IPNHK 2009 contributor Eliot Weinberger (USA), born in 1949, is a contemporary American writer, essayist, editor, and translator. His work regularly appears in translation and has been published in more than thirty languages. Weinberger first gained recognition for his translations of the Nobel Prize–winning writer and poet Octavia Paz. His many translations of the work of Paz include The Poems of Octavio Paz, In Light of India, and Sunstone. His edition of Borges’ Selected Non-Fictions received the National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism. Today, Weinberger is primarily known for his literary writings (essays) and political articles, the former characterized by their wide-ranging subjects and experimental style, verging on a kind of documentary prose poetry, and the latter highly critical of American politics and foreign policy.In 2000, Weinberger became the only U.S. literary writer to be awarded the Order of the Aztec Eagle by the government of Mexico. He was chosen by the German organization Dropping Knowledge as one of a hundred “world’s most innovative thinkers.” At the 2005 PEN World Voices Festival, he was presented as a “post-national writer.” He currently lives in New York City.
In the forest of Chiapas, in thatched huts without walls, in hammocks barely rocking, they sleep.
There it is said:
If you dream of a donkey, there will be a strong wind.
If you dream of tacos, you will see an anteater.
If you dream of an anteater, people are coming.
If you dream of a termite, you will see a jaguar.
If you dream of a jaguar, people are coming.
If the jaguar bites you, they are not people.
If you dream you are walking, you’ll be frightened in the forest.
If you dream of a mirror, you will see white stones.
If you dream of your tongue, beware.
All birds mean fever; all fish mean pain in your stomach.
If you dream you’re worrying about the cost of things, you’ll not have to worry about the cost of things.
If you dream of a party, for a long time you’ll be bored.
A gourd is a jaguar’s head; the old canoe an alligator.
If you dream of a house, you will see a wild boar.
If you dream of a beard, you will see a wild boar.
If you dream of a broom, you will see a wild boar.
If you dream of a radio, you will see a wild boar.
If you dream of a poet, someone will cry.
A shotgun is the tooth of an animal.
Beans are maggots and maggots are beans.
If you dream you are writing, you’ll be bitten by a snake.
If you dream of a lake, it is nothing.
If you dream of a frog, it is nothing.
If you dream of a flower, it is nothing.
If you dream of heaven, it is nothing.
If you dream of leaves, it is nothing, but if the leaves are shaking in the wind, grasshoppers will eat the corn.
If you dream of fog, people are coming who are sad and ill.
If you dream you know something, you do not know it.
If you dream of a halo around the moon, the end of the world is coming.
That which is thin in a dream will be thick.
That which is certain in a dream won’t happen.