Far from Utopia

Finding a great, new book I can curdle in bed with is really exciting. Even more when the book seemed to be destined for me, and for some reason I haven’t been able to read it until now.

“Waslala” by Gioconda Belli is the story of the search for utopia. So far I am loving it. Belli’s revolutionary self seems to make way into her writing, making me longing for more.

I tried ordering the book through Amazon.com some time ago, but I ended up ordering the German translation. I finally found the book at the University of Florida’s Latin American Collection.

As I finished the first chapter, I fell in love with Belli’s writing, yet again, because she mentioned how the regions of African and Latin America were sometimes viewed as land, nothing more.

“reduced to jungles, natural reserves, to work as the lung and the dumping ground of the developed world”

These type of ideas about Latin America are the ones that make me love Belli for her honesty. Also, I love how she mentions that the developed world uses Latin America to their own advantage, especially because there is always a different Latin American country dividing opinions in Washington. The Washington Post made an excellent point of this situation and how Nicaragua has been scarcely mentioned in Washington lately.

In the article, Jackson Diehl explains how two decades ago Nicaragua and its president, Daniel Ortega, were inspiring divided attention among Washington politicians. At the time, they were arguing whether the United States should fund an armed opposition.

Nicaragua is Belli’s native country, and she was involved with the Sandinista Revolution in the 1980’s. However, she switched loyalties with Ortega after no longer agreeing with his policies.

Time certainly showed that things haven’t changed much in Nicaragua, and that the country is still far from an Utopian society.

However, Utopia is be definition “the place that isn’t” and comes from the Greek ou, meaning no, and topos, meaning place. Belli points out this definition in the beginning of the book. But the book is about the search of Waslala, the Utopian paradise of her ancestors.


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