Panic Signs

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Wilfrid Laurier Univ. Press, May 15, 2002 - Fiction - 114 pages
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Cristina Peri Rossi is one of the most acclaimed and personal voices in Hispanic letters. This volume of short stories, Panic Signs, first published in 1970 in Montevideo, Uruguay, presages the atrocities that would come with dictatorship in 1972.

The premonitory dimension is one of the striking characteristics in all the stories — a sense of impending catastrophe, sometimes hallucinatory and often graphic, leads us to undetermined places where the horrors of censorship, torture, and human bondage take place. At the same time, the stories expose the shackles that incapacitate us and deny us the acceptance of ourselves.

This elegy for freedom mourns the loss of liberty and justice while seducing us into questioning what we hold true. The metaphorical procession of images, and the craftsmanship of a narrative that continually engage us, motivate us to explore our own uncertainties and values, and offer an unquestionable opportunity to reassess today’s global conditions. Peri Rossi succeeds in creating a whirlwind of despair and self-discovery, impelling us to assess our own panic signs and so avoid being entrapped by those who hold power over us.

The translation of this powerful text will help English-speaking readers attain a more profound understanding of the complexities of Latin America’s cultural and socio-political issues.

 

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Contents

Prologue
1
1 I am very interested in botany
4
2 I live in a country of old people
6
3 I have never been in Vermont
9
4 We have not gone to the moon
10
5 For more than twentyfive years
11
6 Sometimes my mother consoles me
12
7 I spent many years caressing statues
13
25 As I was walking along
41
26 The Acrobats
42
27 Besieged
47
28 The minister called me
56
29 What are you doing?
59
30 Disobedience and the Bear Hunt
60
31 The Statue
69
32 I possessed her when I was eight
73

8 I always imagine
14
9 She brought me passionate presents
15
10 She hands me the scarf
16
11 I contribute to the general racket
17
12 She had been brought from Peru
19
13 I have a tiny apartment
21
14 She has given me happiness
23
15 Dialogue with the Writer
24
16 For many years I lived
26
17 When I was mature enough
28
18 Hell is bloody birds
30
19 You are very beautiful
31
20 I will till no more
32
21 In the ghetto of my womb
33
22 I dreamt that I was
34
23 Desertion
35
24 What is happening?
38
33 Mamás Farewell
74
34 I started to feel your absence
77
35 At the corner bar
81
36 When the bishops rebelled
83
37 A Great Family
84
38 Such apparent senselessness
88
39 I was enjoying an ice cream cone
89
40 Selene I
90
41 Selene II
91
42 I have come by train
92
43 Urgent Messages for Navigators
94
44 The Social Contract
96
45 The Stampede
102
46 The Hero
108
Other books by Cristina Peri Rossi
113
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Page v - It is time to say that man, before receiving the benefits of culture, should receive the benefits of order. In a certain sense, it can be said that, historically, the policeman has taken precendence over the teacher.

About the author (2002)

Cristina Peri Rossi was born in Montevideo, Uruguay, in 1941 and started her literary career in 1963 with the publication of her collection of short stories: Viviendo. She was a professor of comparative literature, a translator, and a journalist. In 1972, after the military coup in Uruguay, she emigrated to Spain where she lives and writes today. Her first narrative publications (El libro de mis primos, 1969; Indicios pánicos, 1970) combined symbolism with irony, questioning social reality and patriarchal structures. From 1972 through to the early 1980s, her work was banned in Uruguay. Cristina Peri Rossi’s spirit of innovation, her rebelliousness, and her disregard for the conventions of society have made her an emblematic personality of the 1970s. This collection of short stories was originally published as Indicios pánicos in 1970 by Editorial Nuestra América.

Mercedes Rowinsky-Geurts is an associate professor at Wilfrid Laurier University, specializing in Latin American social and political issues, the Latin American diaspora, and women writers of the twentieth century. Her book Imagen y discurso: El estudio de las imágenes en la obra de Cristina Peri Rossi (1995) has been awarded a Special Mention by the Ministry of Education and Culture in Uruguay in 1998. In 2000, Mercedes Rowinsky-Geurts was awarded the Outstanding Teacher Award at Wilfrid Laurier University.

Angelo A. Borrás is a professor emeritus of Spanish in the Department of Languages and Literatures at Wilfrid Laurier University. Author of El teatro del exilio de Max Aub, and editor and co-author of The Theatre and Hispanic Life: Essays in Honour of Neale H. Tayler (WLU Press), he has published many articles on contemporary Spanish literature, several of which deal with exile literature.

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