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experience is again highlighted when some of his characters' Dominicanness is questioned owing to their unfamiliarity with the Spanish language. Díaz's particular use of language reflects his concern for the complicated relationship between language, self, and place in the Dominican American realm. As is common with diasporic identities, his writing also showcases the evolution of the characters' ontological subject positions, depending on whether they are on the island or in the U.S.
traditional fukú superstition and its counterspell, the zafa, whose meaning is explained by the narrator in the introductory section. This represents a continuation of what other authors of the Trujillo cycle, such as Marcio Veloz Maggiolo in La biografía difusa de Sombra Castañeda (1981, The Vague Biography of Sombra Castañeda), had begun. Along these lines, although both Díaz and Vargas Llosa avowedly attempted to break away from the tradition of dictator mythification, Díaz's references to the purported superpowers of Trujillo, “the Dictatingest Dictator who ever Dictated” (80), and to the omniscience of his Secret Police end up contributing to the failure of this project. Trujillo, although not a major character in the novel, remains a larger-than-life figure that affects every character and every action, even decades after his death.
López-Calvo, Ignacio. "God and Trujillo": Literary and Cultural Representations of the Dominican Dictator.
Central de la República Dominicana, 2011. 17-49.
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