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Enrique Quintero

To many, Gabriel Garcia Marquez is the most important writer in Spanish literature, more important than Cervantes. His main work, One Hundred Years of Solitude, has become canonical not only in western literature but in the universal republic of letters. The history of the Buendia family transcended time and place and came to be the history of all of us, human beings hoping to live life, as it should be, a little better. One Hundred Years of Solitude became “la novela total” (The Total Novel).

Para muchos Gabriel García Márquez es el escritor mas importante de la literatura en español, mas importante que Cervantes. Su obra mas importante Cien Años de Soledad, se ha convertido en canónica no solo de la literatura occidental pero de la republica universal de las letras. La historia de la familia Buendía trascendió tiempo y espacio hasta convertirse en la historia de todos nosotros, seres humanos esperando vivir la vida como debería ser, un poco mejor. Cien Años de Soledad se convirtió en la “novela total”.

The power of symbols

A society without toilet paper is a society in trouble, we all agree with that. Not having access to such a basic commodity of modern life suggests an uncomfortable place where scarcity reigns, futile long lines at supermarkets with empty shelves, wide spread poverty, unhappiness on citizens’ faces, and that third world “je ne sais quoi” not recommended by Condé Nast Travel standards. But equally important, if we believe that a society doesn’t have toilet paper, the actual relationship between our beliefs and material reality becomes irrelevant.

The system and its discontents

If you don’t agree with the present state of things, there are basically two ways to deal with it: you try to reform it, or you try to abolish it. Both points of view share the conception that things (political institutions, economic systems, etc.) are man-made and therefore, can be “man/person changed”.

El poeta Latino Americano Juan Gelman falleció hace pocos días. El es poco conocido en la Republica de las Letras y los “salonnieres” oficiales del idioma Ingles a pesar de ser el ganador de varios premios internacionales, como el Premio Cervantes en el 2007 (el premio mas prestigioso de la lengua española), y de la aparición regular de su nombre en la lista de potenciales ganadores del Premio Nobel, así como su inmensa popularidad en Latino América. Popularidad comparable a la de Borges, Neruda, Nicanor Parra, García Márquez, Cortázar, Onetti, Paz, Galeano, y tantos mas.

The Latin American poet Juan Gelman died January 14. He is little known within the Republic of Letters and the literary “salonniers” of the English word in spite of being the winner of many international literary awards, including the Cervantes Prize in 2007  (the most prestigious award in the in the Spanish language), and his regular appearance on the lists of potential Nobel- laureates not to mention his immense popularity in Latin America—comparable to that of Borges, Neruda, Nicanor Parra, Garcia Marquez, Cortazar, Onetti, Paz, Fuentes, Galeano, and so many others.

Napping as the world goes by

A brief demographic profile of Hispanics

The US Census Bureau places Latinos as the largest and fastest growing demographic group with a total of 53 million or 17 percent of the total population. Between the years 2000 and 2010 Latinos accounted for more than half of the total population growth in the country.

A dangerous existential choice
If you happen to live in the US, and are asked about what you consider to be the most dangerous jobs in the world, your mind probably gravitates to loggers, crab fishermen in Alaska, land mine removers, helicopter cable repairmen, and workers in meat processing plants in the Midwest. This vision is basically correct—in alignment with the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the US Department of Labor.  But if you were to pose the same question in Colombia, at the top of the chart of fatal occupational injuries would be workers union leader.

Populist Vatican mutations

The spectre of populism is haunting the Catholic Church. Since the election of Argentinian Jorge Mario Bergoglio as the new Pope, gone are the days of unctuous pomposity and rigorously staged protocol surrounding the activities and public discourse of the Sovereign of the Vatican, Bishop of Rome, and supreme leader of 1.21 billion Catholics around the world.

Gael García Bernal in the role of fictional character René, an in-demand advertising man working in Chile. Sony Pictures Classics.jpg

This article is dedicated to F. Gangotena, who in his early twenties went to Chile to support Salvador Allende and was assassinated by Pinochet’s army.

In his book One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez describes how for the people of Macondo, the most devastating consequence of the insomnia plague was the loss of memory, since a person affected by this illness sees “The recollection of his childhood (being) erased from his memory, then the name and the notion of things, and finally the identity of people and even the awareness of his own being, until he sinks into a kind of idiocy that has no past.”

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