Latest News: Posts Tagged ‘cautivos’

“Full of complications… nuanced and shaped by existential crises and displacement and exile” — Ariel Dorfman’s CAUTIVOS reviewed in CounterPunch

Tuesday, January 18th, 2022

Dorfman neatly amplifies the element of Cervantes’s story-telling I’ve always liked: The action of the hero, the counterpointing one man chorus of Sancho, the reader attuned to both, in a neat little cohabitation of souls in soft collision.”

Read the full review here.


“[A] riddle to be deciphered in myriad ways” — Ariel Dorfman’s CAUTIVOS reviewed by The New York Review of Books

Thursday, October 14th, 2021

“Notions of authorship, creator, and creatures, as well as of love, folly, and imagination, dominate Rushdie’s and Dorfman’s pages as they did Cervantes’s… Dorfman’s account is more or less faithful to what is known of Cervantes’s life, but the trick of a new narrator for an old story—Pat Barker’s retelling of the Iliad by Briseis in The Silence of the Girls is a magnificent example—lets us imagine the author and his creation in new ways. Dorfman incarnates Quixote out of Cervantes’s idealization of love, betrayals by government agents, and incarceration in the dungeons of Seville.”

Read the full review here.

“How Spanish Can Help Us Survive Viral Times” — CAUTIVOS author Ariel Dorfman writes for Tom Dispatch

Tuesday, February 16th, 2021

“A Journey into the Heart of a Language We Need Now More Than Ever”

Read the article here.

“What Trump has made blindingly clear to America” — CAUTIVOS author Ariel Dorfman writes for CNN

Monday, January 4th, 2021

What happens to a nation incapable of healing itself?

Read the article here.

“Trump’s Dilemma: Who Will Give Him Asylum Now?” — CAUTIVOS author Ariel Dorfman writes in the Nation

Tuesday, December 8th, 2020

The best candidate, by far, is Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un, the despotic ruler of North Korea, Dorfman writes.

Read the full article here.

“We must dare to unleash our courage, energy and compassion” — CAUTIVOS author Ariel Dorfman writes for CNN

Tuesday, November 10th, 2020

Is the nightmare finally over?

Read the article here.

“A New Constitution: What the United States Can Learn From Chile” — CAUTIVOS author Ariel Dorfman writes for the Nation

Tuesday, October 27th, 2020
Do the problems that beset us, so similar to those that plague our Chilean brothers and sisters, not cry out for a radical reimagining of who we are?

Read the article here.

“What Would Hell Be Like for Donald Trump?” — CAUTIVOS author Ariel Dorfman writes for the Nation

Friday, October 23rd, 2020

With the US presidential election around the corner, it’s appealing to imagine consigning Trump to literal Hell.

Read the article here.

“How Chile Got Rid of Pinochet” — CAUTIVOS author Ariel Dorfman writes for the Atlantic

Monday, October 5th, 2020
One tiny mark on a ballot, and then one more, and then yet another forged a better, luminous collective future.

Read the article here.

“I danced in the streets after Allende’s victory in Chile 50 years ago. Now I see its lessons for today” — CAUTIVOS author Ariel Dorfman writes for the Los Angeles Times

Tuesday, September 8th, 2020
Fifty years ago today, on the night of Sept. 4, 1970, I was dancing, along with a multitude of others, in the streets of Santiago de Chile. We were celebrating the election of Salvador Allende, the first democratically elected socialist leader in the world.

Read the article here.

“Lessons for the US, 50 Years After Allende’s Socialist Revolution in Chile” — CAUTIVOS author Ariel Dorfman interviewed on Democracy Now!

Tuesday, September 8th, 2020

“Boccaccio Says Goodbye” — New short story by CAUTIVOS author Ariel Dorfman in the New York Review of Books

Monday, August 10th, 2020
You want me to repent, here on my death-bed, Friar, you say I should abjure my Decameron or I will not be granted a pathway to Heaven, you whisper in my ear with a tongue that would rather be caressing a woman’s thighs, that tongue of yours warns me that the hundred tales told by my characters, those seven women and those three men on the hills of Fiesole as the plague raged below in the city, your tongue demands, Friar, that what their tongues and throats brought forth over those ten days should be consigned to flames so I be not cast into perdition when I depart for the other world. You accuse my stories of mocking the Church and promoting ribaldry and lechery and frivolous fun, you demand that I atone for suggesting to women that they should seek more freedom and less obedience, all of this you ask of me as I succumb to the Death who did not take me all those years ago. No, I am not referring to the plague. I was not in Firenze when it struck. Do not listen to what the rumors say, rumors I myself disseminated to make my work more popular among those who had survived that terror.

