I was going to write about something else, but the massacre at Newtown (a place that is less than an hour away from where I live) is way too disturbing to be blogging about anything else

It is hard not to think about those destinies cut short. Children that were just embarking on this complicated and fascinating adventure called life – future physicians, poets, dreamers, architects, travelers, parents…

Part of me finds it desolating to understand that life can be this unfair and meaningless.

Yet another part of me wants to believe that the number of compassionate people that make the World move forward far outnumber the monsters that make it go backwards.

I hope those families that have been hit by this tragedy can get the all the emotional support they deserve and will need for the rest of their lives.


How to become APONR star!

So WordPress has a page where you can see what search terms people have used to access your site. Sometimes it is interesting, for instance many people go to the post of “Pandora’s Box” by Magritte, which makes me feel sort of bad since I did  not write anything about the painting, I just posted the picture. Today I found out that someone visited this blog twice (!) by searching this sentence on Google (I am copying it exactly as it was written):

how to join aponr to becam aponr star

how to be

Well, it is not easy to be a star here at aponr (I am sure that is what you were looking for), so maybe I should write a manual on how to achieve that. Here are a few tips to start your career as an aponr star:

1. You believe there is nothing more powerful, beautiful and cool in the history of humanity than the gray-eyed goddess Pallas Athena

2. You love Blake, Scott Fitzgerald, Kafka, Nabokov, Borges, Katherine Mansfield and Wilde (to mention just a few)

3. You believe art is more important than anything else

4. You dance (or at least you try to)

5. You are not a snob when it comes to music (though you still believe that Bach, Beethoven and Mozart created this World)

6. You are obsessed with life. You want to experience everything at once.

Following those steps you are close to being a famous aponr star.

On the other hand I shall confess that you don’t join a point of no return, it is aponr that gets you.

Ajax, Kassandra, and a Statue of Athena

athena kassandra

I saw this one at the Yale Art Gallery (it is a terracotta plate attributed to Paseas.Greek, Attic, ca. 5520-510 B.C. Picture taken with an iPAD), and I immediately thought of a painting I love by Solomon Joseph Solomon:

I wrote about the painting and the story in a previous post here.

Betina Gonzalez

My friend Betina won some days ago a writing contest for her novel “Las Poseidas” (The Possessed) organized by a well-known Spanish editorial (Tusquets). It was the first time a woman wins that contest. Besides the money award, she gets her book published by an outstanding editorial, with the possibility of getting it translated into other languages. So basically and for some time now she has won an award every time she has submitted a novel or short story to a contest. It is good to know that literature of that quality is still praised, and in this case it is even better because it is a great life story: She had no contacts in the literary world, she did not care to put energy into networking, and by nothing else but the sheer force of her extraordinary talent she has won award after award. I also know how hard she has worked to perfect that natural talent, even when it was obvious from the start that she was simply outstanding.

What amazes me about her writing (besides the fact that her sentences are like small poems) is how layered her stories are: She usually writes a seemingly straightforward plot, but underneath that story she can be playing with literary genres, theorizing about how lies build up relationships, how memories distort our perception of people and ourselves, etc. Even if you miss that “underworld” you will still enjoy the main story, as she is first and foremost a narrator, but there is so much more waiting to be discovered. It is like finding a beautiful sculpture and thinking it is marvelous, until one day you realize it belonged to a huge temple. It is mind-blowing

This new prize was not well deserved, but rather inevitable.

un punto vidi che raggiava lume
acuto sì, che ‘l viso ch’elli affoca
chiuder conviensi per lo forte acume;

(Dante Alighieri, Divina Commedia, Paradiso, Canto XXVIII)

Music and Wine


Sometimes it is late, and you are just making music, and then everything is great, but suddenly you knock over the glass of wine, and it spills everywhere and the glass is broken, one of your last glasses since all of them tend to disintegrate just by looking at them, and for a moment it is like no big deal, but when you come back to clean it you wonder, you wonder if it is something bigger, like Pallas Athena got upset, just when you need her to be on your side, since everything is changing fast, changing very fast and radically, so yeah you wonder, maybe I should stop everything, but no way, once things have been put into motion there is no escape, and all that, you know, so now what?