The day after arriving in Ecuador, a good friend of mine took me on a tour of historic Old Town. Old Town is located in Ecuador’s capitol city, Quito. Baroque architecture can be seen in the beautiful plazas, along with indigenous people selling anything from fresh apples to warm empanadas.
The most compelling piece of architecture that I wanted to see is the Iglesia de La Compania de Jesus. This lovely baroque church was built by the Spaniards in 1605, and is the oldest church in Ecuador. My friend calls the church beautiful tyranny. It is one of the most beautiful churches in South America.
“On our earth, before writing was invented, before the printing press was invented, poetry flourished. That is why we know that poetry is like bread; it should be shared by all, by scholars and by peasants, by all our vast, incredible, extraordinary family of humanity.” —Happy birthday, Pablo Neruda.
“I have seen them stagger out of their movie palaces and blink their empty eyes in the face of reality once more, and stagger home, to read the Times, to find out what’s going on in the world. I have vomited at their newspapers, read their literature, observed their customs, eaten their food, desired their women, gaped at their art. But I am poor, and my name ends with a soft vowel, and they hate me and my father, and my father’s father, and they would have my blood and put me down, but they are old now, dying in the sun and in the hot dust of the road, and I am young and full of hope and love for my country and my times, and when I say Greaser to you it is not my heart that speaks, but the quivering of an old wound, and I am ashamed of the terrible thing I have done.”
― John Fante, Ask the Dust
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