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Seizure in Argentina

To the Editors:

I want to call the attention of your readers to a grave case of literary censorship in Argentina.

Recently four books have been seized by municipal authorities of Buenos Aires. The books are Territorios by Marcelo Pichón Riviere, The Buenos Aires Affair by Manuel Puig, Solo Los Angeles by Enrique Medina, and La Boca de la Ballena by Hector Lastra. The books have all been denounced as obscene.

I have not heard from either Sr. Lastra or Sr. Pichón Riviere; and Manuel Puig, author of Betrayed by Rita Hayworth, is here in New York where he recently participated in a ceremony honoring his novel Heartbreak Tango as one of ten on the list of notable books of the year published by the National Library Association. Enrique Medina, however, is now in Buenos Aires and he has written a letter from which I quote a portion (in my own translation):

…I want to ask you for a few lines about my novel and, if it is possible, for you to join your signature with that of others so that they can serve to influence a judge in this era of the inquisition. Truly, my case is quite serious because I am the only one who will be indicted and as they want to frighten everyone in cultural activity so that we will censor ourselves there are rumors that they want to give me the maximum sentence: two years in jail. Because of all this, I appreciate whatever you can do for me.

I know that all of your readers will want to know of this case. Perhaps some of them, especially those whose names would lend weight to their statements, will want to write in support of Enrique Medina. For this reason, I am giving Sr. Medina’s address: Medrano 439, Décimo B, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Ronald Christ

Editor, Review 74

Center for Inter-American Relations, NYC

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