Miguel Riofrío

Miguel Riofrío Sánchez (Loja, Ecuador, September 7, 1822 – Lima, Peru, October 11, 1879) was an Ecuadorian poet, novelist, journalist, orator, educator, lawyer, and politician. He is best known today as the author of “La Emancipada,” Ecuador’s first novel, which was published in installments in the newspaper La Unión in 1863. Many experts however argue that because the book is usually less than 100 pages long in print, it is really a novella rather than a novel, and that Ecuador’s first novel is in fact “Cumanda” (1879) by Juan León Mera. Nonetheless, Miguel Riofro’s “La Emancipada” has been accepted as Ecuador’s first novel, thanks to the arguments of the well-known and respected Ecuadorian writer Alejandro Carrión (1915-1992).

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The Chulla Romero y Flores (1958 Novel) by Jorge Icaza – An English Translation

by Jorge Icaza (1906-1978)

Translated from Spanish by Richard Gabela

Chapter I

Several times a day Don Ernesto Morejón Galindo, Chief-Director of the Bureau of Economic Investigation, abandoned his small office to monitor the attendance of the employees in his charge. Don Ernesto was a man of uneven temperament. Completely uneven. When he was in a good mood, he was the kind to brag about being a Don Juan and make racy revelations about himself, much like a mestizo woman from the vegetable market or a newcomer from the countryside. With graphic and pornographic gestures of a sex addict, he would whisper into the ear of his next confidant: “What a wild night, my dear cholo. I served myself three young ladies. Two of them turned out to be virgins.… He-he-he…All for free.” But when it came time to publicly reprimand his henchmen (as he inwardly referred to his subordinates) he swelled with omnipotence and hurled insults left and right. In times like these, when his domineering arrogance exploded, the most grotesque characteristics of his fat face stood out: his cheeks resembled a pair of pink buttocks, his lips quivered like mud, bilious drool hung between his teeth, a diabolical flame burned in his pupils.

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