sábado, 29 de marzo de 2014

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (6/50)

Samuel Langhorne Clemens (Mark Twain) was born in november 1835, in Missouri. His family settled in Mississippi. He left Mississippi when he was 18 and became a printer's apprentice in 1847 after his father's death. He experienced different kinds of careers: he was printer and after some months became a licensed pilot. The civil war started in 1861; hence he became an army volunteer. After trying many professional sector he begun to write; his first book appeared in 1869. In 1870 he married Olivia Langdon. "The Adventures of Hucleberry Finn" was published in 1885. Initially thought as a simultaneous text for Tom Sawyer, it took 7 years to write it and is widely quoted in North American literature.

The book there are several kinds of dialects: Missouri Negro, the extremest form of South-Western, the ordinary "Pike County", and four modifications of the last one. At the begining, there is a comment warning the reader: "Persons attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot."

The text is about Huckleberry Finn and his adventures. However, the title has already told it. Huckleberry Finn is a boy who lives with a widow who always tries to "civilize" him; however his childish and aventurer spirit makes him change his life and search new stories. At the begining there is an introduction about the preceding story: Huck and Tom found money (6000 US) that robbers had hid in a cave. Judge Thatcher took it and put it out an interest: it gave the boys a dollar a day apiece. The widow Douglas adopted Huck and tryed to civilize him. He could not stand it and  Tom Sawyer invited him to join "a band" but asked Huck to return to the widows' house and Finn did it. Tom Sawyer had plans to rob but they were inside his mind, actually robbed people too.

The book is told in first persona by Huck himself. Jim is a nigger with many superstitions and Tom a boy with big imagination. He told huck they are going to stop carriages on the road, with masks ,kill people and rob their watches and money. After a month playing the robbers, Huck felt disappointed and resigned: they had neither killed anybody, norrobbed somebody, just pretended.

Huckelberry's father is an alcoholic man, violent and interested in the boy's fortune. Actually, he tries to fight legally for Huck and get all the money he has saved by Thatcher Judge. This unkind man talks about the supremacy of white men; actually, he feels anger when he is told about a mulatter well dressed, with education and able to vote.

When delirium tremens conquered the mind of Pap (Huck's father) he felt fearful of devils. He threatened Huck with weapons and called him Angel of Death. Tired of violence and threatening behaviors, Huck plans escaping. He kills a savage pig and simulates his own death.

While he is trying to leave Miss Watson and his father, he sleeps in the woods. Suddenly, he finds Jim, Watson's nigger. He also escaped because he had been accused of Huck's death and he feared to be sold in Orleans. Together, they paddled all over an island and one night found a dead man on a dark house. Hence, Jim did not allow Huck to see the man's face.

Jim told Huck about Cairo river and how it could mean his fredoom. However, Huck felt ashamed because he considered freeing Jim would harm Miss Watson. They did not know how far Cairo was so they decided to ask someone near the place where they navigated. A very unkind man rejects Huck questions.

A big steamboat neared Jim and Huck in the night. Finn searched for Jim but some dogs followed him and triyed to catch him. In an old fashioned house he meets people who treat him like part of the Grangerford family. He knew about one of the Grangerford girls: she died because she got sick; however, she could have been a great poet if she had not.

There were two clans of aristocracy: Grangerfords and Shepherdsons; both used the same steamboat landing. They have a great rivaltry, actually, they kill each other endlessly. Harney (a Shepherdson) and Sophia (a Grangerford) were in love. They try to escape but hate follows them and are killed. When Huck sees the bodies he decides to leave and follow another adventure.  

Huck find Jim again when leaving; they together navigated again. In the road two men begged to be carried in the raft. They said they were followed by men and dogs, although Huck did not hear any of those things. They allowed the men to navigate with them and heard the noises of shootings and dogs. Afterwards, they identify like "the king" and "the duke".

The duke proposed going to a printing office. The arrived but it was not waht they expected so the king and Huck walked until they found a thousand people hearing a preacher. The king asked the preacher to allow him to talk, he agreed. The king said he was a pirate who had found the way of god and wanted to convince other pirates to became members of the right way to live. Lots of people gave him money. In another town, the king and the duke try to play a Shakespiere piece; however, it is not popular. They play a comedy and the town loves it.

In one of the populations where the men arrived, the king was able to get information about the people of that place. The king and the duke say they are relatives of a dead man. Actually, they tell very specific details that the inhabitants believe them; however, they want to rob the money the man left for his orphans.

Huck falls in love with one of the orphans, Mary Jane, a red headed girl. He decides to steal the money in order to give it back to its owners. When people begin to suspect about the king, one lawyer and one doctor made questions that made other realize the king and the duke were lying. The king stated the dead man had a sing on the chest that looked like a blue arrow. Everyone knew it was not true. Hence, the four men had to escape again.

