In the tertulias of times past, there was always a scholar who knew everything. He remembered names, faces, dates, and data with absolute precision thanks to his privileged memory which was nourished by voluminous, diverse, and at times, useless reading. Any argument would ultimately appeal to him to act as the Court of Appeals.
Samuel Beckett was born on Good Friday and died on Christmas Day according to his legend, which is further aggrandized by his shrug of the shoulders in the face of chaos.
When William Faulkner was already a grand figure and John Kennedy was collecting such objects to adorn some of his private dinners, the writer received an invitation from the President for one of these events in the White House. At this table had already sat many of the Great: Norman Mailer, Saul Bellow, Arthur Miller, and the Sinatras, to name a few. Pablo Casals and his cello had aggrandized some of the exquisite desserts.
For someone enamored of success and not inclined to resign himself to his fate, it was a curse to live in a less than aristocratic neighborhood, study in elite colleges through a scholarship, and not be rich but have wealthy classmates and friends. This was the case of Francis Scott Fitzgerald, an attractive and very talented young man, doomed to ply his charm among clans whose slick offspring played polo, danced in the Country Club with rich heiresses who were a bit vain and “had a voice full of money”. He would see these women get into the cream and tobacco colored convertibles of their boyfriends, their bonnets tied with ribbons of tulle around their luminous chins, in the shade of chestnut trees on the elegant Summit Avenue in Saint Paul, Minnesota and perhaps in his subconscious, he resolved to hurl his life against that mirror.
His maternal grandfather, named Rakin, was the rector of The Episcopal Church of Columbus, when Tennessee Williams was born in that Mississippi city on March 26 in 1911. His paternal grandfather, one Lanier Williams II, a man of accredited lineage, squandered a fortune trying unsuccessfully to become governor. His mother Edwina was capable of managing a man, a beast, or a storm. His father, Cornelius Coffin Williams, was demeaned during his military career as a simple ne’er do well and wound up as a traveling salesman for a shoe company–a job which permitted him to visit the whorehouse of every place he worked.
When you’re born, your entire space amounts to the dimensions of the cradle: 80 x 60cm.
The compass will open.
After six months, you can crawl across the room. After one year, you learn to walk. As time envelops you, the space around you will begin to expand: the tricycle in the garden, the daycare center, the bicycle in the park, the first excursion to the ice cream parlor on the corner.
A long line has formed in front of La Basilica de Nuestro Padre Jesus de Medinaceli, a Roman Catholic Church, specifically a basilica, located in central Madrid. The line is spread across several blocks. Dejected and chilled to the bone, the faithful waited for the sacristan to open the door of the temple so they […]
The rich drop bombs, the poor plant bombs; armies crush their enemies en masse from above; terrorists counterattack from below in blind spasms. Above all this hatred lies The Milky Way. Missiles use it to guide their trajectories toward their targets with mathematical precision, but that instrument of nocturnal battles also serves the confused dreams […]
The four Stephen brothers and sisters, children of the biographer, editor, and mountain climber Leslie Stephen, lived in Kensington and were educated in the mummified manners of Victorian society until, upon the death of their parents, as a form of repressed rebellion, they moved to the district of Bloomsberry, a decadent neighborhood full of impoverished students and divorced couples.
At night the band would play paso dobles in the square. When it was time for the tuba solo, the audience became quiet and in the absolute quiet the song of the cuckoo could be heard from amidst the orange trees with a measured cadence as if it were marking time. In the summer nights […]
When Billie Holiday, whose real name was Eleonora, was born on April 7, 1915, her mother was 13 years old, and her father was still a kid in short pants who kicked cans down the street. It happened in Baltimore, a city then famous for its rats. Her mother split for New York where she scrubbed stairs; her father joined a jazz band and disappeared.