Literatura en México

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Cinco Décadas de Cuento Mexicano. Antología. Perea, Pitman, Taylor, Tedeschi, Valenzuela

Metamorphosis (English version)

Hernán Lara Zavala

I live bound to the chains of my ugliness. I am repulsive to look at, with a back as hard as armour, the colour of old wood, my stomach speckled with black dots. Some take me for a big cockroach. I¿m divided into two segments that I can bend at will. I have four back legs, two hands forked at the end and two little antennae that twitch on my head, near my mouth. Despite my appearance I am painfully inoffensive; I have no stinger, pincers or venom. I hardly even crack when I bend. I move slowly through the world carrying my monstrosity on my back. The little energy I have comes from the meager sustenance I gather from twigs. I live in the ancient trunks of trees blown down in deserted uninhabited wastelands. I hardly move at all. I never drink. My stools are almost invisible, and some say that I must live on ether because no one has ever seen me eat. My house, my food, my air and my movements are limited to the space of a fist. A fist of a hand that today is menacing me, squeezing me, holding me between its fingers, handling me, bending me and openly ridiculing me, ridiculing my docility, the noise I make. I am too insignificant, too defenseless to support this kind of perversion. And despite this I am still held captive. To humiliate me, to strip me of the only pride I possess, my repugnance, they cover my back with gleaming bits of amber, red and blue costume jewelry, that minimize the absurdity of my poor shell. I am attached by a small chain around my waist. And one day, after so many bad nights, so many nightmares, so much unhappiness, a miracle occurs; I wake up beside the heart of a woman. I caress her with clumsy hands, clutch at her breasts, and my sad ugliness shines forth, trapped within her beauty.

Translated by Janis Warne

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"El arte de caminar", in his own voice (UNAM)

Erotismo de hilo fino, interview by Emmanuel Carballo (Google Books)

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