What is the people?

Posted by: | January 19, 2009 | Comments Off on What is the people?

When I found out that our reading for this week were selections from Eva Peron and Jorge Luis Borges, I was very excited. Having read two short stories by Borges before, Emma Zunz and The book of sand, I thought I was prepared for this piece of writing. I had forgotten the need to be on my toes when reading his work, its definitely not something to be glanced over. I loved and was frustrated by the narrators manner of motor mouth speaking. Some great phrases came out “skinnier than the slot you put the nickel in” and “ I got all tangled like a squid in the sleeves…” however it was work to follow along with the narrators jumpy thought process and scattered retelling. On the other hand I think Borges really captured the nerves and anticipation felt by this “patriot” along with the relief commands can bring, “A gray-haired Indian came out, and it was a pleasure how he bossed us around…”. Furthermore the instant camaraderie that our storyteller feels with the rest of the “gang” , even though they make constant reference to his large belly, put disgusting things in his mouth and overall trying to leave him behind. Not to mention the monster himself, mentioned numerous times in an ironically positive style, who seems to be the leader of all the goings on. Or given the setting for this story one of the Argentinean government officials responsible for the coup. Which brings me to the final speech of Eva Peron entitled My Message, I found it extremely passionate if not moving in my first reading and continually enthralling in my second. Despite the contradictions and somewhat black and white point of view, I found myself rooting for Peronism and for Evita even in her final hours. Its evident that the admiration and love she had for the colonel was not only bountiful but enduring through all time. I can’t imagine having the drive not to mention the energy to spend hours dictating a final message to the people, at the same time as uninhibited in style as this was. Eva made it crystal clear what she thought of the oligarchy and middle of the road type supporters. She promotes a very strict your with me or against me doctrine that to a certain extent I can get on board with. I believe based on this reading the Evita really was for the people, the workers, the “descamisados”, especially near the end when she speaks of her possessions going towards programs to benefit the needy whilst still attributing the any wealth she does have to the people also. In the end I was found both readings exceedingly interesting and much easier to get through than the first pair.


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