Multiple voices emerge to echo shared beliefs or to dispute the truths held by others. In her early stories, she attacks the moral failures of the government of Rosas, but also writes against the ethical shortcomings of Spanish colonialism. The debates sustained by men of letters at that time raised serious questions about the modes of citizenry that would accompany the liberal state and the role of indigenous groups in shaping the nation.
In particular the liberal landowning classes, eager to maintain Indian labor, were careful to protect Indian rights in order to control social unrest. Removed from his Indian mother at an early age and raised in Spain, he is marked as xl Introduction a half-breed who lacks control over his racial destiny. The two are thus condemned to separate lives. With this narrative strategy in place, Gorriti requires us to recognize that the plight of the Indian is somehow analogous to the fate of Creole women insofar as both are exiled from the sphere of citizenry and are denied basic rights.
The triad formed by Church, state, and individual greed prohibit the kind of love that might overstep the boundaries between races. Greed, dating from colonial times, continues to drive their misfortune. A time of menacing greed and relentless usurpation of indigenous treasures, the years between conquest and independence were fraught with contradictions, as Gorriti handily points out.
The answers lead us to other inquiries in the fertile American terrain. This is seen not only in the bilingual condition of characters and their agility in moving through cultures, but also through the roadblocks that are erected as a result of this process. Far from drawing tales of complicity within colonial regimes, she convinces us that the half-breed condition produces irrational desire. These triple exiles show us that Peru is but a backdrop for a larger movement of bodies; lacking its own constitutive identity as nation, it only serves as a stage for grander colonial theater.
The unstable present brackets these extremes. His children are his only wealth. Hidden truths and false identities also drive the story, while thieves and gamblers and shifty characters serve to remind us of corruption under colonial law. Gorriti structures this reading through tropes of blindness and revelation.
He is blind to the tenacity of Inca honor and all rules of justice. Here, hallucinatory madness becomes a literary expression of Argentine social unrest. Vital, daughter of Federalists, falls in love with Horacio Ravelo, a Unitarian soldier of high achievement. This doomed love is explained through literary allusions. Too much reading, her interlocutor advises, encourages unbridled fantasy. Also imposed upon this critique of reading is a gothic narration featuring apparitions, phantoms, and premonitions of danger that haunt the female characters.
Gorriti uses the structural opposition of father and daughter to contrast good and evil. These ironies are reinforced by many errors in perception. The opposition of good and evil is thus registered in the energetic pairings of deception and revelation, error and recognition, that the father-daughter dyad supplies. The contrast of speech and silence also supports this opposition. Roque holds the power of naming and purports to account for all truths that circulate in Argentina.
His voice determines the fate of the innocent, condemning individuals to death. At the same time, abundant syntactic crossovers occlude the origins of meaning and set the pace for errors of interpretation and ongoing ironic confusion. Buenos Aires is the setting for these early stories, serving as the backdrop for this rhetorical crisscross, represented by its threatening darkness and the hovering presence of Rosas. The city was unknown to Gorriti until the later years of her life; like Sarmiento, she described Buenos Aires long before she ever set foot Introduction xlv in the growing city. In this way, the keepsake negotiates extremes of political allegiance and introduces secrecy and deception as principal tropes of the story.
The glove represents the romantic inconstancy of Wenceslao, who hurts the two women who love him.
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Wenceslao receives the devotion of Manuela Rosas and Isabel, one the representative of Federalist politics, the other a Unitarian supporter. To cultivate the love of these women, Wenceslao alters his political allegiance, endangers his standing with his Federalist father, and eventually pays with his life. The story is told, however, from the perspective of Isabel, thus allowing Gorriti to emphasize a feminine world of intuitive and Unitarian wisdom that drives an alternative version of history.
Trick doors, concealed identities, and letters of confession gone astray lead to the unfolding of plot and guide the story toward its inevitable conclusion. But the returning trope of bloodshed reminds us of the drained national body, devastated by civil war, despoiled on the landscapes of an emerging nation in which individuals can no longer heal. Instead, she xlvi Introduction leaves her characters in a realm of hallucination and madness in which they wander in search of meaning. Only the voice remains to haunt future generations. Setting the pace of the stories, operatic arias warn of danger and anticipate the tragic unfolding of love amidst civil war.
Singing voices not only contrast with the silence enforced by the state, but also serve as a reminder of an ongoing ethical loss. They structure the rhythms of prose in order to link text to musical composition, but the voices also allow Gorriti to link her American landscape to the cloak-and-dagger dimensions of European romantic opera, with its cast of political intrigues and double entendres.
The voice of indigenous conscience is challenged by European aggression and might. When the couple returns to Peru, the young girl discovers her hidden past. Using this scenario, Gorriti attacks the colonial regime that fails to protect the rights of indigenous women, while also blaming the Peruvian nation for its ongoing confusion of values.