Huck finds Tom Sawyer again but Jim has been caught. Tom plans to free the nigger based on the book stories he has read; he is obsessed with Louis XVI. Jim is obliged to live with snakes, spiders and rats; to write prision letters and escape in a literary way. Jim, Tom and Huck can escape but Tom get injured. Huck must tell the truth and find a doctor. Jim is slave again, Tom healed and Huck beloved; however, he is worried about Pap. Hence, Jim told him the dead man on the house was Huck's father.

This is a book about adventure, freedom, slavery, racism, feudalism, aristocracy and USA before the civil war... Told by a boy.

martes, 25 de marzo de 2014

El Cacicazgo


Amas el sol en tiempos de nacientes

y las ruinas agrietadas por el ruido de tractores.

Almas solitarias, perplejos transeúntes... 

Y las cimas atestadas por diluvios y faroles.


Máquina que ensambla, en su agonía olvidada. 

Proyectil de ojos pavimentados;

ática semblanza: distopía de teogonía encarcelada.

Eréctil de cerros cimentados.


Música de alas, los poetas están muertos:

Silva y León en el cementerio

¿Música de alas? Saeta, samán y sueños.

Silva y León, en el cementerio.

martes, 18 de marzo de 2014

Moby Dick-Herman Melville (5/50)

Herman Melville was born in 1819. His father's bankrupcy did not allow him to have higher education. He sailed to Liverpool, once he was back he shipped before the mast on a whaling voyage in the Pacific Ocean. He was in the Marquesas Islands among Typee tribe. A whaleship took him to Tahiti and another whaleship took him to Hawaii where he lived some months until he was taken home. 

Herman's work did not get enough or deserved popularity and interest while he lived. Actually, "Moby Dick" is considered one of the master pieces of American literature; however, Melville just earned around $556.37 after writing it. His personal life was dominated by tragedy: His son Malcom suicided; Stanix, another son, died alone in a hotel room and his marriage became colder while time passed. It was not until Melville's revival thanks "Billy Budd" publication (30 years after)  that his artwork was taken seriosly by people.

"Moby-Dick" is a story about sea, whales and existential questions. Narrated by Ishmael who may barely explain his reasons to join a whaling trip, the reader travels around the world looking for an albino sperm whale, meeting with the whaling hunt sector and with an ocean that is always making questions about human and universe.

Pequod is the name of the ship in which the story developes. In charge there is a Capitain who fought against Moby-Dick, a white sperm whale that took away Captain's leg. He is dominated by anger, full of desires of revenge and surrounded by a special personality that may lead population to dogmatism. He is obssessed about killing the white whale, actually during the trips he asks straightforward about any trace that may conduce him to hunt him. He is not interested about anything else.

While the story advances there is a link between human history and whaling singularities. In the space between these elemts the question about destiny and human's nature emerge. Whales are an ominipresent element in the descriptions given by the narrator. They are compared with Procopius the Sea-Monster described in the Roman Empire. Ambergris, a substance that is extracted from sick whales was used to obtain fine fragances for elegant ladies and lords. 

Natucket is a place of great importance. It was the first place where the Sperm Whale was harpooned with civilized steel. It is also the home of Ahab (the Pequod's Captain) and the origin of traditions that may increase the tragedy in the book.

Diversity is one of the main elements in the book. Tripulation is full of different nationalities. Trips describe environments, cultures and societies outside North America. Japan's sky, Equator animals, Spanish girls and Islanders fulfills the book with a special color and just one name: the Pequod. Quequee is an islander who shares a deep relationship with the narrator of the book. He is a cannibal who has his own deities. However, there is no reason to reject someone even if he is a cannibal, afterall the book is about the human nature. 

Another common element in the book are the features of environment as a prelude for tragedy. The Japanese sky is a prelude for storm, the Equator birds a sign of the presence of Moby Dick and the sharks always as a frightening sing of hurt Sperm Whales. 

During the trip, Pequod must face storms, accidents, discussions; however, Moby-Dick's finding is a revelation for personalities (like Ahab's), for destinies (like Ishmael's) and the story itself. This novel is a reflection about diversity, Humanity, destiny and freedom.

"... Death seems the only desirable sequel for a career like this;
but Death is only a launching into the region of the strange Untried;
it is but the first salutation to the possibilities of the inmense Remote,

the Wild,

the Watery,

the Unshored..."

