by Jorge Icaza (1906-1978)
Translated from the Spanish by Richard Gabela
Several times a day Don Ernesto Morejón Galindo, the 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 unbalanced character. Completely unbalanced. When he was in good spirits, he exaggerated his qualities of a Don Juan, slipping through the libidinous confidences of a vegetable-market chola or a chagra newly arrived from the countryside. With graphic and pornographic gesticulations of sexual possession, he would murmur into the ear of his next confidant: “What a night of revelry, my dear cholo. I had myself three women. Two turned out to be virgins.… Hee-hee-hee…All for free.” But if he had to publicly reprimand his henchmen—an epithet of intimate nature by which he referred to his subordinates —he swelled with omnipotence and meted out threats without concert or order. At such moments—when his domineering arrogance exploded—everything grotesque about his adipose face was underscored—his cheeks like rosy buttocks, his trembling clay lips, the bilious drool between his teeth, the diabolic flame in his pupils.
Continue reading “The Chulla Romero y Flores (1958 Novel) by Jorge Icaza – An English Translation”
Bruno Sáenz Andrade (Quito, September 13, 1944 – Quito, January 11, 2022) was an Ecuadorian writer, poet, essayist and literary critic. He is the author of numerous books including: “El aprendiz y la palabra,” “Relatos del aprendiz,” “Comedia del cuerpo,” “1944, La promesa y la siega” and “La noche acopia silencios.” A lawyer by profession, in his working life he served as director of the School of Prosecutors in the Public Ministry, as well as Undersecretary of Culture. He was a regular speaker at the House of Ecuadorian Culture, the Benjamín Carrión Cultural Center, and the Rayuela bookstore, among other places. He was an emeritus member of the Ecuadorian Academy of Language since 2014. In 2003 his poetry book “Escribe la inicial de tu nombre en el umbral del sueño” won the Jorge Carrera Andrade Award.
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Benjamín Ortiz Brennan is an Ecuadorian journalist and writer. He has written two well-regarded historical novels: A la sombra del magnolio (2017) and El bicho que se bajó del tren (2021). He has worked as a chronicler at El Tiempo newspaper, news director of Ecuavisa, director of the newspaper Hoy for 17 years, and director of his own strategic communication agency for another 17 years.
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Gonzalo Ortiz Crespo (Quito, October 18, 1944) is an Ecuadorian journalist, essayist, historian and writer. He has written 3 novels: Los hijos de Daisy (2009), Alfaro en la sombra (2012) and Pecunia non olet (2021), a thriller about corruption. He is a numerary member of the Ecuadorian Academy of Language and a member of the National Academy of History. He wrote for the newspapers El Tiempo, Hoy, EL COMERCIO and the magazine Gestión. He has worked as an university professor and has held various posts such as secretary of communication, secretary of the administration of President Rodrigo Borja, and councilor of Quito.
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Elías Muñoz Vicuña (Yaguachi, Guayas, May 10, 1922 – Guayaquil, February 10, 1997) was an historian, writer, university professor, and member of the Ecuadorian Communist Party. His historical essays include: El 15 de Noviembre de 1922 (1978), Biografía de Olmedo (1980), and Papel Histórico de Vicente Rocafuerte (1983). In 1976 he was appointed professor of Economic, Social and Political History of Ecuador at the Faculty of Economics of the University of Guayaquil; in 1984 he was declared a member of the Institute of Labor Law; and in 1985 member of the Guayas chapter of the House of Ecuadorian Culture, and Visiting Professor of the Institute of Diplomacy of the University of Guayaquil. In 1983 he became a member of the National Academy of History. He traveled to many countries as a representative of the Ecuadorian Communist Party, including to Cuba in 1966 per the invitation of Fidel Castro; and in 1970 at the Centenary of Lenin’s birth in Ecuador, the Soviet Union awarded him with the “Lenin Gold Medal” in a public ceremony.
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Segundo Moreta Morales (Otavalo, Ecuador) is an author, storyteller and intercultural educator. He is the author of the children’s book Juanita the Colorful Butterfly (2015), illustrated by Into Gualapuro and Luis Uksha. Told in Spanish, Kichwa, and English, it tells a charming tale of a butterfly who loses her color when a witch casts a spell on her; Juanita’s nature-dwelling friends help her to become colorful again.
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Maria Virginia Farinango (Otavalo, Ecuador) was born in an Indigenous Quichua community near Otavalo, Ecuador. In 2011, she and Laura Resau co-authored the novel The Queen of Water, based on the true story of her girlhood. After many years of running her own Andean crafts business and traveling extensively with her husband, Tino, an Andean musician, Maria Virginia earned a master’s degree in psychology. Maria Virginia now resides in Otavalo with her husband, son, and daughter, where she practices clinical psychology.
