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human = selfish

"We rolled up the pain, assigned it to a shelf, left it there, with a certain self-congratulatory sense of relief at our own good fortune as we looked the other way [...] and soon, we forgot we had ever felt any discomfort." (Denise Chávez, "The Last of the Menu Girls")

We are human, thus we are selfish. There is no other way.

my world

my world is such a conflicting world that at times even I can't stand it. it is both full of orange and death, too much and too present. of hatred, tons of hatred, and joy of living.

How I came to choose feminism

“The woman who checks her makeup half a dozen times a day to see if her foundation has caked or her mascara has run, who worries that the wind or the rain may spoil her hairdo, who looks frequently to see if her stockings have bagged at the ankle and who, feeling fat, monitors everything she eats, has become […] a self-policing subject, a self committed to a relentless self-surveillance. This self-surveillance is a form of obedience to patriarchy. It is also the reflection in woman’s consciousness of the fact that she is under surveillance in ways that he is not, that whatever else she may become, she is importantly a body designed to please or to excite.” Sandra Lee Bartky, “Foucault, Femininity, and Patriarchal Power”

Giannina Braschi, an epiphany

It was a difficult book to read. A test at times since I can honestly say that it was all but a pleasant reading experience. Yet, once you finally understand what it is about and you finally agree to let go of your expectations - the expectations of a reader unfamiliar with postmodernist fiction -, to stop looking for a plot and for definite characters, you see how powerful and intelligent the author is. Once you agree to leave your comfort zone, you realize how great and profound is the truth that Giannina Braschi's voices (I can't call them characters) speak of. 
Hence, Yo-Yo Boing! is a series of conversations with no beginning and no ending, on as various topics as metafiction, art, immigration, discrimination, multiculturalism, language, dreams, censorship, food, war and so on. When you realize you need to stop trying to name and genderise the voices, and you free yourself of all conventions, you can read the novel as a flow of thoughts that highlight the condition of huma…

sprit de vara

ce ramine dupa ce traim o perioada de timp intr-un anumit loc? ramin amintiri doar pe jumatate amintite; restul il impopotonam dupa placul inimii si, de cele mai multe ori, fara sa ne dam seama. amintiri care ne revin in minte fara sa le chemam si fara sa le asteptam; si ne revin pe nesimtite in pragul singuratatii noastre cotidiene.

Esmeralda Santiago's memoirs

I enjoyed reading the first two volumes of Esmeralda Santiago's memoirs. The second more than the first since she has so beautifully and stubbornly evolved from a Puerto Rican little girl to an American "almost a woman". Her life is spectacular and while reading the books I felt not once that it would have lacked this exquisiteness had she not lived in USA. For instance, I doubt that a young woman living in Romania can meet as many colourful and interesting people as appeared in Negi's life. Is it that trully colourful and interesting people do not live in Romania?!  
However, among all the interesting people, food, family life, love, hardship, discrimination  and intense feelings, the lines that I liked best are not in the books themselves but in the acknowledgements  that end the second volume (which can be easily considered as part of the memoirs): "And finally, my husband, Frank Cantor, and our children, Lucas and Ila, have figured out when I need to be alo…

dor

i miss my sweet little old dog...

I love Joyce Carol Oates! However,

Imagine
And so I read another of Joyce Carol Oates' creations, after I found  Mystery, Inc. by chance on NetGalley. These almost 50 pages are like a short and warm summer rain. So short and warm that it's not really as refreshing as one would want it to be. It was published by The Mysterious Bookshop as part of the Bibliomysteries series, which features mystery short stories, and the only reason why I chose it was Oates' name on the cover. However, Mystery, Inc. is nothing when compared to the author's other novels. While it is true that I could easily depict in this little short story some elements that I had found (and loved) in Daddy Love, such as the thorough psychological insight, this book was a disappointment, especially the ending!  I would gladly recommend it, though, to my students who want to practise reading in English and to those of you who spend long hours in the bus. 

