Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Three Trapped Tigers

Since I promised to loan Three Trapped Tigers to a friend, I'm frantically trying to finish reading it after umpteen years. No plot, just drinking (lots and lots of drinking) driving around and huge riffs on language. Almost a Cuban version of On the Road, except the friends never leave Cuba. The setting is Cuba before the revolution, and one of the characters says he's off to join Fidel, but we haven't seen that happen.

I had a history professor who told the story of driving around in the countryside just before Castro came to power. Revolutionaries in camo stopped his car, and asked for his identification. He showed them is membership card in the socialist party and they embraced him. Brother!

I think we were shocked that he was a socialist. Good stories go on forever. I would like to visit Cuba sometime. Castro was young once, and idealistic and made a big splash when he took over. Then the firing squads came in and the idealism, well, idealism and firing squads are not compatible.

We were mightily impressed by the big retrospective on Cuban Art that the Montreal Fine Arts Museum had a year ago. It would be interesting to find out what became of the author of Three Trapped Tigers. I think I'll investigate.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guillermo_Cabrera_Infante

Very interesting. Who knew? Castro's regime alienated many who had originally wished it well. Cabrera Infante got in trouble with everyone, the hallmark of a true artist. Now, I'll definitely finish the novel. (He didn't like "Tigers" referred to as a novel. I think of it as one long riff.

Later,

Grapeshot

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