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he fact that Eduardo Galeano's The Book of Embraces defies conventional categorization is indicative of its sometimes fragmented and always unpredictable content. Its combination of short texts with seemingly unrelated and shocking illustrations was a welcome break from traditional forms.
Galeano has been criticized for his lack of organization and rambling style, yet the "random" musings is literature in its purest form. The author demonstrates his ability to passionately write in several styles and on varied topics while still maintaining a common uniting thread. A majority of the short texts come back to military dictatorship throughout Latin America and particularly within the author's homeland, Uruguay. All of the stories reflect the disconnected reality of people away from their country of birth. Galeano's exile forced him to confront a lifestyle completely different from what he had previously experienced. Galeano's writings are therefore permeated by a sort of nostalgia for Latin America before political forces altered it beyond recognition. Another uniting feature of the book is the inclusion of sections entitled "The Walls Speak." The fleeting nature of graffiti mirrors the book's impulsive origins. Galeano writes what he feels on whatever is on his mind, much like the authors whose mysterious scrawls he has accumulated. Some poignant phrases include: "'Everybody makes promises and nobody keeps them. Vote for nobody.'" And "Here we sit, watching them kill our dream.'"
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