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Archive for October 6th, 2011

The man

by Jaime Grijalba
I was not entirely happy with the choice the people at the Nobel made when they decided to give the most important award in modern literature to peruvian author Mario Vargas Llosa, mainly due to a bad experience reading some of his early short stories, but that dread was surpassed when I had the chance to read ‘The Time of the Hero’, his first novel, which was first rate and a real treat. I did this because I promised myself that I would read every book he had written before the next nobel prize winner was here. And here I am, with only two reviews done on the subject of Vargas Llosa, and a new Nobel has arrived. I’m so sorry, because the reviews were halted because the book I was supposed to look at (the second novel of Vargas Llosa, called ‘The Green House’) was left at a friend’s house, and due to many events that have happened, involving my forgetfulness and his, I still don’t have it and the result is just two reviews in the wake of a new winner, and that is my excuse. A poor excuse, but what the hell, it’s the truth. (more…)

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by Pat Perry

In 1934, the Australian-born writer, P. L. Travers, published the first in a series of children’s books centered on the Banks family of London who lived in “the smallest house in Cherry Tree Lane… dilapidated and (in need of) a coat of paint.” Mr. Banks, a respectably middle-class if financially strapped bank clerk, was a loving and devoted father, Mrs. Banks was perpetually distracted and always looking for an opportunity to put her feet up or have a cup of tea. Their four children were tended to by a nanny who had mysteriously appeared on their doorstep in a heavy gale wind and who led the children on magical, sometimes frightening, adventures. Her name was Mary Poppins.

Walt Disney’s daughter, Diane, was among the early devotees of Travers’ books, and Disney relentlessly courted and negotiated with the unimpressed author for over 20 years before securing the movie rights to her work. Her first demand was that Disney could, under no circumstances, adapt “Mary Poppins” as an animated film. That request was honored, as was a subsequent demand that there be not so much as a hint of romance between Mary and her chimney-sweep friend, Bert. (more…)

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