Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo
Of Pippa Medias Largas, alias Carrot Head, whose official name according to her was Pillalota Provisionia Gaberdina Dandelonia Efraisona Mediaslargas, I remember a scene in the classroom.
The teacher draws a picture in which we see a beautiful island, colored green and surrounded by a blue sea. Suspended over the tropical island is printed the letter i.
“How strange!,” cries Pippa, flustered by this vowel which looks like a little line over which a fly has released something. And immediately she wonders, maliciously, what do islands have to do with what flies release?
It reads (in bad Cuban): the orphan girl of Christine Nöstlinger and Efraín Mediaslargas is questioning the relationship between our island and shit.
Stockadecuba. Feces fatherlands. Putrid country. Communal Services Pipe. Sewer fermentation. I’m not the one saying it. Everyone can verify it for themselves: my citation is literally pure children’s literature (if not the author’s, it’s the fault of the translation).
Cuba falling so much into pieces that today the most profitable poetic politics would be, without a doubt, a parody of that also nearly childlike: Cuba, what the fuck is Cuba, whoever offends her loves her even more…
Thomas Bernhard, a stateless compatriot of poor Pippa, will then applaud like crazy. Or maybe he would be frustrated in his grave with no historic cloth for a flag. Because the truth is that our caca Cuba lacks cannibal writers. The Cuban American fictions are high art no matter how much they wallow in the ruins of the kingdom. Pedro Juan Gutiérrezhas become a publishable type even within the map of the island. With Reinaldo Arenas dead and buried (in my area the young people leaf through him without interest), Juan Abreau barely opens half a dozen cans of beer and soon leaves to warm up in a Barcelona gym. Meanwhile, on the other side of the Pyranees, the miracle of Zoé doesn’t stop much more either now.
It’s a real tragedy. Cuban literature is losing its Fecal Golden Age, without a single author daring to dirty their hands. Nor their brains.
And I’m not referring to the big indecent word. Neither of the angry “cojones” or the formidable phrase “what the fuck is the matter here.” I am referring to, luckily, a person who steps out of the ordinary of all the national histories that have transformed the Cuban author into a State puppet. Ecstatic. A being needing an audience (that accomplice of the consensus) where success is assumed as the means of everything. An intellectual freak who no longer aspires to the power of their own voice, but only to be a spokesperson for power (whether it be the dictatorship of the market or of the workers).
I see the years and the texts come and go. I age. I am tired of doing nothing. I don’t even believe in the inutility of virtue. I read lyrical literature about disaster. Lots of magisterial works, thought of from the future. But more, without doubt, the grand reactionary Cuban novel does not appear. I don’t see any counter-revolutionary incorrections in any scene. The dialogues exile any attempt at delirium. The depictions are real. The characters appear as characters. Everything legible, everything univocal, everything pathetic, almost professional. It makes you want to take a frame in which you can see precious island, painted green and surrounded by blue sea, hanging over a fly’s excrement.
I’m not the one saying it. Sadly, since the past century Pippalota Provisionia Gaberdina Dandelonia Efraisona Mediaslargas has the damn patent or at least the damn copyright.
Translated by: Raul G.