Lucy - the world's greatest dog

Imagine
Lusic mic, iti multumesc pentru 14 ani minnunati! (2 mai 2001 - 22 aprilie 2015)







vers 8, Ileana Malancioiu

Vis
Cânt pe inimă ca pe-o frunză de fag
Stau oamenii-n drum să m-audă cum cânt,
Se uită unii la alţii tăcuţi
Şi se-ntreabă ce pasăre sunt.

E prea mult cântec împrejurul nostru,
L-ascult cu ei şi nu-l mai înţeleg,
Parcă m-aş fi temut să rup o frunză
Şi am cântat dintr-un copac întreg.




As vrea
As vrea sa ma duc undeva sa nu mai stiu de nimic
sa ma intorc atunci cand voi fi uitat tot
sa-mi amintesc cu greu cum ma cheama si cine sunt
si sa invat ce mai pot

sa aflu spre a trai pana la capat
si a ma bucura ca sunt inca vie.
As vrea sa ajung undeva unde nu stie nimeni
nimic din tot ce se stie

si din ce se inventa inca
fara nici un fel de pretentii
impotriva mea si a tuturor
in lumea asta plina de inventii.

Dar unde e locul acela senin ma intreb
si plang in tacere si nimeni nu stie
mi-e frica de tot si de toate si-as vrea
sa ma bucur din nou ca sunt inca vie.









Cosmar
Intreg orasul era plin de morti
Iesisera pe strada principala
Asa-mbracati in hainele de gala
Pe care cat esti viu nu prea le por…

frig

ploua. e frig. un frig ce ma poarta departe...

different

From Betty Friedan's "The Feminine Mystique" (1963), the reason for my always-wanting-to-be-different attitude:

"The image of woman that emerges from this big, pretty magazine is young and frivolous, almost childlike; fluffy and feminine; passive; gaily content in a world of bedroom and kitchen, sex, babies, and home. The magazine surely does not leave out sex; the only passion, the only pursuit, the only goal a woman is permitted is the pursuit of a man. It is crammed full of food, clothing, cosmetics, furniture, and the physical bodies of young women, but where is the world of thought and ideas, the life of the mind and spirit?"

I remember

From Esmeralda Santiago's When I Was Puerto Rican because I remember: 

"I wondered if it were true, as Mami claimed when she and Papi fought, that he saw other women behind her back. And if he did, was it because he didn't love us? My eyes watered, my mouth filled with a salty taste, but if I cried, Abuela would hear me and think I didn't want to be with her. From the stoop, I could hear the rhythmic clicks of her rosary beads and the soft hum of her voice reciting prayers whose music was familiar to me, but whose words I'd never learned. And I wished that I knew how to pray, because then I could speak to God and maybe He or one of His saints could explain things to me. But I didn't know any prayers, because Mami didn't believe in churches or holy people, and Papi, even though he read the Bible and could lead novenas for the dead, never talked to us about God. 
I determined not to cry, because if she asked me, I didn't want to tell Abuela why. But the pr…

13 martie

.....cinci ani mai tirziu si la fel de fericita.......



Sweet memories

Because I've been there too...

"I wrapped my legs around her and buried my face under her chin. It felt good to have Mami so close, so warm, swathed by her softness, her smell of wood smoke and oregano. She rubbed circles on my back and caressed the hair from my face. She kissed me, brushed my tears with her fingertips, and dried my nose with the towel, or the hem of her dress.
'you see,' she murmured, 'what happens when you don't do as I say?'" (Esmeralda, Santiago, When I Was Puerto Rican)

somn-nesomn

Cind eram mica uram sa dorm. Voiam sa fac orice altceva numai sa dorm nu. Voiam sa ies afara, sa ma joc cu sor-mea sau sa joc Mario. Voiam sa fiu. Acum cred ca nu exista senzatie mai grozava ca atunci cind pui capul pe perna, cind stii ca ai mai incheiat o zi haotica si ca acum ai in sfirsit timp sa te odihnesti, chit ca in 5 sau 6 ore iar suna dracia de ceas. Cum asezatul capului pe perna a ajuns momentul cel mai asteptat din zi, ma intreb daca tot asa o sa imi astept si moartea, sa stiu ca am incheiat o viata haotica si ca am in sfirsit timp sa nu mai fiu.