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Showing posts from May 5, 2013

Las Preguntas – Cancer (Pablo Neruda)

So now we know, the poet had prostate cancer when he died. La muerte será de no ser o de sustancias peligrosas? Will death consist of non-being or of dangerous substances? [XXXV] They chose to dig up his remains in April of this year. Qué cosa irrita a los volcanes que escupen fuego, frío y furia? What is it that upsets the volcanoes that spit fire, cold and rage? [VIII] So many with a claim on Pablo Neruda still, so many wanting the truth. Pero sabes de dónde viene la muerte, de arriba o de abajo? But do you know from where death comes, from above or from below? [XXXVII] Now we know for sure that while writing all of these Spanish words he was suffering from cancer, these words that are the lines of his final long poem. Por qué anduvimos tanto tiempo creciendo para separarnos? Why did we spend so much time growing up only to separate? [XLIV] Everyone has their own Pablo Neruda, politicians and historia

My Brother’s Book, by Maurice Sendak

 Since ‘My Brother’s Book’ came out posthumously this year, I have been reading it nearly every night. The book only takes five minutes to read. Over five, ten, fifteen minutes I find something new each time in ‘My Brother’s Book’. Because, reading is only one of the things we do with any book by Maurice Sendak. Really the main thing we do is look. We look at each page in turn, each change of line or colour or sequencing or display, in a way that cannot be done were ‘My Brother’s Book’ an e-book. Because reading a book by Maurice Sendak is a book experience. No one reads his books for the information. We don’t read his books in order to get to the end in order to read something else next. We read his books for every detail of word and picture, ready to refer back or forward to other pages. We don’t want to miss anything. We go down or, as happens in somewhat equal measure, up wherever the author goes. It is still not completely clear what this story is all about. It doesn’t