Read the complete short story here.

NEW VIDEO: CAUTIVOS author Ariel Dorfman discusses Gabriel García Márquez’s Love in the Time of Cholera with the Diane Rehm Book Club

Wednesday, June 24th, 2020

“It is a sad paradox, but perhaps not surprising, that some of humanity’s greatest writing has been born in times of turmoil.” — CAUTIVOS author Ariel Dorfman writes for the Washington Post

Thursday, June 4th, 2020
Let me invoke Miguel de Cervantes who, for six long months, was unjustly incarcerated in Seville at the end of the 16th century. It was there that he began to write his groundbreaking “Don Quixote de la Mancha,” a process I have conjured up in my own recent novel “Cautivos.”

Read the full article here.

“Will this crisis lead to something better or worse?” — CAUTIVOS author Ariel Dorfman interviewed in the Observer

Monday, May 25th, 2020

Read the full interview here.

“Immigrants Have Always Known the Pain of Social Distancing” — CAUTIVOS author Ariel Dorfman writes for the Atlantic

Monday, May 4th, 2020
Native-born Americans could learn from the men and women who have started anew in a land they do not recognize, writes Dorfman.

Read the full piece here.

“There is much agony and frustration in Chile, but the country is also teeming with everyday acts of heroism and selflessness that whisper to me that the land I continue to recognize as my own seems to be very much alive in the midst of death and disease.” — CAUTIVOS author Ariel Dorfman writes in the New York Review of Books

Monday, April 13th, 2020

Pandemic Journal — April 10, 2020

As in so many places across the world, the coronavirus has exacted a heavy toll on the people of Chile. It is not only the 6,501 cases of contagion and the sixty-five dead—expected to increase exponentially in the coming weeks and months—nor the havoc inflicted on an economy that was already sinking into recession.

When my wife, Angélica, and I left Santiago on the last day of February, after an almost three-month stay in our native land, the one collective concern was how intense the popular political mobilization would be in the upcoming month of March—whether the social revolt that had been gripping the country since October 2019 could be sustained, perhaps with even more fury than before. Citizens had protested in such colossal numbers that the rightist government of Sebastián Piñera had been forced to agree to a plebiscite that, on April 26, would define the contours of a new Constitution. And the demand for radical changes in salaries, pension plans, and the educational and health systems were expected to be unrelenting and extremely difficult for the besieged and inept president to contain.

The virus changed all that.

Read the full piece here.

“I warned of Trump’s attack on science. But I never predicted the horror that lay ahead.” — CAUTIVOS author Ariel Dorfman writes in the Guardian

Monday, April 13th, 2020

My own dire prophecies failed to adequately predict the future and today I see him as someone far more terrifying

“¡Abajo la inteligencia! ¡Viva la muerte!” Those infamous words – “Down with intelligence! Long live death!” – were pronounced in 1936 by General Millán Astray, a fascist general who was a mentor and friend of Francisco Franco, soon to be Spain’s dictator for over four decades. They were part of a ranting speech Millán delivered at the University of Salamanca celebrating the insurrection against the Spanish Republic that heralded the dark years that were on the horizon.I recalled these barbarous words with trepidation back in October of 2017 when I began tracking down the ways in which Donald Trump, in only the first 10 endless months of what was already then his endless government, was waging a disquieting war on science and the truth. In an online essay for the New York Review of Books, I warned of the “lethal consequences” that this offensive would entail, the millions of lives that would be shortened.

At that point what worried me was his assault on environmental and labor laws, the ways in which he was draining every government department of experts, the reckless evisceration of advisory councils, the proposed budgetary cuts to scientific research, the attacks on vaccinations and the health system and medical knowhow behind it, his obtuse climate change denials.

Observers have focused on his botched actions and confusing inactions, the Niagara of misinformation that spews daily from his mouth. It has been revealed that there were more than enough warnings, memos and red flags by January of this year to warrant urgent preparations that were never put in place and, scandalously, that Trump’s oblivious and careless acolytes dismantled in early 2018 the team in charge of handling precisely this sort of disastrous disease, firing its most experienced members. The latest scene in this tragic farce of capriciousness is Trump’s insistent demand that hydroxychloroquine be used to combat Covid-19. Despite this anti-malarial remedy not having been tested with objective standards nor its side-effects sufficiently vetted, he treats it as a miracle drug, harking back, perhaps, to when he announced that “one day – it’s like a miracle – [the virus] will disappear”. Magical thinking is to be expected in religion, literature and among audiences at shows where conjurers pull rabbits out of hats, but not as a substitute for professional medicine and settled science.

