Hi friends. Last week I had seen La memoria obstinda at the Instituto Cervantes and was awakened by the thought-provoking and moving documentary filmed by Patricio Guzman. All of the young and fleeting socialist tendencies I once clung to started to awaken after seeing the film, but more than that, my need to practice Spanish and actively pursue the language I love so much was kicking and screaming. I have been wanting to make Spanish speaking friends, which as we know, making friends is no easy task and ever since I stopped taking formal classes, I've been trying to make a conscious effort to keep myself stimulated as the classroom is a great forum whereas the office is not.
Today I went to Barnes and Noble in pursuit of an overpriced modern art magazine. I then wandered into the Libros en Espanol section, which is usually disappointing, until I saw about five or six novels by Mario Vargas Llosa. Instead of spending $10 on a magazine that I'll probably save for way too long and end up using to make a birthday card, I decided to buy La fiesta del chivo, a political novel about the dictatorship in the Dominican Republic. I'm only 30 pages into it but I am so happy to be reading and thinking in Spanish again.
As in most of Latin and South America, socialism and democracy were overrun by dictatorships throughout the 60s and 70s. La fiesta del chivo is about a woman, whose father worked for Trujillo's government, returning to Santo Domingo many years after she had left her native country for New York City. I'm so inspired by the fluidity of the Spanish language and the way the words flow, but also by the power and the weight that each word carries. Much like Chile in 1973, the Dominican Republic was taken over by the far-right dictator Trujillo, el Chivo, the goat. Though I might not be putting stickers about GMOs on fruit and vegetables and protesting SUVs like I did in high school, the revolutionary inside of me still thrives por el espanol, por el espiritu de la democracia, and by the need to stand by your rights and expression in whatever way possible. Even if it is in a blog that only a handful of friends read. At least it's something.
La fiesta del chivo is playing at the Repertorio Espanol throughout November and December at 138 East 27th Street. Here's the link for all those interested. I hope to catch it on December 1, which gives me motivation to finish the book ASAP.