In thinking about the practical applications of a book like this it is usually instructive to discuss the author's intentions. And, we get a glimpse of what that looks like in the preface; for example, Galeano writes, "The author does not know to what literary form the book belongs: narrative, essay, epic poem, chronicle, testimony...Perhaps it belongs to all or to none" (1986/1988, pg. xvii). In addition, in terms of objective or raison d' etre, the author writes that "he relates what has happened, the history of America, and above all, the history of Latin America; and he has sought to do it in such a way that the reader should feel that what has happened happens again when the author tells it" (1986/1988, pg. xvii).
Therefore, a sense of urgency come standard, from the factory, for Galeano's literary triptych on the history of the world. Our focus is his third installment, aptly sub-titled, "Century of the Wind." Not only does urgency come standard, it comes standard in a form that has either just been created by Galeano or has no real precedent in Literature. In other words, how many books could you enumerate that were an amalgam of 5 disparate genres (or none of them) or a newly wrought genre? Galeano's work covers the period from 1900 to 1984, but how he covers it is just as important as what he covers. To be sure, Galeano covers topics from the viewpoint of the little people and not the oligarchs of history; in this way, Galeano is similar to Howard Zinn and his seminal work, "A People's History of the United States" (1980).
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.