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Adamastor, by Júlio Vaz Júnior

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That's the trouble with being innocent, you don't know what really happened.

Tomek Zaleska


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Monday, January second, 2012

An interview with Juan Gabriel Vásquez

Looking around for background material to help me understand The Informers, I happened on an interview with the author from two years ago, in the winter 2010 issue of BOMB. Lovely reading -- always puzzling and enchanting to hear from someone so thoughtful, so clear-spoken -- and yes, some good background material to help with reading this novel.

posted morning of January second, 2012: Respond
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The murder of Jorge Eliécer Gaitán

April 9th, 1948: The mob dragging the corpse of Juan Roa Sierra.
Photo W. Torres - El Tiempo.
The pavement of 7th Ave. is broken there by the tram tracks (that don't go anywhere, that get lost under the pavement, because the trams, those trams with blue-tinted windows that my father told me about, haven't existed for years), and as I, standing in front of the Augustín Nieto building, read the black marble plaque that describes the assassination in more sentences than strictly necessary, Sara, thinking I wasn't looking, crouched down at the curb -- I thought she was going to pick up a dropped coin -- and with two fingers touched the rail as if she were taking the pulse of a dying dog. I kept pretending I hadn't seen her, so as not to interrupt her private ceremony, and after several minutes of being a hindrance in that river of people and putting up with insults and shoves, I asked her to show me exactly where the Granada Pharmacy had been in those years when a suicidal man could buy more than 90 sleeping pills there. A year and a half after Konrad Deresser's suicide, Gaitán's murderer had been taken by force inside the pharmacy to prevent the furious mob from lynching him, but he'd been dragged from the pharmacy by the furious mob, which had punched and kicked him to death and dragged his naked body to the presidential palace (there is a photograph showing the body leaving a trail of shedded clothing behind like a snake shedding its skin: the photo isn't very good, and in it Juan Roa Sierra is barely a pale corpse, almost an ectoplasm, crossed by the black stain of his sex).

-- The Informers

posted evening of January second, 2012: Respond
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