In my final year of college, my B.A. in Intercultural Studies required me to take a daily accelerated Spanish class. Thus I met Ñacuñán Sáez, the dazzlingly urbane young professor from Argentina who had recently come via Italy and Oxford to our tiny liberal arts college in western Massachusetts. Ñacuñan spoke four languages, adored Maria Callas, and showed up at his first faculty dinner party amongst the snowshoes, mufflers and plaid lumberjack coats of the Berkshire Mountains sporting a white dinner jacket and carrying a bottle of Campari.
Ñacuñán taught with theatricality and flair, keeping us students awake and interested, even at the ungodly hour of 8.30 am each day. The sample sentences he concocted as grammar exercises were gems of Latin American magical realism, provoking laughter as well as thoughtful discussion about different beliefs, realities and worlds.
Continue reading “A Dream of Death and the Light Beyond Light: Remembering Ñacuñán by Laura Shannon”