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Funny Quotes By Argentines


Quotes About Argentina

Christopher Hitchens
“I regard anti-Semitism as ineradicable and as one element of the toxin with which religion has infected us. Perhaps partly for this reason, I have never been able to see Zionism as a cure for it. American and British and French Jews have told me with perfect sincerity that they are always prepared for the day when ‘it happens again’ and the Jew-baiters take over. (And I don’t pretend not to know what they are talking about: I have actually seen the rabid phenomenon at work in modern and sunny Argentina and am unable to forget it.) So then, they seem to think, they will take refuge in the Law of Return, and in Haifa, or for all I know in Hebron. Never mind for now that if all of world Jewry did settle in Palestine, this would actually necessitate further Israeli expansion, expulsion, and colonization, and that their departure under these apocalyptic conditions would leave the new brownshirts and blackshirts in possession of the French and British and American nuclear arsenals. This is ghetto thinking, hardly even fractionally updated to take into account what has changed. The important but delayed realization will have to come: Israeli Jews are a part of the diaspora, not a group that has escaped from it. Why else does Israel daily beseech the often-flourishing Jews of other lands, urging them to help the most endangered Jews of all: the ones who rule Palestine by force of arms? Why else, having supposedly escaped from the need to rely on Gentile goodwill, has Israel come to depend more and more upon it? On this reckoning, Zionism must constitute one of the greatest potential non sequiturs in human history.”
― Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir
tags: american-jews, antisemitism, argentina, atheism, britain, british-jews, colonialism, expansionism, fascism, france, french-jews, gentiles, haifa, hebron, history, israel, israeli-palestinian-conflict, israelis, jewish-diaspora, jews, law-of-return, nuclear-weapons, palestine, religion, united-states, zionism 28 likes Like
Julio Cortázar
“En suma, desde pequeño, mi relación con las palabras, con la escritura, no se diferencia de mi relación con el mundo en general. Yo parezco haber nacido para no aceptar las cosas tal como me son dadas.”
― Julio Cortázar
tags: argentina, escritura, inspirational, julio-cortazar 19 likes Like
Christopher Hitchens
“Many governments employ torture but this was the first time that the element of Saturnalia and pornography in the process had been made so clear to me. If you care to imagine what any inadequate or cruel man might do, given unlimited power over a woman, then anything that you can bring yourself to suspect was what became routine in ESMA, the Navy Mechanics School that became the headquarters of the business. I talked to Dr. Emilio Mignone, a distinguished physician whose daughter Monica had disappeared into the precincts of that hellish place. What do you find to say to a doctor and a humanitarian who has been gutted by the image of a starving rat being introduced to his daughter’s genitalia? Like hell itself the school was endorsed and blessed by priests, in case any stray consciences needed to be stilled.”
― Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir
Alejandra Pizarnik
“Una mirada desde la alcantarilla
puede ser una visión del mundo,
la rebelión consiste en mirar una rosa
hasta pulverizarse los ojos.”
― Alejandra Pizarnik, Árbol de Diana
tags: argentina, mujer, pizarnik, poeta 17 likes Like
Christopher Hitchens
“People spoke to foreigners with an averted gaze, and everybody seemed to know somebody who had just vanished. The rumors of what had happened to them were fantastic and bizarre though, as it turned out, they were only an understatement of the real thing. Before going to see General Videla […], I went to […] check in with Los Madres: the black-draped mothers who paraded, every week, with pictures of their missing loved ones in the Plaza Mayo. (‘Todo mi familia!’ as one elderly lady kept telling me imploringly, as she flourished their photographs. ‘Todo mi familia!’) From these and from other relatives and friends I got a line of questioning to put to the general. I would be told by him, they forewarned me, that people ‘disappeared’ all the time, either because of traffic accidents and family quarrels or, in the dire civil-war circumstances of Argentina, because of the wish to drop out of a gang and the need to avoid one’s former associates. But this was a cover story. Most of those who disappeared were openly taken away in the unmarked Ford Falcon cars of the Buenos Aires military police. I should inquire of the general what precisely had happened to Claudia Inez Grumberg, a paraplegic who was unable to move on her own but who had last been seen in the hands of his ever-vigilant armed forces [….]