Sexual licentiousness carries the dangers of eventual incest; in an unruly state, dysfunction marks the family. Unable to restrain its military personnel or protect its wards, the regime is held responsible for the dissolution of society. Gorriti, however, goes one step further by insisting upon the interchangeability of subjects, representing the Indians as surrogates in a complex play of European desires.
Indeed, they introduce the possibility of parallel worlds that lie beyond European grasp. To orchestrate this double time, Gorriti insists on movement and massive upheaval, always evoking the nomadic aspects of characters to advance her plot. It is no wonder that travelers and highway bandits are the constant stock of her literary world. On the one hand, a revision of the past, seriously steeped in nostalgia, may be read as a strategy to preserve local history while also amassing an inventory of local histories upon which to build a future.
On the other hand, the frenzied dual course of narration, incited by repetitions and doubling, by masquerade and disguise, puts the alignment of any national narrative in question. Hayden White observed that in order for an event to be historical, it must have two possible interpretations. Her example allows us to understand a nation through discordant readings, through a gesture against totalizing thought.
Masked identity is a constant in her stories, as if to say that disguise is a sine qua non for the emerging personality in America. What is interesting, however, is her fascination with the topic as a way to subvert the Rosas regime and introduce the possibility of women moving beyond the traditional domestic sphere assigned to them. Disguise enables movement. A highway robber who nonetheless maintains an ethical stance, Gubi Amaya is both cruel and delicate, aware of his heinous crimes but critical of those who disregard human interest.
His is the story of a delinquent whose identity lies beyond the limits of the law. Duality reigns in a topsy-turvy world that refuses absolute answers. The only authority, as characters remind us, is found in the art of telling. It is not surprising that Gorriti and her contemporaries consistently tell tales of travel. As might be expected, travel moves not simply the eye and mind, but the physical self as well. Travel produces a material response to landscape, exaggerating the contact between individuals and the land through sensation and feelings.
As a result, we are directed to the physical basis of experience; we train our eyes to the body. Travel also creates a space for the naming of new subjectivities, mediated through variants of speech and often through translation. Through their bilingualism, the foreigners expand the range of debates about the other nation named. As a result of their bilingual skills, these traveling subjects begin to doubt the authority of their native tongues. The exercise creates both a minor genre and breaks up the singularity with which one equates nation, language, and home.
With so much discussion of movement and stasis, perhaps it is time to address the question of narrative structure. The ruins are certainly like souvenirs, but, in a literal sense, they are stones in the ongoing project of building a house for literature. More important, they remind us of a transformation of sensibility from romantic melancholia about lii Introduction the experience of loss to the modernista habits of the urban consumer; they move us from the rural past to a modern consumerist fetish for the catalogue of goods that marked a new cosmopolitan culture emerging in the late nineteenth century.
It is an interesting case, in which the fragment, usually the basis of allegory, here overturns allegory itself and comes to stand for an aesthetic process belonging to modernization. Permanence against futurity; duration against uncertain choice. The fragment now leads to a contemplation of the relationship between experience and naming; it registers a split between feeling and object, between personal and public experience.
Gorriti took to chronicling the progress of nineteenth-century America—the advent of trains and electric lights, the buzz of industry and machines, the availability of more consumer goods. From that time, she abandoned entitlement and wealth and began to redesign her stories around earning a living. Her rural scenes of the independence wars were contrasted with an almost obsessive meditation on consumerism in the city.
This is a crisis between tradition and modernity, between the founding moment of a nation and a cosmopolitan assertion of personal need. This crisis disturbed any supposed unity in her cultural texts, fragmenting her work into multiple realms of experience. This emerged as the principal narrative in her later career: tales of survival juxtaposed against memories of distant wealth, stories of travelers in search of fortune on the trade routes of modern America. Gorriti, however, uses the gold rush background to try her hand at representing avarice and unrelenting sexual desire. The novel features an impoverished orphan forced to join an adventurer traveling by ship from Chile to California.
His sinister presence reminds liv Introduction us of the dangers that the Creole elites associate with modernization; equally important, he embodies concupiscence, guilt, and shame. Similarly, the gold rush fever that is the underlying theme of this story produces uncontrollable excess. The text thus presents a crisis in the values of an emerging liberal society, a materialism that distorts ethical principles and separates children from their families. The chaos of the new society takes shape through fragmented narration and uneven stories; useless objects litter the text without clear direction or function.
Foreign populations appear, introducing new languages and crossing borders. Newspapers, gossip, and hearsay inform the tale. Against the linear authority of traditional narration, which serves to detail the colonial past, unknown voices intrude in the text; origins are suspect, racial purity is placed in doubt.
These are the byproducts of a society undergoing rapid change. His race is uncertain: He passes as hunter and miner and is alternately described as Navajo and English and even as a Central American muckraker ; in San Francisco, he performs in vaudeville. He stands for an elusive presence that the state cannot hope to control.
The multiple positions maintained by characters like the copper-skinned man thus confuse the boundaries of nations and threaten the integrity of family. In this environment of economic advancement, danger lurks in all corners; it threatens the possibility of love and menaces the safety of all.
