Contrary to what many people may think, Borges is not the most popular Argentinian author. That title belongs to Joaquín Salvador Lavado, a.k.a. Quino; a cartoonist whose work has been published in dozens of countries, and translated to many languages —including Esperanto.
Quino's most famous character is Mafalda, a little girl whose nagging questions about everything from philosophy, the Moon race, Fidel Castro, to the war in Vietnam, became the first instruction into politics for many of us in Latin America. No wonder Umberto Eco named her "Mafalda the contestational."
During the years when he published the strip, Quino portrayed the many quirks and traits that added depth to his character, some of which were understandably shared by the author himself. Like Quino for example, Mafalda loved the Beatles, and this was exploited by Quino to reflect the never-ending generational struggle between parents and their children. However unlike Quino, Mafalda abhorred soup —'SOPA' in Spanish.
Her reactions when she was presented with the nefarious bowl at the kitchen table were arguably the funniest gags of them all.
Soup is to Childhood as Communism is to Democracy.
The soup in Mafalda's world is a metaphor. A revolt against everything that is imposed without one's consent, whether that is something as trivial as a chicken broth, or as serious as a military junta —or an antipiracy law...
30 years later, and only now do I realize that Mafalda was not only opinionated, but also prophetic.