I possess a picture of the encounter that still makes me want to spew: there stands the killer and torturer and rape-profiteer, as if to illustrate some seminar on the banality of evil. Bony-thin and mediocre in appearance, with a scrubby moustache, he looks for all the world like a cretin impersonating a toothbrush. I am gripping his hand in a much too unctuous manner and smiling as if genuinely delighted at the introduction. Aching to expunge this humiliation, I waited while he went almost pedantically through the predicted script, waving away the rumored but doubtless regrettable dematerializations that were said to be afflicting his fellow Argentines. And then I asked him about Senorita Grumberg. He replied that if what I had said was true, then I should remember that ‘terrorism is not just killing with a bomb, but activating ideas. Maybe that’s why she’s detained.’ I expressed astonishment at this reply and, evidently thinking that I hadn’t understood him the first time, Videla enlarged on the theme. ‘We consider it a great crime to work against the Western and Christian style of life: it is not just the bomber but the ideologist who is the danger.’ Behind him, I could see one or two of his brighter staff officers looking at me with stark hostility as they realized that the general—El Presidente—had made a mistake by speaking so candidly. […] In response to a follow-up question, Videla crassly denied—‘rotondamente’: ‘roundly’ denied—holding Jacobo Timerman ‘as either a journalist or a Jew.’ While we were having this surreal exchange, here is what Timerman was being told by his taunting tormentors:

Argentina has three main enemies: Karl Marx, because he tried to destroy the Christian concept of society; Sigmund Freud, because he tried to destroy the Christian concept of the family; and Albert Einstein, because he tried to destroy the Christian concept of time and space.

We later discovered what happened to the majority of those who had been held and tortured in the secret prisons of the regime. According to a Navy captain named Adolfo Scilingo, who published a book of confessions, these broken victims were often destroyed as ‘evidence’ by being flown out way over the wastes of the South Atlantic and flung from airplanes into the freezing water below. Imagine the fun element when there’s the surprise bonus of a Jewish female prisoner in a wheelchair to be disposed of… we slide open the door and get ready to roll her and then it’s one, two, three… go!”
― Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir
tags: argentina, christianity, death-squads, einstein, freud, jacobo-timerman, jorge-rafael-videla, marx 15 likes
Christopher Hitchens
“Well, as Hannah Arendt famously said, there can be a banal aspect to evil. In other words, it doesn’t present always. I mean, often what you’re meeting is a very mediocre person. But nonetheless, you can get a sort of frisson of wickedness from them. And the best combination of those, I think, I describe him in the book, is/was General Jorge Rafael Videla of Argentina, who I met in the late 1970s when the death squad war was at its height, and his fellow citizens were disappearing off the street all the time. And he was, in some ways, extremely banal. I describe him as looking like a human toothbrush. He was a sort of starch, lean officer with a silly mustache, and a very stupid look to him, but a very fanatical glint as well. And, if I’d tell you why he’s now under house arrest in Argentina, you might get a sense of the horror I felt as I was asking him questions about all this. He’s in prison in Argentina for selling the children of the rape victims among the private prisoners, who he kept in a personal jail. And I don’t know if I’ve ever met anyone who’s done anything as sort of condensedly horrible as that.”
― Christopher Hitchens
tags: 1970s, argentina, dictatorship, evil, hannah-arendt, hitch-22, jorge-rafael-videla, rape, totalitarianism 9 likes Like
“The entire affective world, constructed over the years with utmost difficulty, collapses with a kick in the father’s genitals, a smack on the mother’s face, an obscene insult to the sister, or the sexual violation of a daughter. Suddenly an entire culture based on familial love, devotion, the capacity for mutual sacrifice collapses. Nothing is possible in such a universe, and that is precisely what the torturers know… From my cell, I’d hear the whispered voices of children trying to learn what was happening to their parents, and I’d witness the efforts of daughters to win over a guard, to arouse a feeling of tenderness in him, to incite the hope of some lovely future relationship between them in order to learn what was happening to her mother, to get an orange sent to her, to get permission for her to go to the bathroom.”
― Jacobo Timerman, Prisoner without a Name, Cell without a Number
tags: argentina, esma, sadism, sexual-abuse, torture 8 likes Like
“It is not often that you see life and fiction take each other by the hand and dance.”
― Lawrence Thornton, Imagining Argentina
tags: argentina, fiction, imagery, imagination, inspiring 8 likes Like
Christopher Hitchens
“At a lunchtime reception for the diplomatic corps in Washington, given the day before the inauguration of Barack Obama as president, I was approached by a good-looking man who extended his hand. ‘We once met many years ago,’ he said. ‘And you knew and befriended my father.’ My mind emptied, as so often happens on such occasions. I had to inform him that he had the advantage of me. ‘My name is Hector Timerman. I am the ambassador of Argentina.’