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Félix Villacís del Valle (March 17, 2000) is an Ecuadorian novelist and poet. He is the author of 4 books. He was an editor for Editorial Déjà Vu, and from 2019-2021 was the director of Editorial Madriguera. His published books include A la cuenta de tres (2016), La vida que me diste (2018), Nudos (2021), which is also the second edition of Las palabras que formaron un nudo en mi garganta (2019), and a selection of his short stories have appeared in Quina (2021). Furthermore, on Wattpad are found his short story selection Los Gatos negros en el tejado, and his novels No Robarás and Ellos, ella & yo. In 2020 he was a finalist of the eighth edition of “Día del libro y de la Rosa.”
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César Gustavo Garzón Guzmán (Quito, June 8, 1958) was an Ecuadorian writer and literary critic who disappeared on the night of November 9, 1990. On January 28, 2021 the Ecuadorian state acknowledge responsibility for his forced disappearance before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. When he disappeared, the 32-year-old writer was living in Quito, where he was working on his doctoral thesis in Letters at the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador. On the night of November 9, 1990, he went out with a group of friends to a disco and his family never saw him again. In 1980 he joined the literary workshop of Miguel Donoso Pareja at the House of Ecuadorian Culture and co-founded the literary group “La Mosca Zumba.”
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Theodore Alan Sackett is an American university professor and Spanish literature scholar. Sackett is considered one of the foremost experts on the writings of Ecuador’s most famous author Jorge Icaza and is cited often in critical essays and research studies on Icaza’s novels. In 1974, he authored an important book-length study on Jorge Icaza’s novels entitled, “El arte en la novelística de Jorge Icaza” (The Art in Jorge Icaza’s Novelistic Works) published by the House of Ecuadorian Culture. Sackett contributed to the 1988 critical edition of Jorge Icaza’s novel El Chulla Romero y Flores (1958), coordinated by Ricardo Descalzi and Renaud Richard, wherein Sackett analyzed the composition, lexicon and stylistics in Icaza’s mestizo-themed masterpiece. From 1965 to 1996, Sackett worked as a Spanish professor at the University of Southern California. From 1996-2002, he was a professor and Chair of the Spanish department at the University of Nevada, Reno.
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Jennie Carrasco Molina (Ambato, 1955) is an Ecuadorian novelist, short story writer, poet, journalist, editor, university professor and holistic therapist. She has worked with the press and on women’s issues. Her works include the short story book “La diosa en el espejo” (1995), poetry book “Arañas en mi vestido de seda” (2001), and novel “Viaje a ninguna parte” (2004). In 2011 her poetry book “Confesiones apocalípticas” won the prestigious Jorge Carrera Andrade Prize. Some of her poems have been translated into English.
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Enrique Ayala Mora (Ibarra, November 13, 1950) is an Ecuadorian historian, essayist, editor, university professor and politician. He works as a professor at the Central University of Ecuador and the Simón Bolívar Andean University. He was a deputy of Ecuador, vice president of the National Congress and member of the Constituent Assembly (1997-1998). He is currently the President of the Ecuadorian Socialist Party. As an editor and writer, he has published over 30 works of history and politics.
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Sergio Núñez Santamaría (Santa Rosa, Ambato, October 7, 1896 – Quito, 1982) was a novelist, short story writer, poet, playwright, literary critic and pedagogue. As a poet, he wrote in verse and prose, and was greatly influenced by the modernismo literary movement of Ruben Dario of Nicaragua. In 1918 he published his first poetry book, “Hostias de fuego,” with a prologue by Medardo Ángel Silva. He belonged to the “30 Generation,” a group of authors from the 1930’s Ecuador who used social realism in their fiction to denounce how Indians were treated in Ecuador. His novellas “Juego de hacienda” and “Circunferencia” are considered Indigenista fiction. A private school in Guayaquil bears his name.
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Eloy Proaño (1890-1965) was an Ecuadorian poet. In 1946 he published a poetry book entitled Humo.
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Felix Valencia Vizuete (Latacunga, August 31, 1886 – Quito, January 3, 1919) was an Ecuadorian poet often called the “Poet of Sorrow.” During his lifetime he published the books “Cantos de vida y muerte” (1911) and “La epopeya de San Mateo” (1914). In 1934, his friend, the writer and journalist Alejandro Andrade Coello, published a posthumous collection of his poems entitled “Los poemas del dolor” (Poems of Sorrow). Valencia’s life and work were marked by loneliness, misanthropy and sadness.
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Camila Peña (Cuenca, 1995) is an Ecuadorian poet, radio host and ballet dancer. In 2020 her first poetry book “Jardín Transparente,” won the Francisco Ruiz Udiel Hispanic American Poetry Award and will be published by Valparaíso Ediciones. She has a master’s degree in Artistic, Literary and Cultural Studies with a specialty in Comparative Literature, Literary Theory and Rhetoric from the Autonomous University of Madrid. In addition, she is a ballet dancer with 19 years of training and experience in creating artistic projects. She is currently the host of a cultural program on a radio station in Cuenca.
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