“The Question,” by Justo Arroyo translated from Spanish by Seymour Menton
“Such fiery pupils—your immediate reaction is to avoid them. But the old man knows it, and he keeps looking at you until you have no other choice but to return his look, even when the fire in his eyes forces you to recognize his existence, which is exactly what it’s all about.”
Panamanian Justo Arroyo has published ten novels and six volumes of short stories. “The Question” is the lead story in Héroes a medio tiempo (‘Part-time Heroes’), which was awarded the 1998 Rogelio Sinán Central American Prize for Literature. He has been his country’s ambassador to Colombia, and has represented Panama in conferences in Latin America, Europe, Asia, and Africa.
Seymour Menton is an internationally known historian and critic of Latin American fiction. He has published seventeen books, the most famous of which is El cuento hispanoamericano. He has translated several stories and three novels by Cepeda Samudio, Monteforte Toledo, and Severo Sarduy. He has been teaching at the University of California, Irvine since 1965.