In my above album of things that seem to make life pointful and worthwhile, and that even occasionally suggest, in Dr. King’s phrase as often cited by President Obama, that there could be a long arc in the moral universe that slowly, eventually bends toward justice, this would constitute an exceptional entry. It was also something more than a nudge to my memory. There was a time when the name of Jacobo Timerman, the kidnapped and tortured editor of the newspaper La Opinion in Buenos Aires, was a talismanic one. The mere mention of it was enough to elicit moans of obscene pleasure from every fascist south of the Rio Grande: finally in Argentina there was a strict ‘New Order’ that would stamp hard upon the international Communist-Jewish collusion. A little later, the mention of Timerman’s case was enough to derail the nomination of Ronald Reagan’s first nominee as undersecretary for human rights; a man who didn’t seem to have grasped the point that neo-Nazism was a problem for American values. And Timerman’s memoir, Prisoner without a Name, Cell without a Number, was the book above all that clothed in living, hurting flesh the necessarily abstract idea of the desaparecido: the disappeared one or, to invest it with the more sinister and grisly past participle with which it came into the world, the one who has been ‘disappeared.’ In the nuances of that past participle, many, many people vanished into a void that is still unimaginable. It became one of the keywords, along with escuadrone de la muerte or ‘death squads,’ of another arc, this time of radical evil, that spanned a whole subcontinent. Do you know why General Jorge Rafael Videla of Argentina was eventually sentenced? Well, do you? Because he sold the children of the tortured rape victims who were held in his private prison. I could italicize every second word in that last sentence without making it any more heart-stopping. And this subhuman character was boasted of, as a personal friend and genial host, even after he had been removed from the office he had defiled, by none other than Henry Kissinger. So there was an almost hygienic effect in meeting, in a new Washington, as an envoy of an elected government, the son of the brave man who had both survived and exposed the Videla tyranny.”
― Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir
tags: argentina, death-squads, henry-kissinger, human-rights, jacobo-timerman, jorge-rafael-videla 7 likes Like
“Now they’re really amused, and burst into laughter. Someone tries a variation while still clapping hands: ‘Clipped prick… clipped prick.’ Whereupon they begin alternating while clapping their hands: ‘Jew… Clipped prick… Jew… Clipped prick.’ It seems they’re no longer angry, merely having a good time. I keep bouncing in the chair and moaning as the electric shocks penetrate
― Jacobo Timerman, Prisoner without a Name, Cell without a Number
tags: argentina, esma, sadism, sexual-abuse, torture 6 likes Like
Christopher Hitchens
“I was extremely shy of approaching my hero but he, as I found out, was sorely in need of company. By then almost completely blind, he was claustrated and even a little confused and this may help explain the rather shocking attitude that he took to the blunt trauma that was being inflicted in the streets and squares around him. ‘This was my country and it might be yet,’ he intoned to me when the topic first came up, as it had to: ‘But something came between it and the sun.’ This couplet he claimed (I have never been able to locate it) was from Edmund Blunden, whose gnarled hand I had been so excited to shake all those years ago, but it was not the Videla junta that Borges meant by the allusion. It was the pre-existing rule of Juan Perón, which he felt had depraved and corrupted Argentine society. I didn’t disagree with this at all—and Perón had victimized Borges’s mother and sister as well as having Borges himself fired from his job at the National Library—but it was nonetheless sad to hear the old man saying that he heartily preferred the new uniformed regime, as being one of ‘gentlemen’ as opposed to ‘pimps.’ This was a touch like listening to Evelyn Waugh at his most liverish and bufferish. (It was also partly redeemed by a piece of learned philology or etymology concerning the Buenos Aires dockside slang for pimp: canfinflero. ‘A canfinfla, you see,’ said Borges with perfect composure, ‘is a pussy or more exactly a cunt. So a canfinflero is a trafficker in cunt: in Anglo-Saxon we might say a ‘cunter.”‘ Had not the very tango itself been evolved in a brothel in 1880? Borges could talk indefinitely about this sort of thing, perhaps in revenge for having had an oversolicitous mother who tyrannized him all his life.)”
― Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir
tags: argentina, bawd, edmund-blunden, evelyn-waugh, jorge-luis-borges, jorge-rafael-videla, juan-peron, lingustics 4 likes Like
“People are torn between the pathetic safety of not knowing, and the desire to know.”
― Lawrence Thornton, Imagining Argentina
tags: argentina, dystopia, military-regime, totalitarianism
Christopher Hitchens
“For all its outwardly easy Latin charm, Buenos Aires was making me feel sick and upset, so I did take that trip to the great plains where the gaucho epics had been written, and I did manage to eat a couple of the famous asados: the Argentine barbecue fiesta (once summarized by Martin Amis’s John Self as ‘a sort of triple mixed grill swaddled in steaks’) with its slavish propitiation of the sizzling gods of cholesterol. Yet even this was spoiled for me: my hosts did their own slaughtering and the smell of drying blood from the abattoir became too much for some reason (I actually went ‘off’ steak for a good few years after this trip). Then from the intrepid Robert Cox of the Buenos Aires Herald I learned another jaunty fascist colloquialism: before the South Atlantic dumping method was adopted, the secret cremation of maimed and tortured bodies at the Navy School had been called an asado. In my youth I was quite often accused, and perhaps not unfairly, of being too politicized and of trying to import politics into all discussions. I would reply that it wasn’t my fault if politics kept on invading the private sphere and, in the case of Argentina at any rate, I think I was right. The miasma of the dictatorship pervaded absolutely everything, not excluding the aperitifs and the main course.”
― Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir
tags: argentina, asado, dictatorship, fascism, politics 2 likes Like
Donna Tartt
“Argentina. The word itself had lost little of its power to startle and had, due to my ignorance of the physical place it occupied on the globe, assumed a peculiar life of its own. There was the harsh Ar at the beginning, which called up gold, idols, lost cities in the jungle, which in turn led to the hushed and sinister chamber of Gen, with the bright, interrogative Tina at the end—all nonsense, of course, but then it seemed in some muddled way that name itself, one of the few concrete facts available to me, might itself be a cryptogram or clue.”
― Donna Tartt, The Secret History
Leopoldo Marechal
“Temperee, riante, (comme le sont celles d’automne dans la tres gracieuse ville de Buenos Aires) resplendissait la matinee de ce 28 avril: dix heures venait de sonner aux horloges et, a cet instant, eveillee, gesticulant sous le soleil matinal, la Grande Capitale du Sud etait un epi d’hommes qui se disputaient a grands cris la possession du jour et de la terre.”
― Leopoldo Marechal, Adán Buenosayres

