Born in in Caguas, Diaz Alfaro flunked out of two grade schools before graduating from a third. Like many of his stories, it examined the often painful relationship between the U. In that tale, Santa Claus, sweltering in his red suit, arrives in La Cuchilla, whose rural denizens have no idea what to make of this displaced Yankee icon. On Thursday at his San Juan home of complications caused by repeated strokes.
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Abelardo Diaz Alfaro, whose short stories gave voice to Puerto Ricans' quest for identity, died on Thursday at his home in Guaynabo, a suburb of San Juan. He was The cause was complications from repeated strokes, said his wife, Gladys Meaux de Diaz Alfaro. Correa added. Throughout his life, Mr. Diaz published thousands of short stories and radio and television scripts, first winning international recognition in with ''Terraza'' ''Terrace'' , a collection of stories based on popular tradition and culture.
In one of his best known tales, ''El Josco'' ''The Swarthy One'' , two neighbors acquire an American bull to displace a Puerto Rican bull on their pasture.
The two bulls start to fight. The Puerto Rican bull injures the American one, but ultimately the American bull triumphs and the Puerto Rican bull dejectedly plunges from a mountaintop to its death. The conflict was seen as a metaphor for the territory's often painful relationship with the United States. Other stories examined the relationship with humor.
When he appears dressed in red and bellowing ''Ho! In Mr. Diaz published an article in Cultura, the magazine of the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture, about why he, like many Latin Americans, cared more deeply for the Three Kings who are celebrated on Jan. He added that he could more readily identify with a king, one of whom was Moorish and dark-skinned, than with Santa Claus, who was usually represented as white, dressed in heavy winter clothes and with a bright white cotton beard.
Some of Mr. Diaz's stories are required reading in Puerto Rican schools, and ''Terrazo'' has been translated into 10 languages. Diaz was born on July 24, , in Caguas, P. He dropped out of two grade schools before graduating from a third. The criticism he received from his teachers about his poor academic performance, Mr. Diaz told interviewers, gave rise to a rebellious nature. In addition to his wife, Mr.
Over 37 years Mr. Diaz wrote thousands of skits and stories for Puerto Rico's Government-supported radio and television. View on timesmachine. TimesMachine is an exclusive benefit for home delivery and digital subscribers. Home Page World U.
Abelardo Díaz Alfaro
Abelardo Diaz Alfaro, 81; Author of Puerto Rican Stories