Dispatch from a Man without a Country



Dispatch from a Man without a Country (Despacho de un hombre sin país) es un ensayo de Kurt Vonnegut, donde elabora sobre los prejuicios, el socialismo, etc. Al final cannery y dust-up
… Stalin was happy to take Marx’s truism as a decree, and Chinese tyrants as well, since it seemingly empowered them to put preachers out of business who might speak ill of them or their goals.
The statement has also entitled many of this country to say that socialists are antireligion, are anti-God, and therefore absolutely loathsome.
I never met Carl Sandburg or Eugene Victor Debs, and I wish I had. I would have been tongue-tied in the presence of such national treasures.
I did get to know one socialist of their generation – Powers Hapgood of Indianapolis. He was a typical Hoosier idealist. Socialism is idealistic. Hapgood, like Debs, was a middle-class person who thought there could be more economic justice in this country. He wanted a better country, that’s all.
After graduating from Harvard, he went to work as a coal miner, urging his working class brothers to organize in order to get better pay and safer working conditions. He also led protesters at the execution of the anarchists Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti in Massachusetts in 1927.
Hapgood’s family owned a successful cannery in Indianapolis, and when Powers Hapgood inherited it, he turned it over to the employees, who ruined it.

We met in Indianapolis after the end of the Second World War. He had become an official in the CIO. There had been some sort of dust-up on a picket line, and he was testifying about it in court and the judge stops everything and asks him, ‘Mr Hapgood, here you are, you’re a graduate of Harvard. Why would anyone with your advantages choose to live as you have?’ Hapgood answered the judge: ‘Why, because of the Sermon on the Mount, sir.’
And again: Hooray for our team.
I am from a family of artists. Here I am, making a living in the arts. It has not been a rebellion. It’s as though I had taken over the family Esso station. My ancestors were all in the arts, so I’m simply making my living in the customary family way.
But my father, who was a painter and an architect, was so hurt by the Depression, when he was unable to make a living, that he thought I should have nothing to do with the arts. He warned me away from the arts because he had found them so useless as a way of producing money. He told me I could go to college only if I studied something serious, something practical.
As an undergraduate at Cornell I was a chemistry major because my brother was a big-shot chemist. Critics feel that a person cannot be a serious artist and also have had a technical education, which I had. I know that customarily English departments in universities, without knowing what they’re doing, teach dread of the engineering department, the physics department, and the chemistry department. And this fear, I think, is carried over into criticism. Most of our critics are products of English departments and are very suspicious of anyone who takes an interest in technology. So, anyway, I was a chemistry major, but I’m always winding up as a teacher in English departments, so I have brought scientific thinking to literature. There’s been very little gratitude for this.
I became a so-called science fiction writer when someone decreed that I was a science fiction writer. I did not want to be classified as one, so I wondered in what way I’d offended that I would not get credit for being a serious writer. I decided that it was because I wrote about technology, and most fine American writers know nothing about technology. I got classified as a science fiction writer simply because I wrote about Schenectady, New York. My first book, Player Piano, was about Schenectady. There are huge factories in Schenectady and nothing else. I and my associates were engineers, physicists, chemists, and mathematicians. And when I wrote about the General Electric Company and Schenectady, it seemed a fantasy of the future to critics who had never seen the place.
I think that novels that leave out technology misrepresent life as badly as Victorians  misrepresented life by leaving out sex… (Dispatch from a man without a country, by Kurt Vonnegut)
Para saber
Nicola Sacco y Bartolomeo Vanzetti fueron anarquistas italo-norteamericanos acusados de matar a guardias en un robo en 1920. Fueron ejecutados en la silla eléctrica 7 años después en Charlestown State Prison. John Dos Passos, que visitó a ambos en prisión, dijo de  Vanzetti “nadie que estuviera en su sano juicio, planeando tal crimen, llevaría un hombre como él.”
Schenectady /skɪˈnɛktədi/ es una ciudad en Nueva York. La ciudad se desarrolló rápidamente en el siglo 19, alojando compañías grandes como General Electric y American Locomotive Company (ALCO).
Vocabulario
Cannery: a factory where foods are canned. First known used of cannery: 1864
Dust-up: a fight or loud argument. First known used of dustup: 1897
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Demonstrations for Sacco and Vanzetti 1925