Marcelo Figueras
“When you’re a kid, the world can be bounded in a nutshell. In geographical terms, a child’s universe is a space that comprises home, school and—possibly—the neighbourhood where your cousins or your grandparents live. In my case, the universe sat comfortably within a small area of Flores that ran from the junction of Boyacá and Avellaneda (my house), to the Plaza Flores (my school). My only forays beyond the area were when we went on holiday (to Córdoba or Bariloche or to the beach) or occasional, increasingly rare visits to my grandparents’ farm in Dorrego, in the province of Buenos Aires.

We get our fist glimpse of the big wide world from those we love unconditionally. If we see our elders suffer because they cannot get a job, or see them demoted, or working for a pittance, our compassion translates these observations and we conclude that the world outside is cruel and brutal. (This is politics.) If we hear our parents bad-mouthing certain politicians and agreeing with their opponents, our compassion translates these observations and we conclude that the former are bad guys and the latter are good guys. (This is politics.) If we observe palpable fear in our parents at the very sight of soldiers and policemen, our compassion translates our observations and we conclude that, though all children have bogeymen, ours wear uniforms. (This is politics.)”
― Marcelo Figueras, Kamchatka

César Aira
“A ferramenta das vanguardas, sempre conforme minha visão pessoal, é o procedimento. (…)

Construtivismo, escritura automática, ready-made, dodecafonismo, cut-up, acaso, indeterminação. Os grandes artistas do século XX não são os que fizeram obra, mas aqueles que inventaram procedimentos para que a obra se fizesse sozinha, ou não se fizesse.”
― César Aira, Pequeno Manual de Procedimentos
tags: argentina 1 likes Like
Arundhati Roy
“Once you understand the process of corporate globalization, you have to see that what happened in Argentina, the devastation of Argentina by the IMF, is part of the same machine that is destroying Iraq. Both are efforts to break open and to control markets. And so Argentina is destroyed by the chequebook, and Iraq is destroyed by the cruise missile. If the chequebook won’t work, the cruise missile will. Hell hath no fury like a market scorned.”

Ricardo Piglia
“He wrote very well in those days, as it happens, much better than he does now. He had absolute convictions, and style is nothing more than the absolute conviction of possessing a style.”

