You may remember how the word Perejil (an island called Parsley) divided Spain into patriots and traitors following a Moroccan invasion in Aznar's autumn. Here's a passage from Mario Vargas Llosa's La Fiesta del Chivo (The Feast of the Goat) in which dictator Rafael Leónidas Trujillo's US Marine trainer in the Dominican National Police, Simon Gittleman, has returned to Ciudad de Trujillo/Santo Domingo de Guzmán to receive an award for his services in the propaganda war against Kennedy and the communists. Gittleman wants to know more about the 1937 massacre of Haitian (migrant) labourers which established Trujillo's bloody reputation:
"I've heard that story." Trujillo shrugged. "It's just idle gossip."
the general sees the fields of sugar
cane, lashed by rain and streaming.
He sees his mother's smile, the teeth
gnawed to arrowheads. He hears
the Haitians sing without R's
as they swing the great machetes:
Katalina, they sing, Katalina,
mi madle, mi amol en muelte. God knows
his mother was no stupid woman; she
could roll an R like a queen. Even
a parrot can roll an R!
This Haitian Creole dictionary's version of perejil--pèsi--suggests that that, if the story is more than idle gossip, Michele Wucker (Why the Cocks Fight: Dominicans, Haitians, and the Struggle for Hispaniola, 1999, sourced here) may be closer to the truth:
Not a few Spanish Republicans were welcomed to the Dominican Republic by Trujillo following their defeat in the Spanish civil war. I don't know, however, whether the Spanish right and left differ in their ability to roll their Rs.
- José María Aznar (19) JosÃ© MarÃa Alfredo Aznar LÃ³pez served as the Prime Minister of Spain from 1996 to 2004.
- Mario Vargas Llosa (6) Jorge Mario Pedro Vargas Llosa, 1st Marquis of Vargas Llosa is a Peruvian-Spanish writer, politician, journalist, essayist, and recipient of the 2010 Nobel Prize in Literature.
- Natural history (517) Natural history is the study of organisms including plants or animals in their environment, leaning more towards observational than experimental methods of study.
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- Rita Dove (1) Rita Frances Dove is an American poet and author.
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More book ideas here.
Check the cheap second-hand books over at the Librería del señor licenciado Pero Pérez - get 'em before he burns 'em.
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