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Student's story wins national accolade

March 27, 2003

By Melinda Aguilar

Victor Agosto, a native Puerto Rican and Baylor graduate student, had no idea what his writing would bring him. His short story, 'Prolepsis,' originally written in Spanish, won him the Ignacio R.M. Galbis Prize.

This national award is given annually by Sigma Delta Pi, a Spanish honor society, to one student whose story is featured in the literary journal El Cid.

Dr. Michael Thomas, professor and division director of Spanish and Portuguese and director of Sigma Delta Pi at Baylor, has known Agosto for a number of years.

He said he has seen Agosto's writing flourish and attributes it to his hard work.

''Prolepsis' was excellent,' Thomas said. 'It was innovative in its technique and was a clever story.'

The idea for Agosto's short story originated in a class he took with Dr. Guillermo Garcia-Corales, associate professor of Spanish and Portuguese. Agosto said he recalls a test that used the word 'prolepsis.' He was unsure of its meaning and looked up the definition.

'Prolepsis is the Spanish grammatical term for seeing the future,' Agosto said.

'Prolepsis' is the story of a woman named Raquel who dreams that she is drowning in the sea. Her dream tells the story of her future, and Raquel only can watch because she is powerless to do anything about it.

The vivid and imaginative plot of 'Prolepsis' and intriguing characters are not all the story has to offer.

Dr. Paul Larson, associate professor of Spanish and Portuguese, said Agosto's understanding of Spanish literature is what makes his writing strong.

'Written in the traditions of Quiroga, Borges and Cortazar, Victor has written a circular, bifurcated tale that leads from the beach to the sea and back again,' Larson said.

'Prolepsis' has inspired other students studying Spanish at Baylor.

Trey Black, an Austin junior, said 'Prolepsis' demonstrates the power writing can have on a culture.

'Writing contributed to our society by Latin Americans and people of Spanish descent gives people hope and inspiration to accomplish extraordinary goals,' Black said. 'Writing is a very strong tool of communication, and it is a great way to teach people about your experiences.'

Agosto said his goal is for readers to 'enjoy a good read.'

'Without the help of professors Larson, Thomas and Garcia-Corales, 'Prolepsis' and the Ignacio Galbis Prize would not have been possible,' he said.