The objective of the tale is to denounce the ethos of the modern age through ceaseless narrative movement, tracing not simply a destination, but the path of discovery that leads to it. It is not coincidental then this inquiry takes place on the new frontier, in the United States. Everything is for them, everything is for them. The Monroe doctrine has two faces.
Nevertheless, the project locked Latin American nations in ambiguity and confusion. Political philosophers have covered these issues; however, they rarely take into account the literary and gendered contribution to the republican project. Her characters carry this doubleness in language and dress, and in staged public performances, they often defy the rules of state. Her work pivots on the ambiguities of a decisive nation-building movement that will usher Latin America from colony to modern state. Most synthetically, then, her texts investigate ways of entering a modern historical movement while recognizing that memory and progress do not stand still.
Dionisio Puch was a member of the family through marriage and a hero in the wars of independence. Cited in Graciela Batticuore, ed. See, for example, the contributions of Abel de la E. Cornejo Polar in Torn from the Nest, ed. Matto de Turner, xviii. Vicente G. Poverty is almost the only laurel that can be harvested by the tranquil work of the mind yet has not discouraged those novices who often have to abandon their writing and secure other work in order to survive.
Knowing the history of many writers, living in poverty, but working with faith, inspires our true pity. Why write then? The relationship between coinage and identity demands further investigation. Bibliography A. Panoramas de la vida. El mundo de los recuerdos. Oasis en la vida. La tierra natal. Veladas literarias de Lima: — Further Readings Adelman, Jeremy. Republic of Capital. Batticuore, Graciela, ed.
El taller de la escritora. Veladas literarias de Juana Manuela Gorriti. Juana Manuela Gorriti. Ficciones patrias. Berg, Mary. Castro Leiva, Luis. El liberalismo como problema. Chaca, Dionisio. Historia de Juana Manuela Gorriti.
Dreams and Realities: Selected Fiction of Juana Manuela Gorriti (Library of Latin America)
Conde, Alfredo O. Juana Manuela Gorriti: dolor, belleza, trabajo, patriotismo. Buenos Aires: Biblioteca Popular de C. Denegri, Francesca. El abanico y la cigarrera. Diez de Medina, Fernando. Fletcher, Lea, ed. Mujeres y cultura en el siglo XIX. Iglesia, Cristina, ed. El ajuar de la patria. Letras y divisas. Ensayos sobre literatura y rosismo. Martorell, Alicia. Between Civilization and Barbarism. El periodismo femenino en la Argentina del siglo XIX. Matto de Turner, Clorinda. Torn from the Nest. Translated by John H.
Polt, and edited by Antonio Cornejo Polar. Bibliography lxiii Meehan, Thomas C. Mercader, Marta. Juanamanuela mucha mujer. Molina, Hebe Beatriz. Pratt, Mary Louise. Imperial Eyes. Travel Writing and Transculturation. Quesada, Vicente G. Rama, Angel. Reinaga, Fausto. Rock, David. Argentina, — From Spanish Colony to the Falklands. Rojas, Ricardo. Historia de la literatura argentina. Royo, Amelia, ed. Juanamanuela, mucho papel. Scott, Nina M. Sosa de Newton, Lily. Las argentinas de ayer a hoy. Villavicencio, Maritza. Del silencio a la palabra.
This page intentionally left blank 1 The Quena 1 i. The streets were dark and deserted, like the rows of a cemetery. The houses, so full of life and light earlier in the evening had, by then, a somber and sinister aspect to them. A man appeared in the darkness, his face covered by his long cloak. The latticed window opened. An early Spanish stringed musical instrument; an ancient type of guitar. At the same time, the very beautiful face of a young woman came forward, framed by long, black curls scented with jasmine and fragrances.
It took you so long to come tonight! Then she crossed her arms—lathed and white as alabaster—outside the railing. My love! But I shall make them learn the strength of my will, which they ignore. My angel! I have been postponing the moment when I must destroy your heart with the weight of my secret, but the hour has arrived. So be it! But she had crossed her hands over her chest and was looking at him in ecstasy.
I had a premonition of this! Or else why did I get such an intense feeling, even before I knew you, at the mere sound of the name Manco-Capac or Atahualpa? I used to attribute this strange feeling to 3 Atahualpa entered into a vicious and cruel war against Huascar in order to claim his rights as son and heir of Huayna Capac. My blessed mother! It could not have augmented the glow of your honor and heroism. Rosa, my mother never carried that name; a horrendous injustice deprived her of it. If that had been the only thing he had stolen from her.
Just listen to her story, my love. Your heart is the only one worthy of understanding it—you whom she has sent to me from heaven to replace her here on earth. She was a tall young woman, marvelously beautiful, with large, almond-shaped eyes. The sun was shining in a cloudless sky, and a stream of sunlight poured through a window and died at our feet. My daughter, are you there? My heart is very sad today. But I do not know what it is!
