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Jose Maria Aguedas

Posted by sigismund on February 2, 2013, at 18:25:05

In reply to Re: Water boarding, etc Beckett, posted by sigismund on February 2, 2013, at 18:01:37

I will type it out. It is that good.
From a speech given in Arequipa 14/6/65.
I find it very moving. He blew his head off in 1969, but everyone in Peru knows of him well.

"You may be surprised if I confess to you that I am the handiwork of my stepmother. My mother died when I was two and a half. My father remarried; his new wife already had three children. I was the youngest, and as I was so small, my father left me in the house of my stepmother, who owned half the town; she had many indigenous servants and with it the traditional contempt for and lack of awareness of what an Indian was. Since I was the object of as much of her scorn and rancor as the Indians, she decided that I was to live with them in the kitchen, eating and sleeping there. My bed was a wooden trough of the kind used to knead bread.....

Resting on some sheepskins and covered with a rather dirty but very sheltering blanket, I spent the nights talking and living so well that if my stepmother had known it she would have removed me to her side......

I lived thus for many years. When my father would visit I was hauled back to the dining room, my clothes were dusted off; but Sunday passed, my father went back to the provincial capital and I to my trough, to the lice of the Indians. The Indians, particularly their women, saw me as one of them, with the difference that being white I needed even more comforting than they did, and this they gave me in full. But consolation must contain within it both sadness and power; as those tormented comforted those who suffered even more, two things were sadly driven into my nature from the time I learned to speak: the tenderness and limitless love of the Indians, the love they feel for each other and also for nature, the highlands, rivers and birds; and the hatred they felt for those who, almost as if unaware and seeming to follow an order from on high, made them suffer. My childhood went by, singed between fire and love."




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