This essay compares four editions of the book Guía emocional de la ciudad romántica, by the Dominican author and politician Joaquín Balaguer. The book, a celebration of Santo Domingo’s monumental architecture, evokes the topos of the romantic poet who strolls down the streets of an ancient city admiring the remnants of the past. A closer examination, however, reveals a text deeply invested in the monumentalizing of violence—a text that portrays the dictator Rafael Leónidas Trujillo as the savior of the nation. Moreover, the metaphorical stroll that the reader is invited to take reenacts the movement of history in order to justify the 1937 massacre of thousands of Haitians living in Dominican territory.


Original Citation: Médar Serrata. "Anti-Haitian Rhetoric and the Monumentalizing of Violence in Joaquín Balaguer's Guía emocional de la ciudad romántica." Hispanic Review 81.3 (2013): 263-284.