Will you listen to me, you to whom God reveals his mysterious meanings, and tell me what I have to fear? And yet, even though everything there inspired happiness, I was sad, and a sense of anguish and restlessness made me hold my son tightly against my chest. My limbs became numb; my tongue, as if glued to the roof of my mouth, was unable to utter a single cry; and of my entire physical being, only my eyes remained alive.
And I saw with my eyes how the giant took advantage of my helplessness and grabbed my son by the neck, tearing him from my arms despite his screams, and took him away to an endless plain, where he disappeared. My body, shaken by horrible convulsions, was covered in cold sweat, and my temples throbbed as if they were about to burst. But once I opened my eyes and saw my son sleeping in my arms, I hugged him tightly, and all my fears dissipated. They were replaced by an immense pleasure, impossible for anyone other than a mother who has lost her child to understand.
I have not heard from him in two years. My father, tell me: Do my ominous dreams and those thousands of evil omens around me refer to my beloved Fernando, my handsome Count de Camporeal? To increase his happiness I would have God double each of his gifts and abilities. Besides, the voice of love, sweet and harmonious, would drown out the quivering, even if inspired, voice of an old man. A tall, elegant gentleman with a handsome, imposing countenance entered, his spurs clanking against our doorstep as he walked in. My son is so beautiful! Until then, however, you must come with me to Lima.
That is not what you promised me! Does a Spanish gentleman so easily break his word? They are rather like those we make to ourselves: subject to change with unexpected circumstances. She closed up her house and made the sign of the cross at the door as a farewell. She was overcome by a high fever; her reason went astray and was replaced by a terrible delirium, reaching a frantic state whenever I was taken from her side even for a moment.
At these times she would press me against her chest, choking me and screaming wildly; this would be followed by an overwhelming exhaustion. As I lay there in the reigning silence around us, I began to fall asleep. But then I saw the door open, and a tall man wrapped in a long, black cape, his face covered by his hat, came in. Then he wrapped me up in the long folds of his cape and took me away.
A slow, steady motion made all the objects around me oscillate; a muted sound, like a torrent heard from a distance, was the only thing that interrupted the deep silence 10 Dreams and Realities that reigned in that kind of grave, that vault with a lamp fading before the light of the approaching day.
I ran everywhere looking for a door, but there was not one in the room. Then I saw some stairs at the other end, and climbed them in a hurry. An immense blue plain stretched out before my astonished eyes as far as the thick clouds along the horizon. I shall never forget the horrible sorrow that broke my heart at that point. He answered my desperate cries with caresses, and sought to tell me of the happiness I would enjoy in Spain, to which we were sailing.
But, oh! In response to every tender thing he named, I answered by calling for my mother, and broke out crying.
Dreams and realities : selected fiction of Juana Manuela Gorriti
After the crying came a somber and silent sorrow, accompanied by a sentiment of repulsion toward my father, which neither reason nor the passing of the years has enabled me to overcome. There I spent three years so sad, so pale, that I never wish to recall them; they were like a nightmare. My external life was not made up of games and joys like those of the other children; I devoted all of my time to my studies, in which I made astounding The Quena 11 progress.
But this did not elicit the envy of my schoolmates, as it usually does.
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For seeing me experience neither pleasure nor pride in my triumphs, they forgave me for them. Every time I closed my eyes and fell asleep, I saw once again the horrible scene in which we were torn apart, and I felt, despite myself, that sentiment of rancorous fear that my father had bred in me. So when he came to see me, or when I would go to his palace, the best moment for me was when we said farewell.
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And he knew it, too. Oh, I saw so many clouds of sorrow and despair pass across his brow! She appeared agitated, deeply moved; she walked quickly, and, like a shadow, seemed not to touch the ground. When she reached us, she looked around quickly. My son! I have found my son! It was my mother! Of that marvelous beauty that 12 Dreams and Realities everyone who had looked at her had always loved, and which had earned her the name Mama Oello,4 only her long, black hair and her large eyes remained.
The latter had sunk into their orbits; grown larger, they were made more beautiful by that somber hue that sorrow leaves forever behind. Entirely immersed in the joy of seeing her, in the caresses and the sound of her voice, and in the pleasure of hearing each one of her words, I did not notice that her face became more pale and her eyes more languid each day; that her voice was becoming softer, as if it were leaving for another world; and that her words, sadder all the time, had acquired the solemnity of the last farewell of someone who is dying.
Listen carefully to what I am about to tell you, my dear son, and commit each of these words to memory. It was nighttime. A deep silence reigned in our humble abode; no priest had wanted to abandon his pleasant sleep to bring a word of comfort to this man who was about to depart from our world. I alone was there, praying, crying on my knees at the head of the deathbed; 4 Mama Oello: Wife and sister of Tupac Inca Yupanqui, hence the great mother of the Incas.
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Oello thus refers to a beautiful girl, usually of noble lineage, revered for her grace and chastity. The Quena 13 my moans were answered only by the whistling of the wind in the night, moaning also through our straw roof. I would have wanted to deposit it in a strong chest, one able to hold its immense weight.
