grim who finds himself facing a paradise he must immediately
way to pain and the only way Bernal Diaz
can save both
through memory. He
the first Mexican writer,
the one who initiated the Spanish-language narrative tradition
the Ncw \Vorld.
An iIlullense country five times the size
loves itself, paradoxically, through all that is small.
we Mexicans like to dress fleas but because we compensate for
land and landscapes with delicate decorum,
meticulous, tender attention to the tasks
daily life, from a cui-
sine whose preparation often requires hours and even days ("slow
food") to the protracted lunch
three, four, six hours so that we
may infuse the acts
community life with words, memories, fra-
ternity, aud human joy and warmth. A country
spite the cliche, it
space, a gathering place. The
saddest songs and the happiest songs. The most humble
and the most arrogant
men. The most natural, perfect courtesy
alongside the most offensive vulgarity. Extremes that are painfully
invisible and patently present.
"Just your father, you motherfucker."
"At your service."
more step and you're a dead man."
"You don't know who you're talking to, you wretch."
my own hunger."
earned my money, and
don't have to share it with any-
"Whatever you wish, sir."
"Watch it: around here, what I say goes."
"What can I do? I'm the one they left behind."
"Jalisco never loses, and when it does, it steals."
"Yesterday 1 may have been marvelous, but today 1 am not
even a shadow."
"You do whatever
"Woman, woman divine, your poison is so sublime."
"You are to blame for all my anguish, all my sorrow
a motherfucking mess."
"My heart belongs to Daddy."
"What lovely eyes you have beneath those two lovely eye-