Saturday, November 7, 2015

The Travels of Gulliver, Jr.

The Travels of Gulliver, Jr.
By Alexander A. Ricardo
(Translation by El Yuma)
Tribuna de La Habana, October 24, 2015

Thanks to his father, Gulliver, Jr. travels quite frequently. He appears as a giant enjoying himself on the Mediterranean coast, or as a dwarf adventuring through life without any problem, thanks to his visa.

He sets sail to compare whether the skies of other lands are as intensely blue as those of his own. Sailing in daddy's fleet is a hereditary privilege. While he sails through calm seas, back at home other mariners can only watch as seagulls sail past them. He has powerful "ghost ships." Few are able to see them as they pass by.

Hundreds of scrolls narrate the exploits of this favorite son. Tranquil nights on the margins of Aomori. Open casks of wine on Hawaiian beaches. Afternoons spent fishing in Sidney Bay.

The firstborn son has a collection of travel books; and he plants nautical roses at the end of each of his travels.

But once he returns home he keeps quiet. He fools his countrymen with tales of shipwrecks. He describes enormous waves, unending storms, sea monsters, and singing sirens; then he grabs his sack and hides the loot. The dockworkers call him a "mar-tyr."

Whoever fashioned his compass knows nothing of new horizons. He seems resigned to keep following a single path. The hands of some tie up the sails of others.

He lifts his anchor once again, this time heading north, where the cold of the climate has kept him away for a long time. He is bundled up and surrounded by his followers. He opens his map and points out his destination. He looks to the stars in search of good omens, because when he was a child he never learned to swim.

Original Spanish at:

See article and commentary by Nora Gámez Torres in the Nuevo Herald (Español) the Miami Herald (English).