Wednesday, August 31, 2005


This picture is from Callao, my favourite part of Lima. The port area of the town, its heyday was the 1900s and this house is typical of the quite unusual architecture.

I am back from Lima now, I can confirm that I read 'East of Eden' and 'Living to tell the tale' voraciously but 'Dr Zhivago' didn't work out as a holiday book and it looks brilliant but it needs a more concentrated attitude.

Here is one particular moment from 'Living to tell the tale' that I think captures the whole spirit of what Marquez is about. Latin America is a crazy place where lots of weird and wonderful things happen and this is what comes out in the fiction. For some reason the fiction of Marquez has always appeared very difficult whilst the non-fiction like 'News of a kidnapping' is wonderful. He explains in his book that to him the margins between reporting and fiction aren't always clear and he seems to switch from one to another with ease. At the same time capturing the absurd and wonderful things that probably happen everywhere but are captured and magnified by Marquez.

"In the paroxysm of war the rumour circulated that civilian airplanes from SCADTA were militarised and armed as fighting squadrons and that one of them, lacking bombs, dispersed a Holy Week procession in the Peruvian town of Guepi with a bombardment of coconuts."

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