But God, who has given me you as my only heir, shall also lend you, my daughter, the strength necessary to keep it. Therefore, those living in the interior, not having been surprised like those along the coast, decided to hide all the gold they possessed. To this end, they made use of the immense subterranean cities that our forefathers had wisely built under each of our cities. Do you see, my daughter, how big our city is?
Well, below it there is an underground city just as big. In the name of our homeland, I ask you to work as well, to be sober and strong in all things. And when you become a mother, teach your children these two virtues, so important, and so necessary, for us. Trust only he who shows you the other one. And now, my poor orphan, come closer, so that I may kiss and bless you. He had died while I kissed his hand. He was an old cacique, worshipped among the Indians as a prophet with infallible predictions. I showed him mine in silence.
My father never wanted to tell me, no matter how much I wished to go and pray at her grave. He went up to the corpse lying on the bed, lifted it in his arms—along with all the sheets on which it was resting, and exposed the bed, which was a layer of hardened soil right on the ground. He had me dig a short distance there until I uncovered a small door, which he ordered me to open with my key. I followed his instructions; as soon as I turned the key in the keyhole, the door opened outward, revealing a long set of stone stairs that led deep underground and disappeared into shadows.
Full of fright, I turned to look back at my companion, but he indicated that I should continue. But the old man, not moved by these wonders, continued walking, forcing me to go on ahead of him. We walked for some time along the marvelous path; then we turned to 16 Dreams and Realities the left and entered a vast cave. There terror joined my admiration. All along the length of the cave, there were two rows with gold niches, extending all the way to the end, and ending at the foot of a large throne made of the same metal.
The throne and almost all the niches were occupied by corpses that seemed to have been alive just the day before, some decorated in wonderful clothes, others covered with the rags of our current misery. I knelt, trembling, and brought my lips to touch the foot of the illustrious dead king.
Then the cacique introduced me to all of our other ancient kings, all sleeping their eternal sleep there, from the son of the sun, to the hapless Atahualpa, whose sacred remains, recovered secretly by the Indians to be deposited in the burial place of his forefathers, ended that long, majestic line, now annihilated. Seeing her renewed my sense of my double loss; but the old man dried my tears with his severe gaze. Those who have an exceptional destiny, like you and I, are not allowed tears.
The last words of him over whom you are crying entreated you to be strong. The Quena 17 Obey his order now, and be strong against your pain and your sorrow, so that you may have the strength necessary to face misery and persecution later. Each stone, each detail in the landscape, awoke heartbreaking memories.
Under the shade of this boulder, I had stopped so that you might have a rest; on this stone, I had sat to let you sleep; from that fountain, I had taken water to quench your thirst. So many times, overwhelmed by such painful memories, I thought about death, which brings everything to a close! But each and every time, your image appeared before me to save me, like a guardian angel. A gust of wind, cold and humid, blew against my face, making me step back, frightened.
It seemed to me that the frozen hand of he whose will I was about to break was trying to keep me out, threatening to curse me. I felt that the strength that had driven me there was weakening; then, as always, I called my memory of you, my son, to help me. I recalled you as you were on that horrible night, your arms stretched out toward me, crying, calling out to me in vain, and my fears and remorse dissipated.
You know that I have lived in poverty and darkness, when love asked me to use these golden riches to lift myself to the stature of the object that gave birth to this love in my heart. Have pity on a poor mother! Allow me to take just a little bit of gold, which helps overcome the impossible, which can return my son to me, and which would be to these immense treasures but what a drop of water is to the ocean.
And if you do not take pity on my sorrow, if you remain unyielding—oh, father—then let your curse fall upon me, for I cannot obey you! Determined, I got up and took the gold I needed for my plans. Then I left the underground city, as well as the city of Cuzco. Without ever stopping, I began the long pilgrimage that has brought me to you. What should I do? It is her children who will own your name and your title. And with my heart full of a burning faith, I swore to my mother that I would do as she asked.
When you go back to our homeland, do not return alone; do not leave your mother in a foreign land, take her remains with you. If the sun of exile has no heat for the living, how can it possibly warm those in the grave. It was nighttime already, and they were about to close the doors. She held me tightly in her arms for a long time, murmuring strange words under her breath. These were perhaps her last prayers. Oh Father, up in heaven, I leave him to you! But my mother loved me too much to make me wait very long to reward my obedience. The time for us to separate has come!
I shall be your friend, your sister, your mother, your lover, your slave. A dark foreboding veils the future from me with a shroud, and through it I see only the shadows of death. You must choose! If one of us must die, let it be me, let it be me! All I ask is that I am allowed to sleep my last sleep next to you, like your mother! Tell me that if my premonitions are not wrong, you shall carry the mortal remains of she whom you loved wherever you live. Promise that you shall identify your life with mine, even if death has carried my soul away, and that you will not bury me in the ground, where it is wet and cold, and your gaze cannot reach me!
