Sunday, November 23, 2008

A bit of Caramelo

I am proud to say that I have made progress with the thick book I’m reading and by “thick” I mean 439 intimidating pages.

I am done with more than half of it. So I’m thinking that I will be able to finish the book before the year ends, if not before the stroke of midnight at the last day of this year (granting I will not be working on New Year’s eve). Not bad for a slow reader such as myself.

At the risk of being sued for plagiarism or any copyright infringement case, I shall share a few paragraphs from the last chapter which I read. They fall on pages 262 to 263 on copies similar to what I have which was published by Vintage Books on September 2003.

Let’s just say I find the following parts poignant, texts that may hide some thoughts in it—debatable or otherwise. A course of habit, spotting poignant lines. Something I developed in my Masterpieces of World Literature class back in college where our instructor forces our minds to speak, even beyond any author’s voice.

So here goes an excerpt from Sandra Cisneros’ Caramelo:

—You’re selfish, you’ve always been selfish, the Grandmother says, banging both fists on her daughter’s body. Thunk, thunk, thunk. —You’ve always done what you wanted with your life, always, always, always. I hate you!

Stunned, Aunty runs into the bathroom and locks herself in, her body heaving into tears.

—Come out of there, you spoiled escuincla.

—No, I won’t. Never!

Never. Forever. Never. But life is short, and “never” long.

The Grandmother feels as if her daughter has stabbed her with a fork. Cruel daughter! Vice-ridden, selfish girl! Aunty feels as if her mother has knocked her out with hammers. Scandalous crazy old woman! After a while, Aunty can hear the Grandmother stomping over to her bedroom, the door slamming, keys turning in the tumbler, doors from the walnut-wood armoire creaking open, drawers shuffling, then the bed springs groaning like a sigh. Aunty had only wanted what the Grandmother had wanted. Love. Is that too much to ask one’s mother?

The grandmother throws herself on the bed and draws the caramelo rebozo over her face to still the pain behind her eyes. Ungrateful girl!

At the same time on opposite sides of the house they each swear never to talk to the other as long as they both live. But life is very short and anger long.

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