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307 West 5th Street Austin, Texas For quite some time I have found myself in disagreement, not so much with the foreign policy of Mexico as with its domestic policy. I believed, as did many others, that the current system of government would be modified so that it could continue the progress that began with the Mexican Revolution. In other words, that the country would be capable of self-criticism. It is clear that I had been far too optimistic…. The Party, revolutionary in its beginnings, had been converted into an administrative machine that today is an obstacle to a modern Mexico. If I had believed that the PRI was capable of reforming itself, that belief was rendered absurd by the events of October 2. At the moment, my only response can be to separate myself from the government and criticize it from abroad. * * * * * * How you have talked, icaray! how you have talked; and how much, and with what passion; fire is your element, you had to be an Aries. Not even in front of a camera could others speak, you always had to have the last word. Let me be, don’t interrupt, don’t get angry, and you were already angry; let me be, and in the end, at eightytwo, you are and will always be aflame with reason and argument. With the passing of years, the clarity that amazed those close to you and those not so close for eight decades has only been refined. Your battles have been against demagoguery, stupidity, bad faith; your struggles have been with yourself, with myself, with the three of us; and how good it is that you fight, how great that you don’t give up, how great that from you, controversies are unleashed like hurricanes, how great it is that you have kept all of us on our toes, and that your struggles, although often heroic, almost always a return to the roots, to the basics. How you have written, icaray! and how much. You are the same man you were in 1953, still as enraptured; still the one who watched the bombing of Madrid in 1937 as if it were a magnificent show, while all the others hid and you stood, facing the night; you, the same man who makes us aware, the man who builds bridges, who makes us universal. I wrap my arms around you, Octavio, as you wrap your arms around countries, as you have made us join them, as you have made us cross oceans and abysses, as your vast work opens doors and windows, as you drew away the endless layers of curtains and exposed us all to light. This article was partially funded through a grant from the Austin Writers’ League, in cooperation with the Texas Commission on the Arts. & Literary Festival &yaw Oer 4, AT 7 PM Conjunto Aztlan Joy Harjo & with ratilrsalinas Poetic Justice ffwzos% Om 9, AT 7 PM Joseph Bruchac Wendy Rose, Linda Hogan Leslie Marmon Silko SATURDAY, 00?; /0, Arr Pm Lorna Dee Cervantes Julia Alvarez Luisa Valenzuela Mietimurcliza,3r ealttetlenni.cocork eial 4131-imemertoss Mary Crow Dog Simon Ortiz THE GUADALUPE CULTURAL ARTS CENTER’S Twelfth Annual San Antonio Inter-American Bookfair Thurs. evening: $ 10 regular adm. $ 6 seniors & students. Friday & Sat. evenings: $ 8 regular, $ 4 seniors/students IQII 04$17741I Warn’ ‘RIO Friday morning: Storytelling with Joe Bruchac and Tim Tingle. Friday after. noon: Presentations by Three Wayward Vatos, Dionisio Martinez, Elizabeth Martinez, Rolando Hinojosa. Saturday: Presentations by Clay Reynolds, Rod Kennedy, James Hoggard, Tammy Gomez & La Palabra, Patricia Preciado Martin, Naomi Quifionez and more! 28 THE TEXAS OBSERVER SEPTEMBER 25, 1998