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Castigo Divino 2005 -

> o ^1 delicate treatmentof therelationship between these characters continually leaves us guessing how each is relat ed to the other, how each affords the other an opportunity to begin again or to end, whether in lifeor otherwise, and what the surprising consequences of these connections might be. Jessica Walker Universityof Oklahoma Sergio Ramirez. El cielo llora por mi. Mexico City. Alfaguara. 2008. 290 pages. $22.99. isbn978-607-11-0043-6 With thispolitical police thriller,the prolific Sergio Ramirez, the elder statesman of Central American let ters,solidifies the shiftinhiswriting thatstartedwith Castigo divino (1988; seeWLT, Winter 1990, 79), and con tinued with Margarita est? linda la mar (1998; see WLT, Spring 2002, 236) andMil y unamuertes (2005). El cielo llorapormi could not be timelier, ifread in termsof itsallusions to the present social and political tensions of his native Nicaragua. As a former protagonist and now critic of the political intrigues that are stranger than the literatureof the fantastic, Ramirez fully realizes that the rep resentation of such a state of affairs requires other aesthetic venues. He thus combines detective fiction and mystery with a highly allusive inquiry into the tenuous line that separates good and evil in his country. The characters, starting with Dolores Morales and Lord/Bert Dixon, the investigators assigned to sort out the clues of a woman's disappearance, are rightout of any police procedural. Other characters show Ramirez's reliance on local color (chapter 18 is a good example) rather than on his insider's view of how formerinsurgents (Morales and Dixon) ultimatelybetray theirideals. This tension is an advantage and a complicated shortcoming forEl cielo Ibra vor mu The advantage is that Ramirez's maturity as a storyteller is intact, as ishis expertise indialogue based on colloquial speech. The disadvantage is that the trials and tribulations ofMorales frequently remind us of the parallels the novelist implicitly established, in thenovels mentioned above, between the idealism of the anti-Somoza insurgency and a nos talgia for theNicaragua of old. A character like dona Sofia, a cleaning lady presumably based on Rosario Murillo (Daniel Ortega's wife), is perfectly satirized as a decadent fun damentalist who rules her husband and anyone near her. Ramirez has stated that his novel is a parody of those gringo movies inwhich there is always a pair of detectives chasing the bad guys. His work's humor (Morales has an artificial leg,a computer that does not work, an imperfect lover, and drives a Russian car) and atten tion to the hypotheses the inves tigators must unravel, Ramirez asserts, prevent his tale from being like Miami Vice (theAmerican DEA plays a minor role). Nevertheless, thepresence ofColombian andMex ican drug cartels gives thisnovel a political immediacy that can be in conflictwith its sarcastic tone and its "crime does not pay" conclusion. The only clues that Morales and Dixon, aided by Inspector Palacios, have are an abandoned yacht that probably transporteddrugs, a burnt book, a bloody t-shirt, a suitcase (filledwith dollars, of course), and a wedding dress. However, their search is hindered when "the peo pie" and their culture become inves tigators who know as much as any body else. Ramirez purportedly took the frame for the twenty-fivechap tersof his novel froma truepolice story written about five years ago. He knows that such a metaphor of how capitalism has corrupted former revolutionaries is insufficient, and thus frequently adds literary allu sions to thisexpert and solid novel. Will H. Corral CaliforniaStateUniversity,Sacramento 3 IMIMIIIIMIIIIIIIMIMIimilMIMIIMIMIIMMMIIMIIMMIIIMMMIIMIMIMMM 68 i World Literature Today ...

Castigo Divino 2005 -

SOLÓRZANO TELECHEA, Jesús Ángel, "Justicia y ejercicio del poder: La infamia y los delitos de lujuria en la cultura legal de la castilla medieval", Cuadernos de Historia del Derecho, 12, (2005) 313-353.

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