RARA-AVIS: historicals/Cuba

From: Carrie Pruett ( pruettc@hotmail.com)
Date: 11 Jan 2002

I've seen good reviews for "carter beats the devil" by Gould (?) which is about magic shows in the 20s and sounded like it might be somewhat hard-boiled; has anybody read it that can comment?

Jose Latour wrote:
>Syncretic means exactly what you say. In Cuba
>it's a blend of of non-native religions

my mistake - I thought of that after I posted, that of course both African and European/Catholic religions were nonindigenous to Cuba

>The truly Cuban Indian deities
>disappeared with colonization. Under the Inquisition, Spanish priests
>burned to death Indian magic men in the stakes.

sad though not surprising; I remember reading about similar happenings in Spanish-ruled Mexico, so I thought this might actually have happened in Cuba. Thanks for the information!

MVS wrote. . .
>I enjoyed the heck out of Havana Bay. His guide led him in a funny
>direction, jineteras, great metaporical word.

I remember the word used in the book to describe prostitutes but don't know enough Spanish to pick up the etymology. anyone?

>Maybe, though, a Cuban writer or two should have the next word? HB
>took a Russian tourist's view written by a Californian and told the
> >reader, 'this is Cuba today.'

Well, sure, but it's not an exclusive club; he can write a book and someone else can write one too. The more views the better, but I do see the point that one view that's well-received enough can be taken as gospel - I imagine if a Russian police inspector wrote about his real life experiences investigating murders in Moscow in the '80s, part of me would be skeptical if it was nothing like "Gorky Park". Speaking of, does anybody know of Russian crime novels, by Russians, that are available in English? (and nobody has to bring up Dostoevsky, I already thought of him). I know Sherlock Holmes, at least, is very popular among Russian speakers.


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