The Cats

Babels of blocks to the high heavens towering Flames of futility swirling below; Poisonous fungi in brick and stone flowering, Lanterns that shudder and death-lights that glow. Black monstrous bridges across oily rivers, Cobwebs of cable to nameless things spun; Catacomb deeps whose dank chaos delivers Streams of live foetor that rots in the sun….

Monsieur Proust by Céleste Albaret – Wonderful

Originally posted on Book Around The Corner:
Monsieur Proust by Céleste Albaret (1973) – Remembrances collected by Georges Belmont. Céleste was a country girl from the Creuse department who married Odilon Albaret in 1913 and came to live in Paris. Her husband was a taxi driver, one of Marcel Proust’s preferred chauffeurs. This is how…

The Cactus

The most notable thing about Time is that it is so purely relative. A large amount of reminiscence is, by common consent, conceded to the drowning man; and it is not past belief that one may review an entire courtship while removing one’s gloves.

When You are Old — Poetry Curator

When You are Old William Butler Yeats, 1865-1939 When you are old and gray and full of sleep, And nodding by the fire, take down this book, And slowly read, and dream of the soft look Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep; How many loved your moments of glad grace, And loved […]…

The Impostor by Javier Cercas

Originally posted on Winstonsdad's Blog:
? The Impostor by Javier Cercas Spanish Non-Fiction Original title – El Impostor Translator – Frank Wynne Source – review copy Well, a change from German lit month for a book from one of my favourite Spanish writers of recent years. Javier Cercas has featured on the blog three…

For Meng Hao-Jan

I love Master Meng. Free as a flowing breeze, He is famous Throughout the world. In rosy youth, he cast away Official cap and carriage. Now, a white-haired elder, he reclines Amid pines and cloud. Drunk beneath the moon, He often attains sagehood. Lost among the flowers, He serves no lord. How can I aspire…

Death and the Woman

Writing was my real life and I was more at home with the people of my imagination than with the best I met in the objective world. Gertrude Atherton

Una Invitada de Más

A veces resolver un crimen no es tarea fácil, pero en el cielo todo es muy distinto, y mucho más si la investigación es llevada a cabo por Pedro, conocido apóstol y único propietario de las llaves del monopolio celestial. Su larga estancia en el espacio aéreo le ha proporcionado muchos privilegios, pero también le…

A Ghost

Yes, for ten minutes I was a prey to terror, in such a way that ever since a constant dread has remained in my soul…

A very short song

Once, when I was young and true, Someone left me sad- Broke my brittle heart in two; And that is very bad. Love is for unlucky folk, Love is but a curse. Once there was a heart I broke; And that, I think, is worse. By Dorothy Parker  

Homage to Catalonia by George Orwell

Originally posted on Book Around The Corner:
Homage to Catalonia by George Orwell. (April 1938) French title: Hommage à la Catalogne. It is very difficult to write accurately about the Spanish war, because of the lack of non-propagandist documents. I warn everyone against my bias, and I warn everyone against my mistakes. Still, I have…

Clouds will separate us

Clouds will separate us — the time to part has come now. Wild goose flies away… By Matsuo Basho  

The Library of Secrets

There are parts of the world that weren’t dark at all, but in civilisation that stretched from Spain to China the golden rays of discovery and invention shone over everything…

Rasputin and Other Ironies by Teffi

Originally posted on JacquiWine's Journal:
One of my favourite reads from last year was Subtly Worded, a fascinating collection of short stories and reminiscences by the esteemed Russian writer, Teffi. Having enjoyed this book so much, I was delighted to hear that Pushkin Press would be publishing two more works by Teffi in 2016:…

A Mental Suggestion

Perhaps it is better to wake up after all, even to suffer, rather than to remain a dupe to illusions all one’s life.
Kate Chopin

Before The Cask of Wine

The spring wind comes from the east and quickly passes, Leaving faint ripples in the wine of the golden bowl. The flowers fall, flake after flake, myriads together. You, pretty girl, wine-flushed, Your rosy face is rosier still. How long may the peach and plum trees flower By the green-painted house? The fleeting light deceives…

Fat and Thin

When a person is born, he can embark on only one of three roads of life: if you go right, the wolves will eat you; if you go left, you’ll eat the wolves; if you go straight, you’ll eat yourself.

