Archive for November 17th, 2010

by Jaime Grijalba

As you may or may not know, the latest Nobel prize winner in literature is the Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa, one of the most lauded Spanish speaking writers from the last 30-35 years, “for his cartography of structures of power and his trenchant images of the individual’s resistance, revolt, and defeat”.

My parents have always liked him, they had read many of his books in the 80’s and 90’s, and about 4 years ago they bought almost everyone of his novels as they appeared with a local newspaper at a right price. In contrast, my relation with this author wasn’t that good. In Language class the teacher made my entire class read ‘The Leaders and The Cubs’, which was a collection of short stories and a novella. I ended up finding the writing of this author quite boring, and got a not-so-good grade on the test that came after it.

You can guess my reaction towards the news that he had been awarded with the Nobel prize for Literature, I was literally freaking out, cursing and screaming against him, I asked how could they award him with that prize, while authors like Haruki Murakami remained without a recognition?  I ranted and ranted, and you know the worse part? No one agreed with me, not even a random troll on the internet, they said I was biased because of his politics, and I was the first to say no, as I love all Jorge Luis Borges’s work, and he was probably centimeters away from being a Nazi.

So I guessed it was just that I hadn’t read enough of him, just one book wasn’t enough, and given that I had the books around, I decided to do it. Then, I figured it would be a whole lot better if people knew of my progress, so I contacted Sam who gave me his support to go on and post a series of reviews on all Mario Vargas Llosa’s fiction work (plays not included) in chronological order, all before the next Nobel prize winner in literature is announced.

Now, the bad news was that I had to read again the book that bored me once, whose first half I review here, and I was kind of certain that it’d bore me, so here I go. (more…)


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(France / USA 2003 6 min)

Director Dominque Monfery; Story Salvador Dali, John Hench; Music Armando Dominguez (composer of Destino), Michael Starobin (original additional music)

By Stephen Russell-Gebbett

Conceived by Walt Disney and surrealist Salvador Dali in 1945 as part of proposed portmanteau film Fantasia 2006, this short was at long last completed only three years shy of that space-age date. At that time Disney artist John Hench (Designer of the modern Olympic Torch) was asked to work with Mr. Dali on storyboarding. It wasn’t considered to be financially viable and so the production was put on ice. Not until the turn of the century did Walt’s nephew Roy discover the project and reignite the flame…

Whatever the input of Hench or newly appointed director Dominique Monfery (a disney animator who worked on 1999’s Tarzan), Destino is typically and uniquely Dali. All the sketches and all the notes that seemed lost were exhumed like a time capsule sixty years on where the name Dali could still conjure images like magic.

In the desert a young woman walks towards what could be a statue or a mausoleum. This is where Chronos, the personification of time, lives. Quickly she falls for him and he falls for her.


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