Join 3,572 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


They say he has the pelt of a human-like being that he shot in the wilderness; the beast was hiding behind a tree, whistling.
July 16, 2006 8:15 PM   Subscribe

Peruvian Gothic. "Don Benigno Aazco carved his way 36 years deep into the green heart of the Andean forest, founded 14 settlements, abandoned his wife and many children, married his daughter, slew his son-in-law, fought drug peddlers, tamed the wilderness, and reclaimed, as best he could, the Inca Empire. And now I was going to find him." [via]
posted by Sticherbeast (23 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
I really enjoyed that article.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 9:09 PM on July 16, 2006


"Well, the Incas used to practice incest deliberately," Mori mused. "Brothers would marry sisters. They'd get one superintelligent one and six idiots, throw away the idiots and make the good one emperor."

Amazing stuff.
posted by Operation Afterglow at 9:13 PM on July 16, 2006


Very cool article... I'm glad that there are still unexplored places in the world.
posted by Spacelegoman at 9:38 PM on July 16, 2006


"Amazing stuff."

And deeply repellent. I do not care about his pathetic excuses for mating with his daughter. He denied her the opportunity to grow up and find a man and a life of her own. He was not Lot after the destruction of Sodom. For that matter, his biblical justification sucks: Lot's daughters initiated the incest, and had to get the old man drunk first. If you want a reason to justify the extension of the rule of law out into the sticks, this was it.

Yeah, I'm amazed. But not in a good way.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 12:03 AM on July 17, 2006


Awesome
posted by Joseph Gurl at 12:03 AM on July 17, 2006


Yeah, joe's_spleen, that's all this story is about. Nothing else is of interest, not the Incan temples, not the farming, nothing. And shame on all the rest of us MeFi readers who stand by while this man has sex with his daughter.
posted by imperium at 2:30 AM on July 17, 2006


Wonderful article. It kind of surprised me that there are still unexplored places left. Very Livingstonian.
posted by Zero Gravitas at 3:29 AM on July 17, 2006


Cool article, though it is ten years old. Does anyone know what happened to him? Has been returned to civilisation? Has he been on Oprah? Does he blog?
posted by rhymer at 3:37 AM on July 17, 2006


That was absolutely excellent! Thanks for the post!
posted by smeger at 4:29 AM on July 17, 2006


Incredible article. I tried to Google Don Benigno Aazco, for a whopping 20 hits, and that's without putting it in quotations.
posted by QuarterlyProphet at 4:30 AM on July 17, 2006


Yeah, joe's_spleen, that's all this story is about. Nothing else is of interest, not the Incan temples, not the farming, nothing. And shame on all the rest of us MeFi readers who stand by while this man has sex with his daughter.

Dude, think of the children.
posted by fusinski at 4:42 AM on July 17, 2006


a really engrossing read. thanks.
posted by nola at 4:54 AM on July 17, 2006


Metafilter: MeFi readers who stand by while this man has sex
posted by CynicalKnight at 5:50 AM on July 17, 2006


So much literary allusiveness here as well: shades of Marquez, Conrad, Matthiesen, et al. I think Kate Wheeler did an amazing job negotiating this territory, literally and figuratively, to produce her own story.
posted by Haruspex at 5:57 AM on July 17, 2006


Don't forget Herzog.
posted by Smart Dalek at 6:27 AM on July 17, 2006


Peru is unmapped south of the Ecuadoran border, between the Mara√ľn and the Huallaga, north of Cajamarca. Political maps are mostly blank, except for rivers that tend to be misnamed and shown running north-south, 90 degrees off course. Due to the difficult surveying conditions, topographic maps simply don't exist. And because archaeologists have generally avoided the region, the ruins dotting the valleys and drainages east of the Andes are encrusted with the opinions of weird amateurs, self-serving mystics, corrupt officials, and superstitious peasants.

OMG.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:51 AM on July 17, 2006


"Nothing else is of interest, not the Incan temples, not the farming, nothing. "

Your words, not mine. Had you considered that part of the interest is the egotism, the selfishness and the indifference to others?
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 12:32 PM on July 17, 2006


Thats true of almost any famous person. Renegades and outlaws make for especially interesting stories.
posted by vacapinta at 1:00 PM on July 17, 2006


You're definitely right, Smart Dalek. It's too bad that Kinski's dead, or they could've made a good sister-film to Aguirre and Cobra Verde out of this man's story. Though I suppose there's still time for a documentary, which are what Herzog's been doing a lot of anyway.
posted by ubersturm at 4:58 PM on July 17, 2006


Wheeler's final sentence: But surely, in the end, only God is qualified to judge Benigno Anazco.

There's nothing in her piece that supports that argument, which apparently she was working towards the entire time. Otherwise, well-written and interesting. Nice post.
posted by sluglicker at 9:51 PM on July 17, 2006


I don't like Kate Wheeler's writing very much. However, I'm intrigued by the places she's visited, as well as some of the topics in which she has expressed an interest. She wrote a practically insightful, snarky essay on how to not get duped by a guru. She used to be partnered with a man now called Lama Surya Das.

Her stories leave me feeling she doesn't have much of a heart and has a kind of bloodlust for the exotic and ambiguous. Almost all her stories leave me feeling her experience of the various places was hollow, that she suffers from a pointless yet relentless curiosity and a compulsive need to observe the strange but without connection.

This story left me with a residual sense that soap opera-incest, whether in the Appalachians or Andes is epic hillbilly misery.

What's glossed over in the story is, on a little Googling, very interesting. That region, Chachapoyan art and people. The man who accompanied Wheeler into the jungle to find AAzco is Peter Lerche, who has accomplished amazing research , exploration and discovery over decades in that part of the world. News this March was the 'discovery' of one of the world's highest waterfalls.

Peter Lerche's facial tattoos resemble the Machiguenga locals in that part of the world. I don't like Kate Wheeler's writing very much. However, I'm intrigued by the places she's visited, as well as some of the topics in which she has expressed an interest. She wrote a practically insightful, snarky essay on how to not get duped by a guru. She used to be partnered with a man now called Lama Surya Das.

Her stories leave me feeling she doesn't have much of a heart and has a kind of bloodlust for the exotic and ambiguous. Almost all her stories leave me feeling her experience of the various places was coldly hollow, that she suffers from a pointless yet relentless curiosity and a compulsive need to observe the strange but without a warm connection.

This story left me with a residual sense that soap opera-incest, whether in the Appalachians or Andes is epic hillbilly misery.

What's glossed over in the story is, on a little Googling, very interesting. That region, Chachapoyan art and people. The man who accompanied Wheeler into the jungle to find AAzco is Peter Lerche. He has accomplished amazing research over decades in that part of the world. News this March was the 'discovery' of one of the world's highest waterfalls.

Peter Lerche's facial tattoos resemble the Machiguenga locals in that part of the world.
posted by nickyskye at 11:51 PM on July 17, 2006 [2 favorites]


nickyskye, I bow to your superior link-fu. :)
posted by Sticherbeast at 11:54 PM on July 17, 2006


Sticherbeast, Sorry about the double post within one post, yikes. I was tired, but still.
:( I wish there was an after-posting edit function. Should have looked more carefully before pressing send, drat.

Returning your respect: Thank you for the interesting FPP. I learned a lot in Googling points that came up in the story about this unusual part of the world.
posted by nickyskye at 8:58 AM on July 18, 2006


« Older The Urban Pantheist...   |   Is the U.S. Bankrupt?... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments