Before the turn of the century, while the rich in Madrid, Paris and Rome capped their sumptuous dinners with sips of Puerto Rico's exquisite black caf , the anemic men, women and children who harvested the precious crop lived in squalid huts and rarely saw a scrap of meat. Brutalized by grinding poverty, theirs was the harsh world of Manuel Zeno-Gandia's La Charca, published in 1894 and widely acknowledged as the first major novel to emerge from Puerto Rico. In the colloquial Spanish of Puerto Rico's hill-country, una charca is a stagnant pond, a body of brackish water. Puerto Rico's Spanish colonial society, says Zeno-Gandia, was an immense charca of human beings, oppressed by poverty, ignorance and disease. His bitter melodrama offers stark contrasts: the beautiful Puerto Rican countryside, a veritable Garden of Eden; yet within that "regal panorama," starved, diseased human beings clung desperately to life.
Publisher: Markus Wiener Publishing Inc
Number of pages: 216
Weight: 286 g
Dimensions: 216 x 140 x 13 mm
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