Stop tormenting your heart and breaking mine with such gloomy thoughts. Look at your countenance, glowing with youth and beauty; look at your eyes, so full of charm and life; feel how your chest beats with vitality and love; and tell me if it is possible for death to be near you! The whistle was heard again, louder than before. I have come to carry out my end of our deal, for your plan has gone better than even I could have hoped.
In any case, I will not be here by the time it all unfolds. Still, that young Camporeal did not inspire the same hatred in me as other white men do. Like me, he had some great sorrow brewing in his heart. If you had only seen her, as I did, sir, when I told her that dark lie. Do not speak to me about her love for that man, for you do me—and her, too—a horrible wrong. But I would not wish to recall too fre- The Quena 23 quently that she decided to give me her hand because of a trick, and that her heart might belong to another forever!
Let us speak about you, instead, Francisca. The Negress closed the latticed window. With her eyes dilated and her heart beating wildly, she fell to her knees in front of a small lamp lit in a corner, and untied the cord that held her treasure with a trembling hand. One hundred! Two hundred! Two hundred ounces of gold! I shall soon be free and able to kiss your blessed shores again! My beloved children! My beautiful little twins! He will soon return your mother to you; and before too long, I will take each of you under each of my arms, as I did before, and sing of our joy to the echoes of the desert.
You did not take any pity on me then; I shall not take any on you now! You stole my happiness from me; I have rescued it by selling yours. I am saving myself, and taking my vengeance! To save myself and take my vengeance at once! What fortune! I salute you. My land! My children! I shall see you soon! The sun reigned alone in a parched, empty sky, shining its piercing rays down on the beautiful Lima; she, gracefully standing in the middle of a delightful oasis, seemed to look back at her bright father contentedly and smile as if she were making eyes at him.
On one of the last mountains of the semicircle around her, a traveler had stopped to contemplate her. It was a young, handsome priest; but stamped on his countenance was the mark of a deep and gloomy sorrow. He gazed at the magical The Quena 25 city with his arms crossed, and with a look that expressed both sadness and resignation. I ask you to call me quickly to your side, where my poor mother has awaited me for so long at the feet of your mother! The woman seemed lost in silent prayer.
Seeing her with her hands crossed upon her chest, her eyes looking up and surrounded by bluish circles, one might have thought her the statue of Mary at the foot of the cross. All of a sudden, her lips quivered, and she murmured a name under her breath. Meanwhile, my beloved, join your prayer with mine, and ask God to shorten my exile here on this world, so sad and dark since you ceased to inhabit it.
But no! After being destroyed by the horrible blow of the news of your death, I was forced to return to life and give my hand to another, whose vigilant eye watches my tears and measures my sighs. For after making himself the owner of my physical being, he pretends to intrude on the sanctuary of my memory, where my soul has taken refuge alongside your image and remains completely yours! His countenance revealed a deep, religious absorption that con- The Quena 27 trasted with the distracted and loose air with which some of the other priests of the Church celebrated the holy sacraments around that time.
After reciting the words of Jesus Christ in a pious tone, he turned toward the crowd to give the brotherly greeting of the apostle. And when the moment of divine mystery came to an end, he who had begun to say it with a pure heart, full of piety, knew he had been guilty of being idolized by the people—for the priest had forgotten the sacrosanct words of the consecration!!!
One was old and had a repugnant appearance; his vulturelike eyes, curved nose, and thin lips revealed that he belonged to the degenerate race of Jacob. The other was covered by a long cloak, his face hidden among its folds. Tell me, or else you will die.
Besides, am I not an astrologer? Very well, then. I have drawn your horoscope, and I can tell you that instead of being my murderer, you will thank me three times. The shrouded man shoved the old man back brutally, threw him a bag of gold, put away the vial, and wrapped himself even more tighterly inside his cloak. Then he climbed a spiral staircase, crossed The Quena 29 an orchard, and, jumping over an adobe wall, left down the street, taking long, quick steps.
He opened the door with a small key, closed it behind him, and lighted a candle. He was an agreeable and handsome gentleman; but his hard features, and the angry scowl clouding his brow, revealed a man of impetuous character and violent sentiments. He went to a writing desk, left the candle he had lit, removed from a breast pocket the vial he had gotten from the old man, and studied it for a long time with a somber expression.
Then he went to a door, raised the tapestry in front of it, and entered a sumptuous alcove softly illuminated by an alabaster lamp. In the center of the alcove stood a golden bed with scarlet velvet curtains; inside, beautiful and pale as a fantastic dream, a woman was sleeping in darkness, her head resting on one of her arms, her chest veiled by her long, black hair. Sad images no doubt bothered her sleeping mind, for, every so often, a convulsion would shake her body, her half-open lips would mumble a moan, and a tear could be seen to shine at the end of her long eyelashes.
At the foot of the bed, sitting on a chair, a black slave girl was keeping vigil—or, more accurately, was sleeping soundly. Then, after making sure that the lady and the slave were asleep, he quickly left, as silently as he had come, and disappeared behind the tapestry. The next morning, the city of Lima was in distress over a very sad incident. He was sliding the lock on the last postern when a cold hand fell upon his, paralyzing his every muscle and leaving him frozen with fright.
