Publication Details

Seaton, C. (2015). Salvador Torrents and the Birth of Crónica Writing in Australia. JASAL: Journal of the Association for the Study of Australian Literature, 15 (3), 1-9.


In Salvador Torrents's 1928 newspaper crónica 'Un Sueño' ('A Dream'),2 the author describes returning home from an arduous day working in the sugar cane fields of Far North Queensland, ready to welcome the sleep that awaits him.With sleep comes a dream, in which Torrents finds himself in an unnamed capital city in Europe, in the company of a large crowd of onlookers, watching handcuffed prisoners being paraded by police. He asks of a finely dressed gentleman: 'What crime have these men committed?' The reply is that these men are political prisoners, who have meddled in matters that do not concern them. Torrents again poses the same question, although this time it is to an obrero (labourer). The obrero claims that the prisoners have committed no crime and are only exercising their right to express their opinions. This scenario is repeated in a different setting, and on this occasion, the secret police show up and detain the worker who shares his views with Torrents, and incarcerate him for his 'lack of respect and patriotism.' At this point Torrents awakens, disturbed by his dream and dreading the full day's work that awaits him in the sugar cane fields under a scorching sun.