Two follow-ups to a couple of recent book-related Slog posts:
In honor of Mario Vargas Llosa's Nobel win, Harper's is publishing a second Vargas Llosa piece for free (here's the first). This one is from 1990 and it is called "Questions of conquest: What Columbus wrought, and what he did not." Here are the first two paragraphs.
In Madrid not long ago, a shadowy group calling itself the Association of Indian Cultures held a press conference to announce that its members (it was not clear who these men and women might be) were preparing to undertake, in Spain and also throughout Latin America, a number of acts of “sabotage.” It is, of course, a sad fact of life that in a number of Latin American countries—in Spain as well—the planting of bombs and the destruction of property continue to be perceived by some as a means of achieving justice, or self-determination, or, as in my country, Peru, the realization of a revolutionary utopia. But the Association of Indian Cultures did not seem interested in seizing the future. Their battle was with the past.
What are to be sabotaged by this group are the numerous quincentennial ceremonies and festivities scheduled for 1992 to commemorate the epochal voyage nearly 500 years ago of Columbus’s three small caravels. The Association of Indian Cultures believes that the momentous events of 1492 should in no way be celebrated; and although I have yet to hear of other persons willing to make the point through subversion, I do know that the group will not lack for sympathizers.
(And it's not book-related, but TortoiseTurtle's comment on this morning's post about what's wrong with Glenn Beck (it's #39, if you want to skip ahead) is the most disgusting, hilarious bit of physical comedy that I have read in a long, long time. I'm still laughing. And kinda retching. But mostly laughing. Good show, TortoiseTurtle.)