Lots of political topics buzzing around this morning, but I feel like posting about lighter stuff.
Garcia Marquez turns 80, thanks in part to the American oncologists who treated him a few years ago. His hometown of Aracataca understandably doesn’t want its name changed to Macondo, since the local virgins don’t ascend to heaven. I read A Hundred Years of Solitude in my late teens, which was the right age for it. Now I find magical realism a dull dull dull gimmick.
Vargas Llosa is one of my three favorite writers, and I just saw a Vargas Llosa book I haven’t read,
Here’s the blurb,
Ricardo, at an early age, sees his life-long dream fulfilled: to live in Paris. But an encounter with a past love will change everything. The young girl, adventurer, pragmatic, wicked, calculating, and mischievous, will drag him out of his small world of ambitions. This is the story of the intimate love that occupies more than three decades of Ricardo’s life, and it is also a fascinating tale traveling through Europe, South America, and Japan. Starring in the backdrop are Peru’s history from 1950 to 1987 and its swinging from democracy to dictatorship; Paris in the sixties and its great philosophers Sartre and Camus; the decade of the 70s in London, the birth of a new culture, drugs, music, hippies, freedom of love; Japan’s big dealer lords, and, finally, Spain halfway through the 80s. Creating an admirable tension between comedy and tragedy, Mario Vargas Llosa plays with reality and fiction to release a story in which love presents itself as indefinable, owner of a thousand faces, just like the mischievous girl. Passion and distance, chance and destiny, pain and pleasure… Which is the true face of love?
The locations appear to match a lot of Vargas Llosa’s life, and he can be a great Romantic, so this sounds very appealing.
As much as I love Vargas Llosa’s writing, it will have to wait since right now I’m reading Fagel’s translation of The Aeneid (I always have trouble pronouncing the word Aeneid – must be that speech impediment Steve’s commenter was talking about)
Simon Callow read the audio version and I’m going to listen to it. Few things are more pleasurable than listening to a deep-voiced Brit reading beautiful language, while I’m sipping a cup of hot chocolate with whipped cream on top. Yes, I know, one should be having tea while listening to deep-voiced Brits, but it’s snowing outside, so give me hot chocolate.
And I won’t be Falling Asleep over the Aeneid, for sure.
Speaking of Brits, the Beeb has a slide show featuring Shaun the Sheep, he of A Close Shave fame. Shaun’s got a new TV program.
Shaun’s relatives, the Serta counting sheep, are still out there, so I predict a long TV carreer for Shaun, even when the sheep do not talk:
Apart from a few baas from Shaun and his friends, growls from sheepdog Bitzer and grunts from the Farmer, Shaun the sheep is a silent TV series.
So much for speculating as to whether the actors’ British voices would be deep and yummy.
It’s not every guy that happens to carry a handy finger cutter in his suit pocket, Jack Bauer does. What’s even more amazing is that after being in imprisoned for two years in China his new suit fits to perfection. Maybe he shared a cell with a Hong Kong tailor.
CORRECTION: Larwyn explains that the finger cutter wasn’t a finger cutter:
It was the Consul’s cigar cutter – he had it out to offer the traitor President a cigar.
That’d be one guy that regrets not giving up the stogies.
Mary of Exit Zero‘s not going to post at Dean’s World, but I hope she continues posting at her own blog.
Imelda, meet Michael.
But back to the subject of deep-voiced Brits, here’s one from Yorkshire, reciting the alphabet:
As Obi’s Sister said, Engage!