Carlos narrates his own experiences during his childhood when social and political problems are happening. The time period is during the regime of the government of Miguel Aleman. How Carlos enjoys a moment that is never happening again, and how Carlos feels about his society. In the society Carlos lives with are manipulated very easily by the empowered executives, because money is the key for success. Almost everyone on the society wants to be up the date of the current civilization, letting them easily influence with other kind of environment. With all this changes, moments one time lived will not happen again more rapidly due to the changes.

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I first encountered his writing while completing my undergraduate studies in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I read it again today and was struck by the complexities lying beneath the deceptively smooth surface of this story. Source This novella is written in first person from the perspective of an adult man recollecting a pivotal moment of his early adolescence: the first time he fell in love.

It is as though his awareness of his ability to love made him suddenly worthy of his name, of his own identity. Later in the story, Carlitos is compelled professes his love to Mariana. She reacts with a great tenderness but makes it clear that it is an impossible love because of the difference in their ages she claims to be "ancient" at ! She promises to keep secret his declaration of love, but word eventually gets out and poor Carlitos is taken to a psychiatrist to be analyzed as a pervert, to a priest to confess, and to another school, removed from what his mother perceives to be the riffraff of "lower class" families, negatively influencing her child.

While on the surface there was the appearance of progress, there was also a growing resentment of the government and its power structures. Pacheco aligns the discontentedness of Mexican society, chaffing under unjust alliances of the ruling class, with the discontentedness of a teenage boy, misunderstood and corralled unnecessarily by parents, teachers, and the unending gossip of the people.

Most can pick out several words but not comprehend how they are strung together or what they may mean. Then on the last day of the semester, I pull out the poem again and have them attempt to read it once more. I can see little lightbulbs blink on and, hopefully, maybe even the seed of appreciation for this great poet take root Please note: all translations in this post are my own.


Battles in the Desert

The children would bully the Japanese student Toru and the two indigenous children Peralta and Rosales. After Carlos defends Jim in a fight with Rosales, he invites him over to his house for a snack after school. He vows to keep the memory of meeting her intact for the rest of his life. One day, however, his emotions overcome him and he rushes out of school to see her. When Carlos returned to school, Jim caught on to the situation and told their teacher what happened. After some time and a change in schools, Carlitos encounters Rosales on a bus. After chasing him down, Rosales agrees to speak with him over lunch.


José Emilio Pacheco


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