Mañach and the new

I want to share a paragraph taken from the book Prints of San Cristobal by Jorge Mañach.* In a text devoted to some sculptures in the shape of frogs, once located in Maceo Park (curiously, because although this was one of the parks of my childhood, I do not remember such frogs… if anyone ever saw them, please help me overcome my amnesia…), Mañach puts in the mouth of his guide Luján the following dissertation:

“No, no it does not surprise me, son, that they censure them (the frogs). They are new. Novelty here is always – paradoxically, given that we are a young country – a source of antagonism and suspicion… Don’t tell me that young people are more attached to the conventional! Rhetorical in the forms, orthodox in the concepts, until the lime has their bones. When something unusual arises, they only pay attention to that it differs, but not to how it differs, nor if it has the right to differ, provided it exercises its difference beautifully.”

*Translator’s note: A Cuban writer and attorney, 1898-1961.

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