Pobrecito poeta que era yo / Roque Dalton

translation from Roque Dalton, Pobrecito poeta que era yo (San Salvador: UCA Editores, 1994). Dalton concludes the novel with the following dates: "San Salvador, 1964 / La Habana, 1971-1973."

"Fuck off but listen: we're that type of person that's always condemned to be nothing more than a foreigner. In any part of the world and even more so in this, our heavy and miniscule nation. [...] I'd like to drink now. I think that with a couple of drinks I could end up writing all of it. In other words, that single purpose that I never end up designing, and which eludes me without being able to write down its outline. Is this another fear?" (321)

"Early, near dawn a guard came by and turned on the light for a moment. He brought me several newspapers to make my bed with on the floor and (Latin American surrealism is life itself!) a little novel by Rafael Perez y Perez. While handing me the novel he said that early in the morning a ray of sun entered the cell for one or two hours and that I could read at that time, since the frightened colonel prohibited the use of lights at night. He also asked me to say, if another guard caught me with the novel, that I had brought it with me from the street. It sounded dreadful to have to go on saying that one is carrying one of those little novels by Rafael Perez y Perez around, but I wasn't about to get stuck in a literary discussion with that friendly son of God. Besides, before leaving me alone again, he explained that he'd brought me things to read because he knew that imprisoned artists went crazy or died without having anything to read, as had happened last year with a certain violinist, in this very cell." (373)

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