Showing posts from October, 2014

Snapshots - #42: Thor: Ragnarok, Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool, LBJ

Thor: Ragnarok (2017), (♦♦♦♦½): Thor has saved earth twice by now and has, for the last two years, wandered the universe searching for infinity stones. He hasn't found any. He has, however, become prisoner of an enemy of Asgard, Surtur, who tells Thor that his visions of Asgard engulfed in flames is a premonition of Ragnarok—the destruction of Asgard, which is already in motion. Thor frees himself and arrives at home to find Loki sitting on the throne, passing as Odin, and neglecting his duties to protect the Nine Realms. With Odin's exile, Asgard's enemies have been reassembling, but Odin's death may just free Hela, a goddess against whom neither Thor nor Loki are enough.
It was in Thor: The Dark World where Loki, an antagonist, first threatened to steal the show. He became the villain that Marvel fandom loves to hate. While Loki is at his most charming in this film, the director, with the help of a sparkling screenplay, has very much exploited the great chemistry of t…

Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult (♦♦♦♦)

Jenna Metcalfe is a teenager who has been raised by her grandmother due the disappearance of her mother after an accident involving an elephant in the New England Elephant Sanctuary, which Jenna’s parents owned, and where they worked and lived. To find Alice, her mother, Jenna contacts a psychic with questionable skills, and the former detective, now turned P.I., who investigated the accident in the sanctuary the night it happened.
Elephant research on grief, marital problems, and mental illness are some of the ingredients of this unusual story.
What I like about Jodi Picoult is her ability to write about ethical dilemmas and make the reader question his or her assumptions. Her stories and characters are seldom black and white, but rather an uncomfortable shade of gray. Picoult also doesn't take sides, she doesn't pepper one character with more or less negative traits than another; they are always nuanced, multidimensional.
In Lone Wolf, the only other novel by Jodi Picoult that …

The Red Tent by Anita Diamant (♦♦♦♦½)

Dinah, daughter of Leah and Jacob, granddaughter of Rebecca and Isaac, daughter-niece of Rachel, Bilhah and Zilpah, was the only female child among Jacob’s wives, who had in total eleven boys. It wasn’t random then that her mother and mother-aunties doted on her, making her a part of the rituals happening inside The Red Tent, place where women spent their menstrual cycles isolated from men.
The Red Tent was a place for celebration—of femininity, childbirth, and subsequent recuperation. Women who entered it had to be of a fertile age. No wonder it was a secret that Dinah couldn’t share with her grandmother that she attended the Red Tent since she was a child.
It is described in Genesis, that Dinah was a victim of rape for which her brothers sought restitution. Anita Diamant aims to explore Dinah’s story from her perspective, giving voice to an alternative yet plausible event in Dinah’s life and that of her family, for the course of their lives was forever altered by this experience.
The R…

Poesía Completa por Jorge Luis Borges- parte 2 (♦♦♦♦♦)

El Hacedor (1960)
En El Hacedor se agrupan algunos de los poemas más conocidos de Borges, como Ajedrez, Poema de los Dones, El Reloj de Arena y La Luna. En esta colección, Borges evoca el destino (en Ajedrez expresa "Dios mueve al jugador, y éste la pieza..."), la ironía de Dios ("…la maestría de Dios, que con magnífica ironía me dio a la vez los libros y la noche" en la primera estrofa del Poema de los Dones), la inevitabilidad del paso del tiempo cuando expresa en El Reloj de Arena: "...y con la arena se nos va la vida"; su ceguera y las formas que intuye en los espejos.
El Hacedor reúne otros poemas con temas varios. En este compendio tengo algunos poemas favoritos entre los que se encuentran los arriba mencionados. A continuación figura el Poema de los Dones.
Nadie rebaje a lágrima o reproche
esta declaración de la maestría
de Dios, que con magnífica ironía
me dio a la vez los libros y la noche.
De esta ciudad de libros hizo dueños
a unos ojos sin luz, qu…

