Photo: Taken from La Jiribilla.
The professional vituperator who respects himself – much more if he has a degree in Hispanic language and literature – should sometime read The Art of Insulting: Borges' Substantial Essay on the Method of Vilifying with Ingenuity. Such readings, however, seem not to have been agreed by James Machover, illustrious academician of Avignon, writer of presumed biographies. Certainly, when he tries to sully the life and work of the poet Nancy Morejón —personal disrespect through, to the point of giving her the nickname of "old lady"—, at times I suspected that some political debutant of the banana republic has been supplanting her identity.
According to Borges, when someone is given the title of doctor in matters of art, it resonates as a kind of annihilation. He explains that, for example, mentioning the sonnets committed by Dr. Lugones, is equivalent to measuring them wrong forever or refuting each of their metaphors. I, however, confess an obstacle that prevents me from using such a resource in favor of Dr. Jacobo Machover: I have read from foot to foot his leaflets, and in them I have not been able to find a single metaphor or literary device that justifies the presence of the academic.
One hopes that those who promote themselves as an essayist, researcher, literary critic, and other vivisections of the genre, at least appear to us with a line that certifies the relevance of their entorchados. And look, he had it easy. I was speaking, nothing less and nothing more, than Nancy Morejón, one of the essential voices of Cuban poetry in any era, owner of a solid work that transcends the framework of language. Not mentioning such a detail, and instead mocking his age, could be excused to a gendarme or a porter of lupanar; But hey, that's the way it is.
For me it is a mystery why the doctor has preferred to discard the usual tools of the trade, while camouflaging any vestige of intellectuality that betrays the academic. Did he want to make a parody of Senator Joseph McCarthy? If so, it has achieved it in spades, and more. I mean, I wonder how it was possible for him to weave such a number of procedures typical of media manipulation into a few leaflets. I never imagined that so many adjectives, common places and phrases made in a vademecum would fit. And keep in mind that it also demonizes, obscures, presupposes, decontextualizes, omits, simplifies, exaggerates, and is prodigal in fallacies.
After such an effort, it is hard not to achieve the intended result. To this day, the poet and essayist Nancy Morejón is still the honorary president of the Paris Poetry Market, as can be seen in the program of the event. They say that evil of many is consolation of fools, but let's leave the saying in just the part of consolation, because something is always more than nothing. Yes, because in some ways you may expect to know that you were not alone in ridicule. As we say in good Cuban, also the Pen Club of France and the organizers of the event went with the rag.
The Pen Club of France, like all Pen Clubs in the world, sells the image of an organization to which censorship causes vertigo; except, of course, when that censorship reaches Cuban writers who support their Revolution. In those cases they not only take a pill against dizziness, we see that they also take censorship into their own hands. Has anyone ever seen the Pen Club condemn the U.S. blockade against Cuba? Will there be a greater act of censorship in the world? But well, right now I remember Voltaire: "Chance is a word empty of meaning; Nothing can exist without cause."
The organizers of the event say they did not know Nancy's biography. Could it be that they knew Machover's: a man who applauds the throwing of Molotov cocktails against the Cuban embassy in Paris? As soon as they stripped Nancy of the honorary presidency, they ran to summon the media that we already know; A week after the reversal of the fatal decision, those media still do not make it known. Will they have a problem with freedom of speech? Is it a problem of the media, or is this issue divided half by half?
Now, on Facebook, I was reading Machover's testimony. He tells us that the idea came to him from ramplán, on his own initiative, nothing that they used him as a sacrificial pawn, or as a media hitman. All very spontaneous, casual, and then he was surprised by the support of infinite Cubans (sic). I don't know why such infinite support isn't reflected on his Facebook wall. He barely gets 10 or 12 reactions in each of his obsessive posts against Nancy; Instead, a couple of days ago he posted his cat's photo and managed to collect a whopping 70 likes, twice as many as his profile picture. Who knows if this has not been a pulla of karma, or a sarcasm of Nemesis; Although I imagine that such a wink can always blame the algorithm.
I mean, you should build on the momentum now that you've been in victimhood mode. He tells us that everyone attacks and offends him, and perhaps because of that of giving it to those who did not give you, he also undertakes it against the novelist Leonardo Padura. And even the writer Zoé Valdés receives his own, and reproaches him for being in tune with the attacks he receives from "Minint and the Castro authorities." Good thing he uses a Facebook wall and not an AK-47 to shoot round.
This is what I say, the academic of Hispanic literature did not read Borges. The Argentine warns him in his essay: "The aggressor knows that the aggressor will be him, and that 'any word he utters can be invoked against him', according to the honest prevention of the Scotland Yard guards." But hey, Machover maybe expected flowers in exchange for camorra. Perhaps they are understandable confusions in a seventies that mocks the old age of others.
Returning to his testimony, his actions would be a minor event, without any connection with the contexts where such lynchings of Cuban writers and artists are already common in the cultural war against Cuba. It is pure coincidence that once again the piecework media of the NED and USAID are joining this campaign.
Inexplicable coincidence also that everyone uses the same methods and language filled with topics as if reciting a bad script. In any case, the blame for the disappointment will always lie with the MININT and State Security, which have agents everywhere; That cruel dictatorship that, however, is supported in a referendum by 86% of the voters. Jacobo Machover complains that he is called anti-Cuban, and I don't think that's the case at all. One is measured by the size of the enemies, and a country accustomed to facing the most powerful empire in history is not going to fall so low. In any case, Machover's problem is with logic, mathematics, common sense.
In short, we already know that the blame will never fall on those who use such Goebbelian procedures or witch hunts to the Torquemada 2.0; but well, in the end everything is recomposed: to Nancy what is Nancy's, and darkness to those opaque who hate the brightness of others. Finally this abominable blackout occurred in the City of Light is over: we will see what sad chip will have to manipulate the switch tomorrow.
(Taken from La Jiribilla)