Read the full piece here.

“Coronavirus is teaching Americans what it’s like to live in exile.” — CAUTIVOS author Ariel Dorfman writes for the Washington Post

Wednesday, April 8th, 2020

Many people are feeling vulnerable and alone. Will it make them more empathetic?

Everything is unsettled.

Whatever you thought was steady and predictable has now turned out to be alien and dangerous. You can no longer interact with your family or friends or other members of your community face to face—never mind hug or touch them. Your routines and habits have been upended, and you face new deprivations, a reversal for which you were unprepared.

Nor can you depend on long-standing safety nets that would supposedly always be there for you. As for strangers, you can’t tell which ones could imperil your safety, and who might offer assistance. Distance becomes the norm.

That’s a description of life for countless millions in the times of the coronavirus. Yes, but it also captures the daily experience—from the very beginning of history—of vast numbers of exiles and migrants as they discover how to survive a journey into the unknown.

Is it possible, then, that these uprooted men, women and children who left their homes behind for a new land—whether in search of more auspicious prospects or because they were fleeing a catastrophe—have some lessons to teach us now that the pandemic has, in some sense, made exiles of us all?

As someone who comes from a family of refugees—and who has spent his own life wandering, losing and gaining countries and languages—I trust that there is much to learn from the experience of extreme dislocation suffered by humanity’s expatriate multitudes.

Read the full piece here.

“Surviving the coronavirus will be meaningless if Chileans do not simultaneously address the underlying causes of injustice and inequality.” — CAUTIVOS author Ariel Dorfman writes for the Nation

Wednesday, April 8th, 2020

Confronting the Pandemic in a Time of Revolt: Voices From Chile

It is oddly appropriate and perhaps ironic that Chile happens to be preparing to celebrate—in the midst of a pandemic that is drastically questioning all previous paradigms of behavior and human relationships—the centenary of the death of Alberto Blest Gana (1830–1920), the country’s preeminent novelist of “manners” (costumbres) of the 19th century, who understood his moralizing work as part of a “high mission” that “brings civilization to the least educated classes of society,” excoriates “vices,” and teaches the public “healthy, wholesome lessons.” It is even more paradoxical that exactly a hundred years after Blest Gana breathed his last, the founding myths of nationhood he helped to imagine and define have been shattered by a heroic social movement led by young people brought up on the works of this very author.

Read the full piece here.

“At this moment I am reading Ariel Dorfman’s extraordinary new novel, ‘Cautivos.’ Even though it is set in the final years of the 16th century, in the world of Cervantes, it is a novel about today and the discovery of song in the dark times.” — Colum McCann recommends CAUTIVOS in the Chicago Tribune

Monday, January 27th, 2020

Feeling overwhelmed by the news? Authors recommend books to read as we enter a new decade

Bertholt [sic] Brecht once asked if there would be singing in the dark times and he concluded that yes there would be singing, because we would have to sing about the dark times. I think it is one of the primary jobs of literature to excavate the heartbreak of the world around us. In the course of that excavation we, as readers, try to find some beauty in the rubble. We sift through and find consolation, sometimes in the smallest, most unlikely moments. I find this music in just about every book I read. At this moment I am reading Ariel Dorfman’s extraordinary new novel, “Cautivos.” Even though it is set in the final years of the 16th century, in the world of Cervantes, it is a novel about today and the discovery of song in the dark times. Great books open up the lungs of the world for us. We are never the same when we read the right words put down in the correct order. I constantly turn to writers like Michael Ondaatje, John Berger, Louise Erdrich and so many others. Literature is where I find my faith.

— Colum McCann, author of “Apeirogon”

Read the full list of recommendations here.

“The narrator in Dorfman’s short novel tells the story of a captive Cervantes and his meditations on writing, life, suffering and creativity.”—Morningstar reviews Ariel Dorfman’s CAUTIVOS

Wednesday, December 18th, 2019

Letters From Latin America

Miguel de Cervantes, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the Spanish language and one of the world’s pre-eminent novelists, was kept in captivity between 1575 and 1580 in the city of Algiers, then one of the most cosmopolitan cities of the Ottoman empire.

After his return to Spain, he briefly worked in Andalusia as a purchasing agent for the Spanish navy. This led to his imprisonment for a few months in Seville after a banker with whom he had deposited Crown funds went bankrupt.

It was during his brief stay at a jail in Seville that Cervantes started his masterpiece Don Quixote, a picaresque narrative that would become a founding work of Western literature — it’s often labelled the first modern novel.

Read the full review here.

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