“People work, not me. I look out the window, look out the window, out the window. Outside it’s winter, and it’s sunny. The doors don’t shut properly, they don’t shut, they’re old. A phone rings through the wall. How come it takes such daunting effort to do what one likes? It’s daunting, daunting to begin. I find it daunting to get started, and that seems not to be a fixable thing. The road to success, the road to success. Who knows? I get tired of myself. As pleasant as I find it here, as pleasant as a I find it. Did anyone pick up? In any case, the phone stopped ringing. What works better in fiction? Past or present tense? Weekends make me cranky, I don’t like them, that imperative to have a good time, do things, do something special, the notion of free time. I prefer to seek out those things while other people work. People relaxing tend to look ridiculous, like out of place, grotesque. I’m unmotivated, a little, I realize, bored, overly calm, almost comfortable. I don’t like where I live anymore, I’m fed up, I’m fed up with where I live. I want, somehow, to live differently. I’d take care of it, I’d take care of that baby if he gave it to me, if he wanted to give it to me, if he wanted.”
― Romina Paula, Agosto
tags: argentina, coming-of-age 0 likes Like
Romina Paula
“You come to me, you appear to me in the night, the fact that you’re not here appears to me, that I can’t tell you this even though I pretend like I can, not being able to ever tell you is still something I can’t understand. That you could have taken so long to decompose, too, that, too, I can’t believe there’s still so much left of you, down there, buried, hair and things like that, skin. I don’t want to take anything, I never wanted to, and I would give (I don’t know what, not everything because you wouldn’t be there, but I’d give a lot) so much to be able to tell you, for real, to see you, to sing a song with you, shout it out hugging each other, have you over to my apartment, for you to get to know my house and my boyfriend, the one I have now, and have him get to know you and have you tell me which one’s better, which one you like better, if it’s Juli, if it’s him, even though obviously you would like Manuel better, and in reality you wouldn’t care about either of them, because the two of us is enough, there’s nothing else, we never needed anything else, although we did.”
― Romina Paula, Agosto
Ricardo Piglia
“É com os escritores imaginários que eu aprendo o que quero fazer. Por exemplo, Stephen Dedalus ou Nick Adams. Leio suas vidas como um modo de entender do que se trata. Não tenho interesse em me inspirar nos escritores “reais”. O desprezo de Dedalus pela família, pela religião e pela pátria será o meu. Silêncio, exílio e astúcia.”
― Ricardo Piglia, Anos de Formação: Os Diários de Emilio Renzi
tags: argentina, diários, piglia 0 likes Like
Ricardo Piglia
“Mudanças, novos bairros onde circulo como um estrangeiro, renovando meu interesse pela cidade. Já faz algum tempo, Barracas, os velhos prédios da fábrica – por exemplo, a da Bagley –, tão abundante por aqui, junto com os armazéns próximos do porto velho, que dão nome ao bairro. Também fica perto o parque Lezama, que tem uma atmosfera serena, com alguns velhos bares e restaurantezinhos muito agradáveis. Sempre faço a experiência de ficar sem dinheiro e conhecer a cidade a pé, procurando locais baratos, viajando de ônibus, uma experiência mais direta, mais conflituosa, não mediada pela qualidade mágica do dinheiro que alivia todo desconhecimento da realidade, porque quando tudo pode ser comprado não há enigmas.”
― Ricardo Piglia, Anos de Formação: Os Diários de Emilio Renzi
tags: argentina, caminhada, cidade, piglia 0 likes Like
Julio Cortázar
“…yo quisiera verlos quietos, verlos a mis pies y quietos –un poco el sueño de todo dios, Andrée, el sueño nunca cumplido de los dioses–,
Carta a una señorita en París.”
― Julio Cortázar, Bestiario
tags: argentina 0 likes Like
Filip Florian
“The new politicians resembled hyenas and foxes. In both hemispheres, the people quickly forgot. Compassion and rage shared the fate of autumn flowers, upon which settles hoarfrost: they had faded, withered, then died under the weight of rent, prices, inflation, soap operas and talk shows, family life, victories and defeats in stadiums.”
― Filip Florian, Little Fingers
tags: argentina, consumerism, romania 0 likes Like
César Aira
“Em 1923, vivendo em Berlim, Kafka costumava ir a um parque, o Steglitz, que ainda existe. Certo dia encontrou uma menina chorando, tinha perdido sua boneca. Kafka naquele instante inventou uma história: a boneca não estava perdida, apenas tinha saído de viagem para conhecer o mundo. Tinha escrito uma casa, que ele possuía em casa e lhe traria no dia seguinte. E assim foi: dedicou aquela noite a escrever a carta, com toda a sinceridade. (…) No dia seguinte, a menina esperava-o no parque, e a ‘correspondência’ prosseguiu à razão de uma carta por dia, durante três semanas. A boneca nunca esquecia de enviar o seu amor à menina, de quem lembrava e a quem abandonava. Suas aventuras no estrangeiro a mantinham longe, e com a aceleração própria do mundo da fantasia, tais aventuras acabaram em noivado, compromisso, casamento e filhos, de modo que a volta era adiada indefinidamente. Isso para que então a menina, leitora fascinada desse romance epistolar, se conformasse com a perda, a que por fim acabou vendo como ganância.

Privilegiada menina berlinense, única leitora do livro mais belo de Kafka. (…)

Tendemos a sorrir diante do choro das crianças, seus dramas nos parecem menores e fáceis de solucionar. Mas para elas não são. Fazer o esforço de entrar nas relatividades de seu mundo equivale ao trabalho de entrar no mundo de um artista, onde tudo é signo.

O contrato de uma menina com sua boneca é um contrato semiótico, uma criação de sentido, sustentada pela tensão verossímil com a fantasia. (…) para o escritor não se trata apenas de observar, é preciso descobrir os signos ocultos naquilo que se observa.”
― César Aira, Pequeno Manual de Procedimentos

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