[sixties-l] Fwd: Apolitical Intellectuals

From: radman (resist@best.com)
Date: 10/31/00

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    >Date: Mon, 30 Oct 2000
    >From: "Theater of the Oppressed Laboratory" <toplab@toplab.org>
    >Subject: Apolitical Intellectuals
    >Otto Rene Castillo, born 1936, was a Guatemalan revolutionary, a
    >guerilla fighter, and a poet. Following the 1954 CIA-sponsored coup
    >that overthrew the democratic Arbenz government, Castillo went into
    >exile in El Salvador, where he met Roque Dalton and other writers
    >who helped him publish his early works. When the dictator Armas
    >died in 1957 he returned to Guatemala and in 1959 went to the German
    >Democratic Republic to study, where he received a Masters degree.
    >Castillo returned to Guatemala in 1964 and became active in the
    >Workers Party, founded the Experimental Theater of the Capital City
    >Municipality, and wrote and published numerous poems. That same
    >year, he was arrested but managed to escape, going into exile once
    >again, this time in Europe. Later that year he went back to Guatemala
    >secretly and joined one of the armed guerilla movements operating
    >in the Zacapa mountains.  In 1967, Castillo and other revolutionary
    >fighters were captured; he, along with his comrades and some local
    >campesinos, were brutally tortured and then burned alive.
    >Otto Rene Castillo
    >One day
    >the apolitical
    >of my country
    >will be interrogated
    >by the simplest
    >of our people.
    >They will be asked
    >what they did
    >when their nation died out
    >like a sweet fire
    >small and alone.
    >No one will ask them
    >about their dress,
    >their long siestas
    >after lunch,
    >no one will want to know
    >about their sterile combats
    >with "the idea
    >of the nothing"
    >no one will care about
    >their higher financial learning.
    >They won't be questioned
    >on Greek mythology,
    >or regarding their self-disgust
    >when someone within them
    >begins to die
    >the coward's death.
    >They'll be asked nothing
    >about their absurd
    >born in the shadow
    >of the total life.
    >On that day
    >the simple men will come.
    >Those who had no place
    >in the books and poems
    >of the apolitical intellectuals,
    >but daily delivered
    >their bread and milk,
    >their tortillas and eggs,
    >those who drove their cars,
    >who cared for their dogs and gardens
    >and worked for them,
    >and they'll ask:
    >"What did you do when the poor
    >suffered, when tenderness
    >and life
    >burned out of them?"
    >Apolitical intellectuals
    >of my sweet country,
    >you will not be able to answer.
    >A vulture of silence
    >will eat your gut.
    >Your own misery
    >will pick at your soul.
    >And you will be mute in your shame.
    >--Otto Rene Castillo

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