Friday, December 15, 2006


Ariel Dorfman on the death of General Augusto Pinochet, Chilean Dictator

“. . .And yet, in spite of all these signs of General Pinochet’s continuing dominance from beyond death, I feel that something has in fact changed quite categorically with his demise. What convinced me were the thousands upon thousands of Chileans who spontaneously poured into the streets here to celebrate the news of his extinction. I tend to be wary of any attempt to turn the death of anyone, no matter how despicable, into an occasion for joy, but I realized that in this case it was not one man’s death that was being welcomed but rather the birth of a new nation.

Dancing under the mountains of Santiago there was one word they repeated over and over and it was the word shadow. “La sombra de Pinochet se fue,” one woman said, his shadow is gone, we have come out from under the general’s shadow. As if the demons of a thousand plagues had been washed from this land, as if we were never again to be afraid, never again the helicopter in the night, never again the air polluted by sorrow and violence. . .”

from an op ed in the New York Times (with thanks to the folks at Red Poppy)

Glad to know you're back from Virginia. Can't wait to hear all the stories of your sojourn and idyll. Hopefully it was an idyll.

The Dorfman piece is quite moving. Wish we'd had the VRZHU blog up to post it but it just went up. Check it out at

Hi Sarah,

I tagged you for a poetry survey, not sure if you're into that kind of thing, but if you are, it's on my blog. No pressure!

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