sâmbătă, 25 aprilie 2015

I love Joyce Carol Oates! However,

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. 

duminică, 19 aprilie 2015

vers 8, Ileana Malancioiu

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.

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

Treceau razand si nu-i puteam opri
Pareau ca nu mai inteleg deloc
Ca sunt prea multi si nu mai este loc
Si pentru cei care mai suntem vii.

Ne-nfricosa grozav fantasticul delir
Dar stam si ne uitam uimiti ca la parada,
Caci fiecare-aveam pe cineva pe strada
Si n-am fi vrut sa fie inchis in cimitir.

Gravitatia disparuse 
Gravitatia disparuse de multa vreme,
Lucrurile cadeau din ce în ce mai sus,
Oamenii ajunsi pe alte orbite
Strigau cât puteau ce aveau de spus.

Cei ramasi pe loc, se tineau fiecare
De câte un copac foarte gros
Si-n linistea în care asteptau
Totul era cu capul în jos.

Daca s-ar fi putut aduna într-o piata,
Daca si-ar fi dat cineva foc
Poate ca unul dintre cei desprinsi de ai lor
Ar fi reusit sa cada la loc

Pe pamântul de care s-a-ndepartat
Odata cu neobisnuita rotatie
Si poate ca s-ar fi ajuns din nou
La gravitatie.

Si toate caderile ar fi fost în jos
Si toate înaltarile ar fi venit de la sine,
Dar nimeni n-avea curaj sa se mai desprinda
De copacul de care se tine.

joi, 9 aprilie 2015


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?"

miercuri, 8 aprilie 2015

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 pressure was too much, and as the tears came, I looked around for something with which to hurt myself so that when Abuela asked, I could show her a reason for the tears. I put my hand in the doorjamb and slammed the door shut. 
The pain burned across my knuckles, through my fingers, and a scream, louder than I intended, brought Abuela to my side. She hugged me, walked me to the sink, where she poured cool water over my hand, dried it with the soft hem of her dress, rubbed Vick's VapoRub on the pain, and held me against her bosom. She half carried me to her chair, pulled me onto her lap, and rocked me back and forth, back and forth, humming a lullaby I'd never heard." (pp. 92-93)