"the hearts of infinite Pacific..."

sábado, 15 de marzo de 2014



Tras los obstáculos para respirar: los puntos y las comas, los desaciertos y la incertidumbre, el invierno y los charcos, la soledad y las ventanas empañadas. En un camino difícil de describir: los suspensivos y los suspendidos... Los románticos... Sus caídas... El más allá... Lo material. Y frente a un futuro indefinido; me declaro en estado de punto y coma.

miércoles, 12 de marzo de 2014


Sus ojos azules y su timidez tan atípica en el mundo gay me llamaron la atención. Pedí un jugo y él un café, tinto le decimos aquí. Él me hablaba de Berna, sobre sus pasatiempos como el karate. Yo le hablaba de Bogotá y las locuras de mi nación tropical. Migrábamos del inglés al español y visceversa; no lo notábamos. Se reía y gesticulaba como un niño chiquito, algo que me pareció poco común.

Caminamos unas cuadras y en la carrera séptima que parece una serpiente monstruosa, esperé a que cogiera un biarticulado. Nos dimos la mano y nos despedimos; su avión despega a Suiza a las 6:30. Algo extraño ocurrió, no sé si fue su timidez, su aspecto dulce y cordial, tan atípico en los colombianos lo que lo causó. Cuando me despedía, sentí tristeza, sentí que extrañaba a ese casi desconocido. Quizás yo sea sólo un resplandor en su sucesión de días en el corazón del continente frío, un destello. Adiós Dominic.

sábado, 8 de marzo de 2014

El Zoológico Danés

En el zoológico danés hay unas criaturas de dos patas que les gusta el arroz y el azúcar. Todo el tiempo tienen sexo, tienen dos ojos, una nariz y dos orejas. Su piel varía del negro al blanco. Sus ojos pueden ser azules, verdes, marrón o grises. Son mamíferos.

En el zoológico danés hay una política que dice que los genes de aquéllos individuos que no puedan subsistir deben ser eliminados. En principio dijeron que la hembra de la especie era inútil, sin embargo comportamientos extraños los llevaron a pensar que quizás no era buena idea. Luego insistieron en aniquilar a los de piel marrón; sin embargo tras pensarlo con cuidado, concluyeron que sería mejor asesinar a los de piel negra. Tras ver la capacidad de concepción de las mujeres, la capacidad física de los negros y la organización de los morenos el zoológico ha decidido asesinar a aquellos discapacitados o carentes de las habilidades cognitivas que según ellos se requieren para vivir.

Para evitarles el dolor a los bípedos, han organizado un festín alrededor de la matanza donde se les enseña a los niños las políticas de conservación de los individuos más aptos.

El zoológico danés es muy civilizado, muy darwinista... Muy inhumano, porque lo dirigen jirafas.


martes, 4 de marzo de 2014

Espíritus Trasnochados

Los ves con ojeras, se han reventado el coco pensando si quizás el gusano es socrático o meramente un resplandor de la vida. Pobres de ellos. Sabían mis ancestros que la cura para la locura era la soledad y el corazón espeso de la naturaleza. Los grises están rotos, infrascritos en algún cuerpo arrebatado; sin ganas. Los ves caminando por el centro o por alguna plazoleta de centro comercial anacrónico. Jirones de mejores vidas, de sueños... Caminan.

Y la ves a ella, increíblemente bella, de perfil griego, sonrisa suave y ojos hundidos. Lo ves acercarse, titubear, mentir y reír. La ves a ella: simple y maravillosa; lo ves a él: frustrado y creativo. Pasan los días en una ciudad complicada: lluvias con granizo, perros que hacen popó en los parques, niños que juegan y cometas enredadas en los cables de luz.

Nuevamente se encuentran, qué coincidencia, entre todas las calles, carros y espasmos de ciudad, justo en ese segundo y lugar se vuelven a ver. Se siente electricidad: se ríen, cuchichean y juegan. No hay más o menos aire en la ciudad, simplemente se les dio la gana de ser felices. Lo ves pedir su teléfono, ella lo anota sobre su brazo. Fue un pecado mortal; ha llovido... Lo ves confundido al mirar su brazo tatuado con una mancha ilegible. Rostros y siluetas antropomorfas se agolpan a su alrededor; está en ese estado en el que los sonidos se amplifican y los ojos se concentran en un sólo punto, aun sin ver nada.

Pasan los días: llueve y hace sol; amanece y anochece; los buses y los miserables; el centro y la 72; andenes y ratas; periódicos y noticias; solsticios y equinoccios; hierba y popó de perro. Lo ves en una esquina, busca en un directorio. Intenta recordar esos pequeños detalles que podrían resolver el enigma; sin embargo, esta vez las calles y las carreras de esta monstruosa ciudad no han planeado otro encuentro. 

Él sube la mirada, está ojeroso, barbado y con semblante gris; está roto e infrascrito en algún cuerpo arrebatado. Mientras tanto, ella camina, se muere, se casa, se divorcia, roba, ayuda a una fundación, es secuestrada, sale del país, cambia de sexo, duerme, se droga, se vuelve millonaria o simplemente busca en un directorio con esperanzas de recordar detalles que la lleven a resolver su enigma.