A Spanglish blog dedicated to the works, ruminations, and mongrel pyrotechnics of Yago S. Cura, an Argentine-American poet, translator, publisher & futbol cretin. Yago publishes Hinchas de Poesia, an online literary journal, & is the sole proprietor of Hinchas Press.
Monday, October 27, 2008
For my next paper in Literature, Literacy, and Libraries we are to take three books written for three different audiences and see if they have any similar threads. I have chosen a book of fiction by Roberto Bolano, "Nazi Literature in the Americas" and "Nunca Mas" a non-fiction book published by Argentine National Commission of the Disappeared and edited by Ernesto Sabato. "Nunca Mas" details the investigation that was conducted by the Committee of the Disappeared after the country elected it's first president since the military took over in 1976.
Ernesto Sabato headed this committee and he is an author in his own right; he wrote a slew of books that have defined modern Argentine literature, among them are "Sobre Heroes y Tombas" (Concerning Heroes and Tombs) and a book that I loved reading in 1999 called "El Tunnel" (The Tunnel). Sabato is a writer that has dealt with the topic of repression and obsession; in a way, his stewarding of this investigation was not only a great civic responsibility but also a subject right up his alley. In the Prologue he writes that, "During the 1970s, Argentina was torn by terror from both the extreme right and the far left. This phenomenon was not unique to our country"(1986, Dworkin, pg. 1). What was unique in Argentina was the extent to which the military government "responded to the terrorists' crimes with a terrorism far worse than the one they were combating, and after 24 March, 1976 they could count on the power and impunity of an absolute state, which they used to abduct, torture and kill thousands of human beings" (1986, Dworkin, pg. 1).
The obvious question that arises when speaking of los desaparecidos (the disappeared) in Argentina is how much? That is, how many people were actually disappeared by the military government between the years of 1976-1982, years generally bookmarked when speaking of the Argentine Dirty War. Or as Sabato says, "There are some 600 instances of abductions recorded in the Commission's files which are said to have taken place prior to the 24 March 1976 coup. After that date the number of people who were illegally deprived of their liberty throughout Argentina rises to the tens of thousands. Eight thousand, nine hundred and sixty of them have not appeared to this day" (1986, Dworkin, pg. 10).