Dear Lord! What do you want with me? For, with the oscillating light from a lamp behind him, he had seen a ghost arise before him, shrouded in a long, black cloak. There the ghost stopped, and, turning to the sacristan, pointed at the door. But as soon as he stepped outside the church, the little strength that he had left abandoned him all together. Among these unreal visions, one suddenly appeared that was more distinct, and more horrible, than the others. The sacristan, his hair standing on end, saw it advance toward him under the somber arches and pass by him, disappearing behind the columns of the postern.
It was the vampire. At that very moment, a hand, and this time a very human and strong hand, grabbed him by the arm, shook him roughly, and made him stand up. And he, too, headed toward the underground pantheon. Every night, at this hour, you will wait for me here. If you are on time, and discrete, you will receive each time a bag of gold like the one I have given you tonight. But if you do not come, or if a single word escapes your lips. Do you understand me? Now, open the door. Speak up! Who has entered here before me?
Who has entered here? It is not my fault, sir. There is nothing we can do against spirits. A shadow visited the tombs, and then disappeared among a multitude of specters from the church. The next day, the unfortunate man was found dead, in a pool of his own blood, at the foot of the altar.
His pace, now slow and hesitating, now quick and self-assured, revealed a battle between a vigorous soul and a fatigued body. The Quena 33 When he reached the summit, he stopped and looked down, gazing deeply and avidly at the pleasant valley of Urubamba that stretched out below him. Your diabolic science will serve for something after all, infernal Jew. It promised me fortune, and it will, in the end, deliver it to me. But it shall be the fortune of a desperate soul, for it will come in the form of vengeance! Yes, vengeance! Executed, terrible, and merciless.
The last frosts of winter had recently melted with the warm breezes of spring. The blooming orchards exhaled the acrid fragrance of their blossoms; and the soft murmuring of the wind through the foliage combined with the songs of the thrushes, nightingales, and the tuyas,6 to add even more charm to the mysterious magic of the late hours of the day. It was surrounded by delightful gardens, and the fragrance of orange blossoms and jasmines, roses and cherimoya trees perfumed its many halls.
Cool fountains pleased the ear with the sweet whispering of their spouting water, saturating the evening breeze with a moist and fragrant aura. Under the green dome of a pavilion of myrtle and honeysuckle, her 6 The tuya is a Peruvian bird. There also was a man sitting in the shadows close to her. It was the pilgrim with the black mask. Beside him was a table full of fruits and wine. But please, do me the favor of uncovering your face, so I may see your venerable countenance.
Until then, my food is bitter; I cannot accept your hospitable banquet. But at least listen to my singing while you rest. For there, as in heaven, beauty and love make their home. But there, too, the cursed cherub comes to relieve the immensity of his supreme sorrow for a moment.
For there they possess the kingdom of the elements and are the queens of creation. For this daughter of Spain loved a son of the sun; and by the time the proud Iberian had taken possession of her body, her soul already belonged to Chaska-Naui Inca,7 and had done so for a long time. Where was she? Was she crossing the nether regions of eternity?
Or rather—oh, horror! That cold and silent darkness, was it the abyss? The abyss of nothingness in which her soul was to vanish! It was a familiar voice, which she had loved in another time, in another world, perhaps in heaven. It was not the scowling countenance of the angel of death, no. It was the beautiful, soft, and melancholy face of one of those spirits of love who roam about gathering the sorrowful of the world to their bosoms.
In heaven? Heaven does not contain among its treasures the delightful intoxication that she felt in her enraptured soul. Under those mysterious domes, in the shadow of those quiet gardens, she gave herself to the pleasures of a guilty love, not aware that the man who had taken possession of her body before—and had hidden her in a tomb—was also there.
With a dagger in his hand, and vengeance as his guide, this man slid, silent as a snake, among the walls of the garden, and stood up suddenly before The Quena 37 her. And the white moonlight that before illuminated the beautiful resident of the enchanted palace shone now only upon a bloody corpse. Its destructive force had blown through the narrow ravines of the mountain range, swept the dry grasses it found along the way, formed whirlwinds between the granite walls, and crashed, roaring furiously, against a small Indian town at the foot of the mountains.
But the tempest had now passed. There were no signs of life among the houses; and yet, at the top of one of them, a light could be seen, shining like a lighthouse in that ocean of darkness. Was it an instrument? And who was the author of this melody, an angel or a demon? It was a man. He was sitting at the feet of a woman in a small room where everything was in mourning, illuminated by a large, silver lamp, playing a strangely shaped instrument. This man, dressed in black, was, like all the objects around him, tall and distinguished, with handsome features, although deathly pale.
