Dictators, writers and dissertation committees

What is it with Dictators and Writers, anyway? Since before the infamous Caesar-Ovid war they’ve had beef. Like the Fantastic Four and Galactus, like the X-Men and the Brotherhood of  Evil Mutants, like the Teen Titans and Deathstroke, Foreman and Ali, Morrison and Crouch, Sammy and Sergio, they seemed to be eternally linked in the Halls of Battle. Rushdie claims that tyrants and scribblers are natural antagonists, but I think that’s too simple; it lets writers off pretty easy. Dictators, in my opinion, just know competition when they see it. Same with writers. Like, after all, recognizes like.

Long story short: upon learning of the dissertation, El Jefe first tried to buy the thing and when that failed he dispatched his chief Nazgul (the sepulchral Felix Bernardino) to NYC and within days Galindez got gagged, bagged, and dragged to La Capital, and legend has it when he came out of his chloroform nap he found himself naked, dangling from his feet over a cauldron of boiling oil, El Jefe standing nearby with a copy of the offending dissertation in hand. (And you thought your committee was rough).

From a foot note in Junot Diaz’s extraordinary The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.

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One Response to “Dictators, writers and dissertation committees”

  1. The brief wondrous life of Oscar Wao « Entertaining Research Says:

    […] I gave one sample of Diaz’s writing (from the footnotes) earlier; here is another (in the fourth page of the novel): You want a final conclusive answer to the Warren Commission’s question, Who killed JFK? Let me, your humble Watcher, reveal once and for all the God’s Honest Truth: It wasn’t the mob or LBJ or the ghost of Marilyn Fucking Monroe. It wasn’t aliens or the KGB on a lone gunman. It wasn’t the Hunt Brothers of Texas of Lee Harvey or the Trilateral Commission. It was Trujillo; it was the fuku. Where in conazo do you think the so-called Curse of the Kennedys comes from? How about Vietnam? Why do you think the greatest power in the world lost its first war to a Third World country like Vietnam? I mean, Negro, please. It might interest you that just as the U.S. was ramping up its involvement in Vietnam, LBJ launched an illegal invasion of the Dominican Republic (April 28, 1965). (Santo Domingo was Iraq before Iraq was Iraq.) A smashing military success for the U.S., and many of the same units and intelligence teams that took part in the “democratization” of Santo Domingo were immediately shipped off to Saigon. What do you think these soldiers, technicians, and spooks carried with then, in their rucks, in their suitcases, in their shirt pockets, on the hair inside their nostrils, caked up around their shoes. Just a little gift from my people to America, a small repayment for an unjust war. That’s right, folks, Fuku. […]

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