Neil Gordon schrijft,

The literary form Galeano has created in his many books is unique: little narratives and descriptive vignettes — here elegantly translated by Mark Fried — that might range from a paragraph to a dozen pages and that progress with a powerful hypnotic rhythm. Each is self-contained and neatly tells its story not only by what it says, but, equally powerfully, by what it leaves out — and by its juxtaposition, or syncopation, with its neighbors. Galeano’s latest book, ‘Mirrors,’ uses this technique to create nothing less than a capsule history of the human race. In some 600 short entries, he travels from prehistory to the present, from the impressionistic to the brutally, precisely documented.


‘She’ll go off with anybody,’ they said, to denigrate her freedom. ‘She is not like a woman,’ they said, to praise her intelligence. But numerous professors, magistrates, philosophers, and politicians came from afar to the School of Alexandria to hear her words.
Hypatia studied the enigmas that defied Euclid and Archimedes, and she spoke out against blind faith unworthy of divine love or human love. She taught people to doubt and to question. And she counseled:
‘Defend your right to think. Thinking wrongly is better than not thinking at all.’
What was that heretical woman doing giving classes in a city run by Christian men?
They called her a witch and a sorcerer. They threatened her with death.
And one March day in the year 415, a crowd set upon her at noon. And she was pulled from her carriage and stripped naked and dragged through the streets and beaten and stabbed. And in the public square a bonfire disposed of whatever was left of her.
‘It will be investigated,’ said the prefect of the city. – Eduardo Galeano

Mannen met macht zijn honden (een belediging voor honden). Wat een boek. Onderkoeld zinnetje: ‘Since History was busy recording the feats of Christ’s warriors, not much is known of her.’ De verhalen zijn horrorverhalen. Ik heb er 300 achter elkaar gelezen, tegen de klippen op, ik wilde bij de Holocaust geraken, ik geraakte net voorbij de heksenjacht, de inquisitie. Of je bekende een heks te zijn en je stierf op de brandstapel. Of je ontkende een heks te zijn en je stierf op de brandstapel. Wie anders dan een heks kon, geholpen door de duivel, martelingen doorstaan en zwijgen? Het is een grotesk wonder dat ik hier zit en schrijf. Ik kan schrijven omdat Europeanen dekens met pokken uitdeelden zodat de oorspronkelijke bewoners van Amerika uitstierven. Boek maakt me ziek van misselijkheid, zo goed geschreven.

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