By Antonio Benitez-Rojo, James Maraniss
During this masterful number of brief tales, a celebrated Cuban author keeps his creative exploration of the genesis of the trendy Caribbean international.
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Extra resources for A View from the Mangrove
He recalled that his old Salomon had been taken by the wind to a great bay, wide and deep, shaped like a horseshoe, from which he could see the roofs of a settlement: it was Puerto Plata, at the foot of Monte de Plata, the Silver Mountain, whose peak was wrapped in a veil of argent mist; those exotic gleams were said to issue from the waters of a vaporous lagoon, but how was one to know? In any event that was what a Dominican friar, caretaker of a stone monastery near the village, had told him.
A dog got you. If it had been a jaguar, you wouldn't be standing here. " The slave Page 29 frowns and answers with a grunt. "Lucky you're with me, too. I've been down this road to the coast and back to Quetzaltenango three times. In four or five days, I'll show you where the run away slaves, the cimarrones, live," he adds, pointing east. "They'll make a bandit out of you. You're young and ready for anything. A five-day walk from here. " The slave, his filed teeth shining in a broad grin, raises his hand to his chest and nods in assent.
Trampling shells and seaweed, they seek a firm foothold in the wet sand. Among the marchers are one-eyed men with felt eyepatches, amputees with sinister hooks, toothless men whose mouths have sunk; others there are whose faces have been eaten out by scrofula, or stippled with the pox, or riven by some terrible scar. These are trusted men, men tempered by shipboard illness, by Portuguese gunpowder, by the arrows and lances of the Negroes of Senegal, Cape Verde, Guinea, and Sierra Leone; they carry broadswords, quivers, crossbows, horns, straps, pikes, knapsacks, harquebuses, and pistols.
A View from the Mangrove by Antonio Benitez-Rojo, James Maraniss