SPANISH 232 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Personal Taste, Asthma, Chuquicamata

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21 Oct 2015
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Objetos curiosos
- They meet Chilean doctors who don’t know anything about leprosy (leprosy is not a
problem in Chile)
oThey purposefully impress the doctors with their knowledge
oThey ask the doctors to be introduced to the president of the “Friends of Easter
Island” leper colony
- Che drives a wagon to Osorno for some guy while Alberto drives behind him with the
oThe view was beautiful but Che couldn’t enjoy it
oChe killed a pig with the wagon
- They travel through the beautiful country side, and Chilean people are nice to them
- The Correo de Valdivia wrote an article about them
- Che says that Chilean culture is indigenously American and “untouched by the exoticism
invading our land”
oSuggests this is because Anglo-Saxon immigrants do not mix with natives in
- Was given pants and water by a peasant
o“But for all the customary and idiomatic differences distinguishing us from our
thin Andean brother, there is one cry that seems international: “Give them water,”
the salutation greeting the sight of my calf-length trousers, not my personal taste
but a fashion inherited from a generous, if short, friend.”
La sonrisa de la gioconda
- Now without their motorcycle, they don’t look like the “wandering aristocracy,” but
instead like two simple hitchhikers with backpacks
- They found a truck stop and a truck driver let them sleep on some wooden planks
- Some guy heard of their arrival and invited them to meet him at la gioconda
oIt is customary in Chile to never deny an invitation
- They explored the city and met really poor, really dirty people
- They went to the dock to ask if anyone was going to Easter Island, but no one was going
for another 6 months
oChe fantasizes about how everything is perfect at Easter Island: there, having a
white boyfriend is an honor, women do everything for you, and the weather is
- They then met the owner of la gioconda because they’re waiting outside the restaurant
but the guy never showed up to meet them
oThey became good friends with the owner, who fed them for free
oThe owner was always nice to the riff-raff who showed up
His motto was “today its your turn, tomorrow it will be mine”
- Che went to see the old woman with asthma (and a heart condition)
oChe “longs for change” to fix the injustice of a system which cannot grant dignity
to poor people
They become nothing but a burden when they get sick
oChe feels powerless that he cannot help her
- Alberto tracked down the doctors and they were introduced to the president of the Friends
of Easter Island Society
- The scene is beautiful without grace
- Located in the driest desert in the world
- Many mountain ranges surround it
o“how many of those mountains surrounding their famous brother enclose in their
heavy entrails similar riches, as they wait for the soulless arms of the mechanical
shovels to devour their insides, spiced as they would be with the inevitable human
lives — the lives of the poor, unsung heroes of this battle, who die miserably in
one of the thousand traps set by nature to defend its treasures”
- The mine extracts oxide ore, and the Chile Exploration Company will build another plant
to extract sulphate ore
- Copper (Chile produces 20% of the world’s) is extremely important at this time of
uncertainty because is is used to make weapons
- Left-wing groups advocate nationalizing the mines, and nationalists who, in the cause of
free enterprise, prefer a well-run mine (even in foreign hands)
- “one would do well not to forget the lesson taught by the graveyards of the mines,
containing only a small share of the immense number of people devoured by cave-ins,
silica and the hellish climate of the mountain.”
Chile, ojeada de lejos
- Starts by saying that his observations in this chapter may be less than scientific
- In Chile, free, public hospitals are rare
oPrices for care are extremely high
- Hospitals lack medicine and adequate facilities
oFilthy operating rooms, bad lighting, inadequate tools
oThrow toilet paper in boxes
- A manager at Chuquicamata shrugs his shoulders when asked about compensation paid to
the dead mine workers’ families
- Ibáñez is described as similar to Perón
oManipulates hatred of the U.S. to gain popularity
oWants to nationalize the copper mine, though U.S. interests will likely make it
- Chile offers economic opportunities to the educated, but not the proletariat
- “The biggest effort Chile should make is to shake its uncomfortable Yankee friend from
its back, a task that for the moment at least is Herculean, given the quantity of dollars the
United States has invested”
En los dominios de la Pachamama
- Peruvian police were very nice to them, giving them blankets
- They hitched a ride in the back of a truck to get to “llave”
- As the truck climbs in altitude, it becomes freezing cold
- The truck broke down, so them and the Indians who were also in the truck had to walk 3
kilometers through the snow
- Then the truck started working again and took them further
- One Indian asked them about the wonderful “land of Perón,” and asked for a copy of the
Argentinian constitution with the declaration of the rights of the elderly
- The driver called them into his cabin to meet an indigenous schoolteacher who told them
of Indian customs
oHe explains the ancient Indian custom of placing rocks by the road to symbolize
giving your troubles to Pachamama (Mother Earth), which was at first
discouraged by the Spanish conquerors as blasphemous, but when they realized
they couldn’t stop the practice they put a cross on every pyramid they saw
oHe said that the Indians are brutalized by modern civilization
oHe said that Indian schools are based on white men’s criteria and don’t allow
Indians to improve their condition
oIndians have to fight against a white society that rejects them
- Che thinks that the teacher may be a product of the very education system that the teacher
said was so broken
- Che thinks that the only way for the Indians to improve their position is for their
descendants to have white blood, which will only happen if the servant women are raped
by a drunk white master, etc.
El ombligo
- The title signifies that Cuzco was the center of the Incan empire, and that the brutalized
race of the Incans is the only thing left of the empire
- Che says that there are three ways you can interpret Cuzco, the navel of the world
- One of the Cuzco’s is the remnants of the Incan empire after the invasion
oSacsahuamán walls to keep out invaders still stand
o“This is the Cuzco inviting you to become a warrior and to defend, club in hand,
the freedom and the life of the Inca.”
o“The vision of this Cuzco emerges mournfully from the fortress destroyed by the
stupidity of illiterate Spanish conquistadors, from the violated ruins of the
temples, from the sacked palaces, from the faces of a brutalized race.
- There is another Cuzco with colored roofs and beauty
o“This Cuzco invites you to be a hesitant tourist, to pass over things superficially
and relax into the beauty beneath a leaden winter sky.”
- There is yet another Cuzco celebrating the Spanish conquest with monuments and statues
o“This is the Cuzco asking you to pull on your armor and, mounted on the ample
back of a powerful horse, cleave a path through the defenseless flesh of a naked
Indian flock whose human wall collapses and disappears beneath the four hooves
of the galloping beast.”
- “Each one of these Cuzcos can be admired separately, and to each one we dedicated a
part of our stay.
El día de San Guevara
- Che turned 24
- The people at the colony threw him a party
oChe made a toast thanking Dr. Bresciani for his hospitality
oChe says that they will be going to Peru