Two stories, one word titles. Jacinto is a curious little story about a German deaf mute who has been orphaned and is adopted by his aunt and uncle, who are Uruguayan. Their German is poor as is his Spanish, so communication is difficult. One day they take him to a hypnotist to cure him. The hypnotism session allows him to say one word--"Jacinto"--and the hypnotist assures the family that from that one word will come a second, then a third and so on. But the second word never arrives, that is until other forces at work inspire it in him.
Cambalache is a brief story about a rioplatense soccer team. Before a European tournament, one of the players sings the words to "Cambalache" (a tango with some very cynical lyrics) in place of the words to the national anthem. The rest of the team insults and yells at him for being unpatriotic. The game turns out to be close fought, with neither team able to score a goal, until the disgraced player manages to score a goal in the last few seconds of the game. At the next game, all of the players sing "Cambalache" instead of the national anthem, for which they are denounced in the national press as unpatriotic.
Donald Hall (1928-2018)
3 weeks ago