Alejo Carpentier: Reasons of State
Virgen del Cobre
I love this book, so I just finished re-reading it. Very near the end, I found a treasure, which I print here for you to enjoy.
The dictator, now an Ex, is in Paris, and he's dying in a house near the Arc d'Triomphe. He's between sleep and awake, death and being alive. Carpentier writes:
...Ofelia ande Elmirita have filled my room with pictures of Virgins. There they are, in rows on the wall, surrounding me, watching over mmy sleep, present as soon as I open my eyes, the Virgin of Guadalupe, the Virgin del Cobre, the Virgin of Chquinquira, the Virgin of Regla, the Virgin of the Coromotos, the Virgin of the Valle, the Virgin of Altagracia, the Paraguayan Virgin of Caacupe, and three of four different pictures of the Divine Shepherdess of my own country, and naval Virgins and military Virgins, Virgins with White faces, Indian Virgins, Black Virgins, virgins of all of us, Ineffable Intercessos, Senoras of help in all trouble, disaster, plague, helplessness or misfortune-- all are here with me, covered in gold, silver and sequins, beneath flights of doves, the brightness of the Milky Way and the Music of the Spheres.
"God with me and I with Him," I murmer, remembering a simple prayer I learned as a child...
Utterly excellent. Enjoy.