Even though he had deep, precocious wrinkles, his large, black eyes, with their long eyelashes, still had a very youthful brightness to them. The woman, at whose feet he sat, was covered in a white tunic, and was lying down on a long divan, her face half-covered by her long, wavy, black hair, which fell along the folds of her clothes to the ground. One of her hands lay on her knee; the other held her head up as she reclined on the pillows of the divan. Nothing could be more peaceful and beautiful than this scene, formed by the woman, dressed in white like a virgin lying on her nuptial bed, and the man who, sitting at her feet, looks at her with his deeply handsome, passionate eyes, and plays every note of that heavenly melody just for her.
The traveler can barely distinguish the place it once occupied on the arid plains by a few ruins blackened by the rains and the freezing winds that blow down from the mountains. But neither the years, nor the omnipotent gaze of the Vatican, have been able to erase the memory of the unfortunate love or the strange mourning of Camporeal, the priest. But, oh, to you who carry a great sorrow in your hearts: Beware of listening to it! Because for you it will have a terrible power. Like a magical mirror, it will show you everything that is gloomy about your past; it will reveal before your eyes the pale image of your sinister future; and the sorrow will grow inside your chest, causing it to burst.
These words take our minds immediately to the metropolis of the children of the Sun, to the center of their past grandeur—to Cuzco!
See a Problem?
Cuzco is a city of fantastic legends, of wondrous myths and traditions. Combining the beauty of the ballad and the grace of the pastoral, they spill forth like a handful of jewels into the green hollows of a ravine. Learn their beautiful language, listen to the conversations they have at home in the evenings, and you might just think that you are hearing the symbolic dirges of the exiles of Zion being sung under the willows of Babylon.
What thoughts burn behind the patient resignation with which they carry their misfortune? What hope is revealed by that festive dress that they have always saved, even in their eternal mourning? And what is the secret that they have passed from generation to generation, and guarded sacredly amid the rags of their misery? The answer to all of these questions is, for them, found in one word: Hallpa-mama. He greeted the light of the new day with a curse, and, after hesitating for a moment, as if trying to decide in which direction he should go, he began to walk up the street, sticking close to the walls.
He left the last houses of the city behind him without stopping and followed the path lined with weeds that leads to the Rodadero. When he saw the house among the branches of the trees, the man in the dark hood stopped in his tracks as if he were suddenly waking from a dream.
Am I ready to hear cries and complaints and wooing now! To have to deal with her and her entire race for a mere twenty doubloons. Good-bye to all my dreams and aspirations! Goddamned four of spades! What did he see? What did he hear? His countenance inspired meekness; the sweet look of his wrinkled eyes moved lovingly from the youth to the girl. And he had another that consoled him in the face of all his losses—a daughter as beautiful as the iris and as good as an angel. Educated by the pious Abbess of the Nazarenes, her existence moved joyfully between the smoke of the incense and the glories of the Lord.
One day, the insolent eyes of Diego de Maldonado stared into hers through the bars of the choir. No more quiet evenings around the lamp in the cell of the abbess, telling stories and decorating sugary pastilles; no more jumping about merrily during recess under the myrtles of the garden. Her days were now spent inside the church, kneeling on the cold tiles, her heart shaken with strange tremors; and while her lips uttered prayers, her eyes and thoughts turned to the spot that a man had come to occupy every day at Mass.
When night fell, while her companions played, running under the arches of the cloisters, she, standing at the top of the tower of the convent, looked out with yearning eyes over the vast view of the city, her chest full of longing, her ears listening attentively in the dark as if she might hear among the many sounds below the echo of a beloved voice. One day, soon thereafter, the abbess called Yupanqui in. She showed him his daughter, how she had grown pale and thin, and rec1 Horcos: Indigenous group from the high regions of the Andes, near Cuzco. From urku, meaning hill Quechua.
The inten dants, or governors of those lands, exercised great power over taxation, economic develop ment, land grant distribution, and the administration of justice. The Treasure of the Incas 45 ommended that he take her for a time to breathe the air of the country and the mountains. Who knows by what chance of fortune they were united! In any case, the fact remained that the cacique once again saw his daughter radiant in all her splendor and beauty, and he was content, and he never tired of looking at her, and he asked himself why he had not brought this inexhaustible source of happiness back to his side sooner.
But woe to him who trusts his good luck! She dried the trace the tear had left on her cheek with one of her black braids and turned to the cacique. I know. You cannot get used to the poverty of our simple cabin? You miss the sweet home of the convent and wish to go back there? I will never leave your side! My mother lived and died here. Her soul looks over our abode; I see her frequently in my dreams, bending over me, smiling with her sweet and melancholy smile. All the things around me have been touched by her hands. This classification scheme is used by most libraries on campus to determine the shelf order of the books and collocates items by topic.
The information below has been drawn from sources outside of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries. In most instances, the information will be from sources that have not been peer reviewed by scholarly or research communities. Please report cases in which the information is inaccurate through the Contact Us link below. Dreams and realities : selected fiction of Juana Manuela Gorriti Prose works.
Subjects A limited number of items are shown. Content Types A limited number of items are shown. Click to view More Translations into English. Summary "Dreams and Realities offers a sampling of Gorriti's stories, showing the range of her commitment to political fiction drawn in the romantic style.