Sea of Lentils

Sea of Lentils

Sea of Lentils

Sea of Lentils

Synopsis

Re-creates Spain's history in the Caribbean by describing King Philip II of Spain's reign, the beginning of the African slave trade, the founding of St. Augustine, and Columbus's second expedition to the new world.

Excerpt

Having lately resigned, after thirteen years, from New England Review and Bread Loaf Quarterly. I am frequently asked what occasion marked the pinnacle of my career there. Given the volume of manuscripts I laid hands on, I naturally vacillate. the high point? Well, it may have been my personal discovery of Antonio Benítez Rojo through the publication of "Buried Statues." Or was it the journal's opportunity to present his astonishing "Heaven and Earth," or his "Death of an Absolutist"? But the Caribbean number of the magazine, assembled at Sr. Benítez's instance and containing "The Repeating Island," one of his originative essays--that, too, felt climactic. At all events, the point is that I unfailingly imagine the author of Sea of Lentils as the most exciting one I ever dealt with as an editor.

Now, unexpectedly privileged to extend so gratifying a relation, I find myself daunted. I am no scholar of Antillean culture. Indeed, it was precisely our sad ignorance that impelled me and my collaborators to mount that Caribbean issue of NER/BLQ five years back, and we subsequently felt the sting of truth in Benítez's essay:

The main obstacles to any global study of the Caribbean's societies, insular or continental, are exactly those things that scholars usually adduce to define the area: its fragmentation: its instability: its reciprocal isolation; its uprootedness; its cultural heterogeneity; its lack of historiography and historical continuity; its contigency and impermanence; its syncretism, etc. This unexpected mix of obstacles and properties is not, of course, mere happenstance. . . . post-industrial society--to use a new-fangled . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.