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A “Dirty Book” About Cuban Reality

A “Dirty Book” About Cuban Reality
July 29, 2013
Yanelys Nuñez Leyva

HAVANA TIMES — Today, I got a hold of a book by the Cuban comedy group
Nos y Otros. Published by Santa Clara’s Capiro publishing house in 1998,
this “dirty book” (as the volume is titled) gathers a collection of
stories driven by clever and scathing social critique.

Its authors, Eduardo del Llano and Luis Felipe Calvo, delve into such
sensitive issues as the abuse of power, false unity, repression,
censorship, corruption, despair, bureaucracy – in short, the whole
series of problems Cuba faced in the 1990s.

What prompted me to write about these stories, however, is the fact they
continue to reflect Cuban reality quite accurately.

The stories create an absurd atmosphere which draws continuously from
ironic and parodic statements, a world where not even the nation’s lofty
history (The Diary of a Mambi Soldier), or renowned figures such as
Mendelev (When Great Men Were Children), are spared.

I am told the anti-establishment and highly critical nature of the book
stirred up some controversy when the volume was first published – a
phenomenon which perhaps confirms a number of the situations the book

Without a doubt, the fear of reflecting on the country’s ills and vital
problems that impoverish the fabric of society was sown in our minds
long ago, and very few people have dared uproot it.

Because of this, I believe that, far from being a “dirty book”, this
text is a lucid and transparent assessment of our reality, a reality
characterized by a notable absence of critical and daring voices.

Source: “A look at the “Dirty Book” on Cuban reality” –

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