you turn to prose?  And does it have anything to do with your relocating to Madrid? Ernesto Pérez Zúñiga:  During the months I was living in Línea de la...

Spanish


from The Literature Conference

Part One: The Macuto Yarn On a journey I recently had cause to make to Venezuela, I had the opportunity to admire the famous "Macuto Yarn," one of the Wonders of the New World. It is the legacy of nameless pirates, a tourist attraction, and an enigma without answer. It constitutes a strange moment of naivete that traversed the impenetrable centuries and in the process became one with a Nature that in these latitudes is as rich as every new growth it engenders. Macuto is one of those...

That Woman

This story was inspired by a bizarre episode in Argentinean history. After the overthrow of Juan Perón in 1955, the embalmed corpse of his wife, the immensely popular "Evita," was stolen by the military in an attempt to prevent the opposition from using it as a political rallying point. The body was moved from place to place until it was finally buried secretly in Milan. "That Woman" is based on an actual interview the author conducted with the military official who was responsible...

from Reina’s Flight

The President Has Mystical Visions." This was the headline in the Heraldo. Mr. Camargo had been convinced that the Heraldo, his newspaper's rival, would not publish a single word about the scandalous bank deposits made by the president's son in Sao Paulo. Even if they had any information, they would conceal it. In the last couple of years, the president had granted the Heraldo all sorts of favors, bestowing it with radio broadcasting licenses and the concession to a luxury game...

from To the Person Leaving

I have emigrated three times in my life. In 1978, I emigrated from Argentina to come to France, because a military dictatorship had taken hold in my country. In 1999, I emigrated from France, where I'd lived for twenty years, in order to return to Argentina, because I missed it so much. And in 2002, I emigrated from Argentina to return to France, because a financial dictatorship had taken hold in my country. This triple experience of emigration from one side of the planet to the other...

from The Boundless River

Two or three friends are waiting at the airport when I arrive, and after the formalities of customs and greetings, we undertake the car ride from the airport into the city. My trips home almost always take place around the same time of year, and so the same clear spring morning, under a blue sky in which not single cloud can be seen, sparkles in the deserted plain that extends from either edge of the road to the horizon. Many of the numerous travelers who have written about the Río...

Co ecos Astri:  Xul Solar of Buenos Aires

Xul said of himself: "I am maestro of a writing no one reads yet" and "I am world champion of a game no one knows." But Jorge Luis Borges, who was influenced by him, said: "Xul took on the task of reforming the universe, of proposing on this earth a different order. For that, among other things, he changed the current numerical system of mathematics to use a duodecimal system, with which he painted his watercolors." But Xul remained a secret. I remember hearing about him in the 1960s, but...

The Bride from Odessa

One spring evening in 1890, from his vantage point up on the Primorsky Boulevard, a young man was watching the movement of ships in the port of Odessa. Decked out in his Sunday finest, he contrasted as much with the everyday casualness of most of the passersby as with the exoticism of others. The fact is, the young man was dressed to set out on a great adventure: his mother had given him his varnished leather shoes; his uncle, a tailor by trade, had completed his made-to-measure suit...

from Before the End

1 I walk along the Avenida Costanera Sur,1 contemplating the portentous river, traversed just over a century ago by thousands of Spaniards, Italians, Jews, Poles, Albanians, Russians, and Germans, driven from their own countries by hunger and poverty. The great visionaries who governed the country at the time offered the Pampas, this metaphor of nothingness, to "all those men who are willing and able," all those who needed a home, a ground in which to lay their roots. After all, it is...

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