Review: “But no matter where I went, Spanish would be the language of my writing and Latin America the culture of my language.” The essence of this essay is in the quotes.
Quote: “I learned in Chile that Spanish could be the language of free men.”
Quote: “An anonymous language, a language that belongs to us all, as Neruda’s poem belonged to those miners on the beach, yet a language that can be kidnapped, impoverished, sometimes jailed, sometimes murdered.”
Quote: “Rhetoric, said William Butler Yeats, is the language of our fight with others; poetry is the name of our fight with ourselves.”
Quote: “The English language, after all, did not need another writer.”
Quote: “The history of Latin America was a history waiting to be lived.”
Quote: “There is no creation without tradition; the ‘new’ is an inflection on a preceding form; novelty is always a variation on the past.”
Quote: “I would agree with Luis Bunel that sex without sin is like an egg without salt.”
Quote: “So I entered the School of Law at the National University, where, as I feared, learning tended to be by rote.”
Quote: “But there were great exceptions of true teachers who understood that the law is inseparable from culture, from morality, and from justice.”
The Art of the Personal Essay: An Anthology from the Classical Era to the Present. Ed. Phillip Lopate. New York: Anchor Books. 1995.
To be concluded.