Poesía Completa por Jorge Luis Borges- parte 1 (♦♦♦♦♦)

Fervor de Buenos Aires (1923)
En Fervor de Buenos Aires, Borges describe su devoción por Buenos Aires a través de un compendio de poemas dedicados a calles, jardines, barrios, una carnicería, todos estos vistos por medio de los cambios de luz en los atardeceres, la noche y el alba. Pero también dedica epitafios a familiares, a héroes, a desconocidos y al tiempo pasado.
De esta colección mi poema favorito fue Inscripción Sepulcral.
Luna de Enfrente (1925)
Otra vez la ciudad es el tema de esta compilación, pero en Luna de Enfrente, Borges honra no solo a Buenos Aires sino a otras tierras visitadas, como en Dakar, Montevideo y Mi vida entera.
El mismo Borges admite en el prólogo que "la ciudad de Fervor de Buenos Aires no deja nunca de ser íntima, mientras que [en Luna de Enfrente] es ostentosa y pública..."
Al menos dos poemas no aluden a la ciudad en este compendio: uno es Manuscrito hallado en un libro de Joseph Conrad, y el otro es El general Quiroga va en coche al muere.
Versos d…

Eva Luna by Isabel Allende (♦♦♦)

Eva Luna was born in South America, in a house where her mother was a housekeeper, and she grew up surrounded by mommies, human and animals’, because the house owner was an embalmer. After her mother died, and then the house owner, Eva went to live with her godmother who sent her to work as a housekeeper for rich people, until homeless once again, she met a boy named Huberto Naranjo, who gave her something to eat, and whom she would meet many times again along her life.
When Eva was eleven years old, homeless once more, she was adopted by a Turkish immigrant with whom she lived until almost the end of her adolescence. Gone to live in the capital once again, she studies, works, experiences joy and heartbreak through old friends and lovers… Meanwhile, convulse political changes occur in her country, the continent, and the world.
In Eva Luna converge dictators and corrupt politicians, homeless children forced to survive using tricks, abusive husbands, fearful women, a mad scientist, immigr…

Eva Luna por Isabel Allende (♦♦♦)

Eva Luna nació en una casa donde su madre era sirvienta, y creció rodeada de momias humanas y de animales puesto que el patrón era embalsamador. Al morir su madre y luego el patrón, Eva fue a vivir con su madrina, quien la puso a trabajar como sirvienta, hasta que se encontró en la calle con un niño llamado Huberto Naranjo, quien le dió de comer y con quien se cruzaría otras muchas veces en la vida. A los once años, otra vez desamparada, fue adoptada por un inmigrante turco con quien vivió casi hasta el fin de su adolescencia. De vuelta en la capital, estudia, trabaja, experimenta dichas y sinsabores a través de viejas amistades y amantes, y todo esto ocurre en medio de convulsos cambios políticos en su país, el continente y el mundo.
En Eva Luna convergen dictadores y políticos corruptos, niños desamparados y obligados a sobrevivir por medio de trucos callejeros, maridos abusadores, mujeres atemorizadas y sumisas, un científico loco, inmigrantes de otros continentes que llegaron con s…

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee (♦♦♦♦♦)

Jeremy “Jem” Atticus Finch and Jean Louise “Scout” Finch are two young children who live with their father, lawyer Atticus Finch, and Calpurnia, their household help in small town Maycomb, in Southern Alabama during the Great Depression. Their lives are as normal as can be during those hard times: they play outside all the time in the summer, go to school during the school year, befriend their friendly neighbors, and dislike the mean ones.
Small-town Maycomb is about to turn upside down when Atticus is appointed to defend in court a black man accused of raping a young, white woman. Soon the town is divided by the few who think the accused should go free on account of the lack of solid evidence, and by the majority who think and act as if being black was enough proof of his culpability. Whatever the outcome of the trial, life for the Finch family, especially, will never be the same.
I had started To Kill A Mockingbird several times over the past year, but then something would happen, I w…