the Lodi Garden

It may be the way the air chills softly under great neem trees, cackling with parakeets, or the eagles that swoop calmly over the roses as the sun sets. Bamboos create archways between fields dotted with the crumbling stone of tombs from empires past. The scent of jasmine lifts the air from the smell of […]

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Book review: “Ema, the Captive” by César Aira

Argentina, 1800s. A nubile captive, together with her infant child, are government prisoners, taken on long caravan as part of the supplies needed at the military outpost of a sinister colonial world deprived of women. It is just the beginning of the adventurous captivity of Ema, a “white” woman of unknown origins who is bartered […]

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The Royal Portuguese Reading Room | Real Gabinete Português de Leitura

It is not exactly on the main axis of tourism of Rio de Janeiro. For that matter, it is not even easily placed on the axis of tourism for visitors spending a day hiking among the many attractions in Rio’s Centro between Cinelândia and the newly fashioned port area of Praça Mauá. The Real Gabinete […]

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Book review: “El llano en llamas” (the Burning Plain and other stories) by Juan Rulfo

Framing the context of the Rulfo’s work, my nephew could help but to ignite interest: “No te olvides que la Revolución Mexicana sucedió antes de la Rusa, ¿eh?” he said, reminding me of the global significance of the violent land and agrarian reform that was the Mexican Revolution, which happened even before that of the momentous Russian one that changed the course of history for the world.

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Two sides of fiction, one road to empathy

His choice surprised me not only because both of us spend our time reading the Booker prize shortlists. I couldn’t imagine someone like him taking time out to read Harry Potter— which, I discovered, revealed much more about my prejudice than about his taste.

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HOLDING YOUR TONGUE: This year’s most difficult posture

Although it remained unpronounced, Jackass was the insult that surged from inside me, when judging an acquaintance of mine who professed that the world was actually not round; it was flat. He spoke with such absolute certainty that he even held the knot of his tie when he explained that this world-is-round bull was just a myth for the meek.

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Book Review: “War & Turpentine” by Stefan Hertsman

“I don’t like reading movies much” is how I often describe my rejection of contemporary literature that relies heavily on the surprising turns and twists of plot, because I’ve often found that the degree to which such stories are entertaining, they are bereft of the lyricism that invokes reflection and the lingering taste of beauty.  […]

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Book review: Tolstoy’s Hadji Murat

The brilliant flower of a Tartar thistle stubbornly clinging to the middle of a field was the vision that provoked the memory of the great writer, recollecting the story he had heard of as a young man visiting the Caucasus. It was the tale of the famous Chechen rebel, Hadji Murat, whose unwavering allegiance to […]

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