We began our evening by discussing Camila’s state of mind being that of an orphan always searching and never settled. Camila’s notion of home is in the constant memory of her mother Salomé–she even prays, “In the name of the Father and of the Son and of my mother, Salomé.” Named Salomé Camila, she especially feels the pressure of being the daughter of a celebrity and struggles with a self-imposed expectation to be as talented as or more famous than her mother Salomé. Just like the Dominican Republic with all the internal wars and numerous presidencies, Camila’s perpetual turmoil leaves her feeling suffocated no matter where she goes. Ironically, her freedom comes at the end of her life when she returns to her “patria” where she sits at her own gravestone to verify her full name. Having lost sight, literally, she uses the hands of an illiterate young man to help guide her as she feels the engraving. It is at this moment when she begins to teach the young man the letters that we experience her sense of freedom, which from the very beginning of her legacy was always rooted in the written word. It is through the writing, reading, and learning of poetry and literature that the characters of “In the Name of Salomé” and the people of “la patria” ultimately are able to breathe freely and feel a connection with “home.” -Elvira
Lets continue the dialogue. Please feel free to add your comments to this blog.
Our group last night filled up every chair and thanks to EPL’s Maintenance team we had extras as well. I hope the growth of Latin@ Lit continues. Hope to see you on April 11 for the discussion of Isabel Allende’s “The House of the Spirits.” If you did not get a copy last night, we will have more soon at the RA desk, 2nd floor, Main Library. Feel free to call me or email with any questions: (847) 448-8658 / firstname.lastname@example.org