The tremor in our hearts moves our country

(In Spanish below / en español abajo)

I’m still not able to [really] write about the 2017 earthquake. Few weeks after it I started reading books about earthquakes voraciously. But Zona Cero is actually the first book I read about the earthquake that happened on September 19th, 2017.

Rafael Pérez Gay is a writer I admire a lot, and this little book is very personal and intimate. It kind of builds a bridge between a scary reflection. Two of the deadliest earthquakes in Mexico City happened on a 19th of September, 32 years apart. September 19th, 1985 and September 19th, 2017.

It made me cry, it made me angry (did we not learn?), it made me hopeful. We are entering election times in my country and these are daunting times. The earthquake 32 years ago gave birth to a politically engaged society that lead us to the progressive society we have now in my city. I can only hope we, now as a country, can emerge from the rubble with our eyes looking to where our heart is.

This is my entry for the 2018 Monthly Motif Reading Challenge: April, Read locally.

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El temblor en nuestro corazón mueve al país

Todavía no me siento capaz de escribir sobre el temblor del 19 de septiembre del año pasado. Cuando pude concentrarme lo suficiente para empezar a leer de nuevo, algunas semanas después del temblor, empecé a devorar libros sobre terremotos. Murakami, Villoro, Monsiváis. Pero este es el primer libro que leo de el temblor.

Soy muy fan de Rafael Pérez Gay, y me encanta que haya hecho Zona Cero tan personal e íntimo. Construye un puente entre este paralelo terrorífico, este reflejo aterrador del 19 de septiembre de 1985 y 2017. Treinta y dos años de diferencia entre dos de los terremotos más mortíferos de Ciudad de México.

Zona Cero me hizo llorar, me hizo enojar (¿en serio no aprendimos?), me hizo sentir esperanzada. Ahora que entramos a la época electoral, navegamos por terrenos pantanosos y atemorizantes. El temblor del 85 dio origen a una sociedad políticamente comprometida que llevó a la izquierda al poder y de la que surgió la ciudad progresista que tanto amamos y que tanto protegemos. Lo único que puedo esperar (y desear y soñar) es que ahora, como país, salgamos de entre los escombros viendo hacia donde está nuestro corazón.

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March wrap up

March started as an incredibly busy month. I was swamped with work and by the end of the month I thought I was barely going to finish two books. Fortunately, things cleared up and I was able to read a couple more. I’m still trying to catch-up from last month’s one book, but I’m still behind by two for my yearly goal. This month’s books were very interesting, and diverse (not in a Diversity with capital D way, but varied and different), and I enjoyed them very very much. I’m happy with my speed at the end of the month, I wish I can keep at it for the coming days.

So these are my March books:

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Books read: 5

  • The Book of Mirrors, E. O. Chirovichi
  • Five Weeks in a Balloon, Jules Verne
  • A Cat, a Man, and Two Women, Jun’ichirō Tanizaki
  • The Witches, Roald Dahl
  • Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud: The Rise and Reign of the Unruly Woman, Anne Helen Petersen

Male: 4

Female: 1 (fuck)

Spanish: 3

English: 2

Translated from a language other than English: 2 (Japanese and French)

Translated from English: 1

Challenges prompts completed: 9/107

What an amazing storyteller is Roald Dahl

When I was seven years old (probably eight), I watched one of my absolute favorite childhood movies: The Witches. I remember being mesmerized by the Grand High Witch and terrified to see the little girl trapped in the painting getting old. Back then in 1990 (probably 1991, because back then movies didn’t travel as fast as today to other countries) I had no idea that the movie was based on a book, I don’t think that Roald Dahl was translated in Spanish even, I really don’t know.

But then, some years later, I found out The Witches was an adaptation, and I wanted to read the original book. I was so happy to find out that it was published in 1983, because I could put in my Birth Year Challenge list.

It was an amazing read. The Witches is positively scary, and funny, and intelligent, and light, and deep. I love how Roald Dahl writes to children, with so much respect… From equal to equal. One of my life goals is to read all Dahl, because his voice is like a light in a dark forest. Whenever I feel down, or stressed, or whatever, I always go to him and I feel better instantly.

It doesn’t matter who you are or what you look like so long as somebody loves you.

Pages: 201

A Cat, a Man, and Two Women, by Jun’ichirō Tanizaki

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I read this book because I signed up for the Kitty Lit Reading Challenge, and this was one of the first books I found. I’m so glad about this challenge, I have found a bunch of books about cats that I want to read, and I’m also incredibly happy about this choice.

A Cat, a Man, and Two Women (I read the Spanish translation directly from the Japanese by Ryukichi Terao and Ednodio Quintero titled La gata, Shozo y sus dos mujeres), by Jun’ichirō Tanizaki, was published in 1936. Tanizaki was one of the most important writers of the modern Japanese literature. In this little book that can be read in one sitting, he tells us the story of a tortoiseshell cat named Lily that is the object of the dispute between an ex-wife and a husband, involving the new wife and the mother in law. It’s such a simple and fun story. You can’t read it without smiling and crying a little, especially if you have a cat, of course.

There are dialogues where the cat actually answers, and with that I’m completely sold.

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I adored this book, I always want to read more of all the Japanese authors I get my eyes on. I’ll try to look more by Jun’ichirō Tanizaki. Do you have any recommendations?