The following passages are excerpted from Hunter of Stories, the last book by Eduardo Galeano, who died in 2015.
Now we can’t tell if we are God’s masterpiece or the devil’s bad joke. We puny humans: exterminators of everything, hunters of our own, creators of the atom bomb, the hydrogen bomb, and the neutron bomb, which is the healthiest of all bombs since it vaporizes people and leaves objects intact...
In my childhood, I was convinced that everything that went astray on earth ended up on the moon. But the astronauts found no sign of dangerous dreams or broken promises or hopes betrayed. If not on the moon, where might they be? Perhaps they were never misplaced. Perhaps they are in hiding here on earth. Waiting.
Have you ever entered an empty stadium? Try it. Stand in the middle of the field and listen. There is nothing less empty than an empty stadium. There is nothing less mute than stands bereft of spectators.
At Wembley, shouts from the 1966 World Cup, which England won, still resound, and if you listen very closely you can hear groans from 1953 when England fell to the Hungarians. Montevideo’s Centenario Stadium sighs with nostalgia for the glory days of Uruguayan soccer. Maracanã is still crying over Brazil’s 1950 World Cup defeat. At Bombonera in Buenos Aires, drums boom from half a century ago. From the depths of Azteca Stadium, you can hear the ceremonial chants of the ancient Mexican ball game. The concrete terraces of Camp Nou in Barcelona speak Catalan, and the stands of San Mamés in Bilbao talk in Basque. In Milan, the ghost of Giuseppe Meazza scores goals that shake the stadium bearing his name. The final match of the 1974 World Cup, won by Germany, is played day after day and night after night at Munich’s Olympic Stadium. King Fahd Stadium in Saudi Arabia has marble and gold boxes and carpeted stands, but it has no memory or much of anything to say.
Source: The Progressive Magazine
(The great Latin American writer Eduardo Galeano, author of “The Open Veins of Latin America” and most recently “Children of the Days,” was in Madison, Wisconsin, on May 9, 2013, to accept an award for Lifetime Contribution to Critical Scholarship from the Havens Center for the Study of Social Structure and, Social Change at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on May 9, 2013. © 2013 by Eduardo Galeano. By permission of the Havens Center and Susan Bergholz Literary Services, New York City and Lamy, NM. All rights reserved. Permission is required for any use.)
On the third day of the year 47 BC, the most renowned library of antiquity burned to the ground. After Roman legions invaded Egypt, during one of the battles waged by Julius Caesar against the brother of Cleopatra, fire devoured most of the thousands upon thousands of papyrus scrolls in the Library of Alexandria.