Thursday, June 3, 2010

Daily Thoughts 6/3/2010

An engraving of Andrew Lang, January 1894, Century Magazine, Painting by W. B. Richmond, A.R.A.; photographed by F. Hollyer; engraved by T. Johnson.

Daily Thoughts 6/3/2010

I am still reading The Uncomfortable Dead (what's missing is missing). It is quite entertaining. The two detectives Elias Contreras and Hector Belascaron Shayne are searching for a character called Morales who is bad and evil. It is kind of a pun. There may be more than one Morales, but they haven't figured it out yet. There is a wonderful sense of how corrupt and sad that Mexican politics can get. I like a quote by a magician named Alakazam in the story, "there's black magic which is one you do with demons, and there's white magic, which is the one Alakazam and other magicians do, and then there's dirty magic, which is the one politicians do." It is taking a while for me to read. The book is turning out to be a lot more than a mystery. It is turning into an over the top leftist political diatribe full of puns, jokes, metaphors, and stories. A lot of the story is about the Zapatistas which was a rebellion by indigenous people from Mexico. It is hard to get a grip on what exactly they believe.

I am going to throw in another quote from The Uncomfortable Dead, this one is from an interview entitled the Punchcard and the Hourglass An Interview with Subcomandante Marcos by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Robert Pombo on p. 288, Subcomandante Marcos, "Don Quixote is always at my side, and as a rule I carry Garcia Lorca's Romancero Gitano with me. Don Quixote is the best book of political theory, followed by Hamlet and Macbeth, there is no better way to understand the Mexican political system, in its tragic and comic aspects: Hamlet, Macbeth, and Don Quixote, better than any political columnist." This quote gives a sense of the absurdity and beauty of Marcos's writing.

This book would be hard to do justice in a traditional review. It is a unique book with a unique style. It mixes fiction, mystery, literature, revolutionary politics, and history all into a book that is absolutely unique. I do not think that there is another book even remotely like this one. This is highly recommended reading. The only way to truly understand it is to read it. The book is head spinning in its content, often writing and saying things which are completely surprising.

When I visited Akashic Books, their lineup of new titles was very interesting , For example, they have a poetry title, A Lesser Tragedy of Death by Cristina Garcia author of Dreaming In Cuban. While I was at the Book Expo America booth, there was someone looking at Anna In Between by Elizabeth Nunez about a Caribbean American family. We recently purchased Los Angeles County Noir 2, Indian Country Noir, and Orange County Noir from them which are short story noir mysteries. I like what they have to offer. Akashic Books published The Uncomfortable Dead. I think they will break new ground as a publisher and grow very fast.

I went to Queens Library today; they are doing four things for advocacy. On their website they are asking you to sign a form letter to send to a politician. They are also giving out postcards to send to elected officials as well as asking you to write personal letters. There is also a petition to sign in support of the library.

I have started reading Linchpin Are You Indispensable? by Seth Godin. So far it is about being creative and trying new things out in the work setting.

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