- Translator’s Note
[“Milagro en parque chas” (“Miracle in Parque Chas”)]
“Milagro en parque chas” (“Miracle in Parque Chas”) appeared in the story collection edited by Roberto Fontanarrosa, Cuentos de futbol argentino (Stories of Argentinean Soccer). It was also published by Argentina’s Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology as part of the series, Cuando leés, ganás siempre (When You Read, You Always Win). Soccer is the greatest sport passion of Argentina and Brazil, and their rivalry goes back many years. Both have figured prominently in world soccer competitions, Brazil having won five World Cups, and Argentina, two. From 1914 through 2014 the national soccer teams of the two countries played each other around one hundred times, each winning about half the matches. In the 1970s and ’80s the national governments of Brazil and Argentina employed international soccer victories to distract their people from repressive rule by military dictatorships, and soccer plays an important role in literary works in both countries. Inés Fernández Moreno did not come to “Milagro en Parque Chas” by the route of ex-player or fan. In fact, in one interview she claimed to know nothing about soccer and not even like it. She responded to a request to contribute to the Fontanarrosa anthology, considering it a challenge, invented the basic idea of her tale, and then “drove all the men around her crazy (her husband, son, and fellow workers) asking them all kinds of things related to her soccer story.” She situated the story in Buenos Aires’s Parque Chas—a picturesque old neighborhood with an unusual pattern of circular and radial streets—because she lives there and likes the names of its streets and their mysterious layout. [End Page 418]
richard v. mcgehee is a research fellow in the Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies of the University of Texas at Austin. He works in the area of Latin American sport literature and history, and his translations have been published in Aethlon and World Literature Today.