The great Uruguayan writer has died aged 74. He was a giant of the literary left, a novelist, journalist, cultural critic and soccer aficionado.
Some of his best lines:
“The purpose of torture is not getting information. It’s spreading fear.”
“We are all mortal until the first kiss and the second glass of wine.”
“Disasters are called natural, as if nature were the executioner and not the victim.”
“History never really says goodbye. History says, “See you later.””
“Richness in the world is a result of other people’s poverty.”
“Indignation must always be the answer to indignity. Reality is not destiny.”
“The world is becoming an immense military base, and that base is becoming a mental hospital the size of the world. Inside the nuthouse, which ones are crazy?”
“In all my books I’m trying to reveal … the hidden greatness of the small … and the pettiness of the big.”
For those not familiar with Galeano’s work, I’d recommend Memoria del Fuego, translated as the Memory of Fire trilogy, a history of the Americas unlike any history books you’ll find on a syllabus. The trilogy uses stories as parables, depicting the bloodshed and cruelty perpetrated by the colonizers of the Americas. A masterpiece.