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Leanne Ogasawara
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Traveling to France with Henry Adams is to journey... Continue reading
Posted Mar 14, 2018 at Borges' Library
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Monsignor Quixote has become my absolute favorite Graham Greene novel. I also LOVED the movie with Alec Guinness as Quixote and Leo McKern, of Rumpole fame, plays Sancho! Made in 1987--the film was absolutely brilliant! The back of the book has states this as, Greene's last religious novel, "A whimsical... Continue reading
Posted Mar 7, 2018 at Borges' Library
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“When God plays, a world comes to be.”--Heidegger One of the students in class last Thursday was perplexed by the treatment that Don Quixote got from his friends. "They trick him and put him in a cage and then let him get beaten up! Do they care about him or... Continue reading
Posted Mar 5, 2018 at Borges' Library
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On the outskirts of Jerusalem (also known to some as the center of the world), there is a magical hotel where all the rooms are named after famous lovers. Like paradise, there a wonderfully fragrant garden with comfortable chairs for reading and napping; and if you climb up the stairs... Continue reading
Posted Mar 4, 2018 at Borges' Library
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The Sagrada Familia: Gaudí’s Heaven on Earth by Gi... Continue reading
Posted Feb 23, 2018 at Borges' Library
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Yesterday, in a post at 3 Quarks Daily, I declared that Don Quixote was a novel I could cross a desert with. Long ago, I once asked whether a friend had just one book that he would happily re-read over and over until the end of time? I had thought... Continue reading
Posted Feb 20, 2018 at Borges' Library
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On Quijotismo In its full splendor, El Quijote not only has given birth to an adjective but also has become a doctrine, an ideology dictating the way people ought to live their lives. What exceptionalism and the American Dream are to the United States (more about that later), this ideology—Quijotismo—is... Continue reading
Posted Feb 18, 2018 at Borges' Library
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Cervantes in Algiers: A Captive's Tale by Maria Antonia Garcés Has any writer had a more adventurous life than Cervantes? First of all, he was at the legendary Battle of Lepanto. Yes, you heard me right. And there, by all accounts, he was very heroic. Hit three times by harquebus... Continue reading
Posted Feb 18, 2018 at Borges' Library
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Dropped smack in the middle of Part One of Don Quixote is the "exemplary novella" El Curioso Impertinente. Grossman translates this as The Novel of the Man Who Was Recklessly Curious. I am not crazy about that translation. Not that I am second-guessing the great and glorious Edith Grossman--nor to... Continue reading
Posted Feb 15, 2018 at Borges' Library
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This old picture of the baby showed up in my newsf... Continue reading
Posted Feb 14, 2018 at Borges' Library
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80 singers from my beloved LA Master Chorale singing wall-to-wall choruses. The last time we saw Israel in Egypt performed was in Jerusalem in 2013. I was terribly jet-lagged and was drifting in and out of sleep. Now, when I look back on that night, it feels like a wonderful... Continue reading
Posted Feb 12, 2018 at Borges' Library
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I just finished the last essay in the Don Quixote ... Continue reading
Posted Feb 9, 2018 at Borges' Library
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Sancho was incensed when the ruffians decide to have a little fun with him at the inn. Tossing him up onto the air on a blanket--this "tossing on a blanket" was a carnival game usually played with a dog! Roberto Gonzalez Echevarria, in his Open Yale Course on the Quixote,... Continue reading
Posted Feb 8, 2018 at Borges' Library
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[Posted at 3 Quarks] Once upon a time, the world was full of miracles. And oh, that was the miracle of those two spires of Chartres Cathedral! Separated in time by some four hundred years, the spires can still be glimpsed past fields of wheat, rising up over the low... Continue reading
Posted Feb 6, 2018 at Borges' Library
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He was at the Battle of Lepanto. This is not the most surprising fact about Cervantes--not by a long shot! And yet, this is a good place to start thinking about the man, since he was so very proud of his service at this greatest of Christian battles. Having gotten... Continue reading
Posted Feb 6, 2018 at Borges' Library
A Drizzle of Honey: The Life and Recipes of Spain's Secret Jews by David M. Gitlitz My rating: 5 of 5 stars A friend recommended this book to me, and I am so glad he did. Having a conversation about the Spanish Inquisition, we were talking about how different it... Continue reading
Posted Feb 4, 2018 at Borges' Library
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Writing her letters from the new world, her man in the Indies described the glories and riches that would be hers. He told of blue-green islands of impossibly fertility and beauty; of colorful parrots like rainbows and all kinds of fruit trees; and of people who were docile and, as... Continue reading
Posted Feb 4, 2018 at Borges' Library
In the same essay written by a high school student who described the tsunami as “A wave so big as only seen in the movies,” he says this in wonder of nature: "The stars that night, after the tsunami, were so beautiful. It seemed like the most beautiful night sky... Continue reading
Posted Jan 29, 2018 at Borges' Library
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In 2012, I was invited to a conference in Shanghai... Continue reading
Posted Jan 28, 2018 at Borges' Library
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Richard Feynman once said that, "From a long view of the history of mankind -- seen from, say, 10,000 years from now-- there can be a little doubt that the most significant event of the 19th century will be judged as Maxwell's discovery of the laws of electrodynamics." I picked... Continue reading
Posted Jan 28, 2018 at Borges' Library
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Don Quixote was translated into Japanese for the first time in 1887. Compared to other classical works of European literature, such as Shakespeare and Goethe, the novel's influence certainly pales. But this, says Seiro Bantaro, in a great article about the novel's influence in Japan, is perhaps simply a matter... Continue reading
Posted Jan 25, 2018 at Borges' Library
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“If every library is in some sense a reflection of its readers, it is also an image of that which we are not, and cannot be.” ― Alberto Manguel, The Library at Night Brooks Riley wrote so beautifully again over at 3 Quarks about her favorite obsession (except, maybe, for... Continue reading
Posted Jan 24, 2018 at Borges' Library
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There are so many reasons why Don Quixote resonate... Continue reading
Posted Jan 23, 2018 at Borges' Library
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The Vanishing Velázquez: A 19th Century Bookseller’s Obsession with a Lost Masterpiece by Laura Cumming [First posted at Goodreads] I just re-read this for the third time. It is an absolutely spellbinding story of a man without means who dares to buy a Velazquez at a time when collecting masters... Continue reading
Posted Jan 22, 2018 at Borges' Library
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My astronomer was worried about how I would react ... Continue reading
Posted Jan 19, 2018 at Borges' Library