In a life spent talking and, above all, listening to the voices of his fellow Americans, he rarely made time for intellectuals. Their eloquence, he said, came too easy. He preferred the “inchoate thought” of people who were never heard. Billy Joe Gatewood, for example, fresh out of eastern Kentucky, a 19-year-old shipping clerk: “The biggest thing on my mind is I work nine hours a day and I come home and the tensions build up and I don’t know how to get it out sometimes.” The black farmer near Tchula, Mississippi: “The Negroes in the South done got to the height of their growthin’. They ain’t getting’ further.” The marine, thinking of Hiroshima, who remembered: “We were sitting on the pier, sharpening our bayonets, when Harry dropped that beautiful bomb. The greatest thing that ever happened.” Or Dolores Dante, a waitress, talking about her work:Some don’t care. When the plate is down you can hear the sound. I try not to have that sound. I want my hands to be right when I serve. I pick up a glass, I want it to be just right…To be a waitress, it’s an art.
jueves, febrero 19, 2009
In words we trust
El Economist sorprende cada tanto con una dosis de saludable sentimentalismo que parece completamente ajeno a su adn flemático e inglés. Me encontré con la historia de Studs Terkel revisando números viejos de la revista y no pude más que envidiar ese amor profundo por la palabra oral como custodia de la memoria y último refugio de las personas: