Magical Realism, Writing, Fiction, Politics, Haiku, Books

miércoles, febrero 16, 2011

Futbol, Galeano, Mexico

Eduardo Galeano

A Scheherazade story by Eduardo Galeano in a 2009 Washington Post:

... a former member of the Mexican congress, Victor Quintana, told me the book saved his life. In the middle of 1997, he was kidnapped by contract killers, hired to punish him for exposing some nasty business.

They had him trussed up, face in the dirt, and were kicking him to death, when, just before finishing him off with a bullet, they started arguing about soccer. Victor, more dead than alive, put in his two cents. And he started telling stories from my book (Soccer In Sun And Shadow), trading minutes of life for every tale out of those pages. Time and stories came and went, and at last the murderers left him, beaten and broken, but alive.

"You're okay," they told him, and they took their bullets elsewhere.

Understanding this story at a minimum requires an appreciation of the culture of futbol (read: soccer). If the argument is about baseball or the NFL or WWE, the story is implausible because it can only happen in cultures in which there is futbol and an obsession with it. These cultures are primarily in this Hemisphere. That's why I could wear a Club America shirt to the Fruiteria and be told by the clerk, "That team is no good," in three languages. The response to this? Shrug and say in three languages, "Maybe this year. Just wait."

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