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I just read A romance of provinces (1960), of the Polish poet, novelist and screenwriter Kornel Filipowicz (1913-1990), who was for more than twenty years, and until his death, life partner (each one, in his house) by the poet Wislawa Szymborska (1923-2012), Nobel Prize for Literature in 1996. The affinity of worlds and tones is… Continue reading A romance in the provinces (Kornel Filipowicz, 2017)
"Man never sees things themselves, but always only their shadows", Plato once philosophized in his allegory of the cave. And before Saramago's hero turns his back on the shadow on the wall of the cave and finds the exit from the cave, he must fear, doubt and hope for a long time - and the… Continue reading The Cave (Jose Saramago, 2000)
Viet Thanh Nguyen's novel begins The Sympathizer with a riddle “I am a spy, a sleeper, a spook, a man with two faces”. What is he? Might we ask. The line was spoken by a double agent working for the North Vietnamese Communists as well as for the United States during and shortly after the… Continue reading Viet Thanh Nguyen’s The Sympathizer (2015)
Reading some of Olga Tokarczuk greatest hits Polish author Olga Tokarczuk once compared her books to music videos. This analogy applies both to her collection of short stories and novels: They are self-contained, and the narratives are dense and short, so there is not even a moment of digression. The narratives vividly construct imaginative vignettes of ordinary… Continue reading Tales for winter nights
On the versatile interests of Walter Benjamin and making a living out of writing Walter Benjamin's membership card for the Bibliothèque nationale de France (1940). While revisiting some passages in Radio Benjamin (Verso, 2014), I realized that I never once examined Walter Benjamin’s variegated interests. Specifically, how and why do his works exhibit a wide… Continue reading Walter Benjamin’s Breadmaking
A color walk piece inspired by William Burroughs. Originally written for Immanuel Iduma's class on narrative criticism. One similarity that struck me with Burroughs and a Filipino painter named Juan Luna is that they both killed their wives. In Luna it was the heat of passion and jealousy but for Burroughs it was the blur… Continue reading North Atlantic White