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About Ariel Dorfman

Ariel Dorfman, a Chilean-American writer, is the author of Death and the Maiden and, more recently, the memoir Feeding On Dreams. He lives with his wife Angélica in North Carolina and in their native Chile. 

Articles by Ariel Dorfman

This week’s front page editor


Sunny Hundal is openDemocracy’s social media editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Cómo leer a Donald Trump

Las llamas encendidas en Charlottesville comienzan de nuevo no sólo historias de violencia nativista en América y Europa, pero las hogueras que estallaron en el "primer 9/11"  con el golpe contra Allende en Chile en 1973. English

How to read Donald Trump

Flames raised in Charlottesville reignite not only histories of nativist violence in America and Europe, but the bonfires that erupted on the "first 9/11" – Chile in 1973 – with the CIA-supported coup which overthrew Salvador Allende.

Never again, in 2015?

How is it possible that only 29 % of Americans believe that the interrogations carried out by the CIA, denounced as torture by the recent Senate Report, are wrong? To what do we owe such moral bankruptcy?

A time for creative suffering: Martin Luther King’s words in a surveillance world

What words would he have used to denounce the way the government surveillance he was under is now commonplace and pervasive, potentially targeting anyone in the United States? 

A Morse code for 2006

In the last days of 2005, leading thinkers and scholars from around the world share their fears, hopes and expectations of 2006. As Isabel Hilton asks: What does 2006 have in store? (Part one)

The five minutes of Pope John Paul II

As millions gather to witness the Polish pope’s Rome burial, Ariel Dorfman recalls the five minutes in Chile that define his life’s paradox.

Hammurabi, the exalted prince who made great the name of Babylon!

…has words from the other side of death for Donald Rumsfeld. Baghdad fell to a terrible echo - the smashing and pillaging of the priceless artefacts of its ancient civilisation. Across 3,800 years, the greatest law-giver of its Babylonian ancestor sends this fierce message to its latest conqueror

Christopher Columbus has words from the other side of death for Captain John Whyte...

...who rebaptised Saddam International Airport as his troops rolled into it. The peremptory renaming of the main airport in Iraq’s capital city by its occupier from across the ocean stirs a centuries-old adventurer from his restless tomb.

Hymn for the Unsung

Novelist and Playwright Dorfman wrote these words on the brink of a destructive war in the Gulf, where President Bush’s US forces squared up to those of Saddam Hussein. That they were written twelve years ago, on the brink of the first Gulf War, but not even the names have changed, is a chilling example of history repeating.

Pablo Picasso has words for Colin Powell from the other side of death

When the United States secretary of state presented his case against Iraq at the United Nations Security Council on 5 February, the tapestry of Guernica that routinely hangs there was covered up. This symbolic denial of a supreme artistic response to war moved Ariel Dorfman to poetry.

The two 11 Septembers

On the same date twenty-eight years apart, the two American cities which shaped Ariel Dorfman’s life - Santiago and New York - have now suffered catastrophe. Their terrible fate, he reflects, also offers the chance to repair damaged humanity.
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