Anton Chekhov

Las flores cierran en invierno

Originally posted on Satisfacciones de esclavo:
La ceguera repartida para todos los combatientes aqueos es lo que viene a la mente de Ulises, no del héroe. Con su poética breve de sugerencia al oído -no en vano nos lo acarició muchos años en la radio- el autor nos planta ante el espejo del naufragio que…

A Cosmopolite in a Cafe

I was sure that I had found at last the one true cosmopolite since Adam, and I listened to his worldwide discourse fearful lest I should discover in it the local note of the mere globe-trotter.

Aforismos Chinos

Uno debería ver las sombras de las flores
en el agua, la sombra de los bambúes bajo la luna, y la sombra de la belleza detrás de la cortina de una puerta.

On The Life Of Man

Where wee are drest for tyme’s short comedy:
The earth’s the stage, heaven the spectator is…

The Hanging Stranger

On his own writing, Dick commented, “In my writing I even question the universe; I wonder out loud if it is real, and I wonder out loud if all of us are real.”

A Dead Woman’s Secret

The woman had died without pain, in silence, as a woman whose life would have been blameless…

Los muertos mandan

Todos vivimos con arreglo a lo que dijo Moisés, a lo que dijo Buda, Jesús, Mahoma u otros pastores de hombres, cuando lo natural y lo lógico sería vivir con arreglo a lo que pensamos y sentimos nosotros mismos.

Drinking Alone

I take my wine jug out among the flowers to drink alone, without friends. I raise my cup to entice the moon. That, and my shadow, makes us three. But the moon doesn’t drink, and my shadow silently follows. I will travel with moon and shadow, happy to the end of spring. When I sing,…

The Aged Mother, by Matsuo Basho

  Long, long ago there lived at the foot of the mountain a poor farmer and his aged, widowed mother. They owned a bit of land which supplied them with food, and they were humble, peaceful, and happy. Shining was governed by a despotic leader who though a warrior, had a great and cowardly shrinking…

Underwrite and Overwrite

The piece of work has to be proportionate to its drama, to its suggestiveness, to its ideas. There’s a power that can sometimes be gained by taking things out. But more often than not, to tell you the truth, I find myself telling my students that they’ve underwritten. There will be specific scenes that will…

El Sabor de tu Boca Borracha

Dicen que los sentimientos nunca mueren, que se deslizan, se esconden y a veces se arrastran, pero no desaparecen. Dicen que la vida es dulce cuando se dobla sin romperse, cuando fluye dentro y fuera de tí, y lo bello está cercano para siempre.  Recuerdo que fui una luz que se apagaba, entonces, noté acercarse…

What You Want

  By O. Henry Night had fallen on that great and beautiful city known as Bagdad-on-the-Subway. And with the night came the enchanted glamour that belongs not to Arabia alone. In different masquerade the streets, bazaars and walled houses of the occidental city of romance were filled with the same kind of folk that so…

La experiencia de leer

El verdadero lector lee los libros con gravedad o solemnidad. Porque los leerá con la misma actitud con que el autor los ha escrito (…) Disfrutará de una fruslería como de una fruslería , y de una tragedia como de una tragedia. Nunca caerá en el error de tratar de mascar nata montada como si…

12 steps for making art

12 steps for making art By Wynton Marsalis (from a PBS prodution about teaching art to children)   Seek instruction Make a schedule Set goals – chart development Focus while practicing Relax, practice slowly, you can’t be in a hurry if you’re gonna get better Practice the things you can’t do – don’t rehearse your…

Montaigne trabajaba a la sombra del mundo, Stefan Zweig

Originally posted on Calle del Orco:
La lucha de Montaigne por conservar la libertad interior, quizá la lucha más consciente y tenaz  que jamás ha librado el hombre, no tiene, ni externamente, la más pequeña sombra de tragedia o de heroísmo. Sería artificioso encasillar a Montaigne entre los poetas y los pensadores que han luchado…

The power of a finger

  The Finger By Feng Meng-lung A poor man found himself on his way to an old friend. This had a supernatural power that allowed him to perform miracles. As the poor man were always complainig about the difficulties of his life, his friend touched a brick that immediately became gold. He offered it to…

The habit of art

  Very few people who are supposedly interested in writing are interested in writing well. They are interested in publishing something… They are interested in being a writer, not writing… If this is what you are interested in, I am not going to be much use to you. I feel that the external habits of…