The Class Origin of Subcommandante Marcos

Gabriel Garcia Marquez: Can we ask about your family?

Subcommandante Marcos: It was middle class. My father, the head of the family, was a rural teacher in the days of [La’zaro] Ca’rdenas when, according to him, they cut off teachers’ ears for being communists. My mother, also a rural teacher, finally moved, and we became a middle class family, I mean, a family without any real difficulties. All of this was in the provinces, where the cultural horizon is the society pages of the local newspaper. The world outside, or the great city, Mexico City, was the great attraction because of its bookstores. Finally, there were book fairs out in the provinces, and there we could get some books. Garcia Marquez, Fuentes, Monsivais, Vargas Llosa–independently of how he thinks–just to mention a few, they all came through my parents. They made us read them. One Hundred Years of Solitude was meant to explain what the province was in those days, and The Death of Artemio Cruz was to explain what had happened to the Revolution. [Carlos Monsiva’is’s] Dias de Guardar to explain what was happening to the middle class. To some extent, although naked, our portrait was The City and the Dogs. All those things were there. We were coming out into the world in the same way we were coming to know literature. And this shaped us, I believe. We didn’t get to know the world through a newswire but through a novel, an essay or a poem. And this made us very different. This was the looking glass that our parents gave us, as others might use the mass media as a looking glass or just an opaque glass so that no one can see what is going on.

One thought on “The Class Origin of Subcommandante Marcos

  1. Reblogged this on Signals and commented:
    “e didn’t get to know the world through a newswire but through a novel, an essay or a poem. And this made us very different. This was the looking glass that our parents gave us, as others might use the mass media as a looking glass or just an opaque glass so that no one can see what is going on.”

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