a song | From
greatest to yeast
no place like two homes. The Chilean flag (below) and the Texas flag both
sport a lone star, and both have been home to Spanish and Latin American
Studies Associate Prof. Arturo Flores.
By Nancy Bartosek
No. 7 (Warning)
Junta of the Military Government hereby advises the population:
All persons resisting the new Government should be aware of the consequencesÉ
-- Santiago, Sept. 11, 1972
Flores was a 27-year-old doctoral student in Chile that September day
when the military ousted the country's socialist government and placed
Gen. Augusto Pinochet Ugarte in power. Within days, reports surfaced of
murders, torture and disappearances.
across the country closed; professors, professionals and intellectuals
were jailed or murdered. Two of Flores' classmates were arrested and summarily
shot. Hundreds were never found.
studies in literature abruptly amputated, couldn't find work. One evening
after the curfew had been extended, Flores and two friends nervously attended
a basketball game.
On the way
home, they were picked up by a policeman who told them he decided when
curfew was and threw them in jail for the night. When Flores arrived home
the next morning, his mother was near hysteria with worry. Too many had
enough. Against his family's wishes, Flores took a teaching assistantship
at Arizona State University in 1975. With limited English skills, he found
himself starting over on his graduate studies.
him back to Chile after his master's work was finished. Returning was
a mistake. The situation there was still intolerable, no work was available,
and worse, he and his family had different ideological points of view.
back to the States where he earned his PhD at the University of Arizona,
then married and taught for a year in Wisconsin before landing at TCU
in 1986. Twenty-seven years later, his hair tinged with gray, Flores returned
in July to his now-democratic homeland to find out how his generation
of exiles fared.
to see how the time of exile changed the perspective of these writers,"
Flores said, his English still dyed by his native tongue. "Obviously
the time living away from the place you grew up, and going through such
a traumatic experience -- having seen first-hand the black side of a military
government -- will have affected their writings."
month-long summer visit, the first of several planned, Flores' talked
with five Chilean authors about being suddenly thrust into a whole new
culture, with a different language and customs. Next, he'll look at how
that is reflected in their writing. Flores understands why they write
what they write. When he returned in 1988, he took with him carefully
preserved memories of Chile. His spirits were dashed when confronted with
was a terrible experience for me to realize time had changed so many things,
because in my memory nothing had changed," he said. "You find
the people and places that stayed the same in your mind are so different.
These writers brought with them the memories of places and streets and
faces and have kept them too." "I want to know how seeing reality