Posts Tagged ‘dictators’

Dictators, writers and dissertation committees

October 13, 2007

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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