“Tigres” by Diango Hernández
The following passage appears (textually) in the first page of Guillermo Cabrera Infante’s most glorious and delicious book, Tres Tristes Tigres (Three Sad Tigers) 1967, translated into English as Three Trapped Tigers. Because this book and for this book I have made ‘Folded Tiger’. My thoguhts about tigers match perfectly with my fantasies about color and freedom and this happened because you Señor Guillermo. For you and for all the flavors that you mastered with your words. Thank you! … For your exclusive pleasure, ladies and gentlemen our Good Neighbours, you that are now in Cuba, the most beautiful land human eyes have ever seen, as Christofry Columbus, The Discoverer, said once, you, happy visitors, are once and for all, welcome. WelCOME to Cuba! All of you… be WELLcome! Bienvenidos, as we say in our romantic language, the language of colonizadors and toreros (bullfighters) and very, very, but very (I know what I say) beautiful duennas. I know that you are here to sunbathe and seabathe and sweatbathe Jo jo jo… My excuses, thousand of apologies for You-There that are freezing in this cold of the rich, that sometimes is the chill of our coollness and the sneeze of our colds: the Air Conditioned I mean. For you as for every-one here, its time to get warm and that will be with our coming show. In fact, to many of you it will mean heat! And I mean, with my apologies to the very, very oldfashioned ladies in the audience, I mean, Heat. And when, ladies and gentlemen, I mean heat is HEAT!