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Posts published by “Manuel Vicent (translated by Louis S. Bedrock)”

Joseph Conrad: The Sea As Morality

During any melancholy evening, no child with a vivid imagination, lying face down in bed with an open atlas, has hesitated to sail through every blue sea with the tip of his index finger, or advance with reckless abandon deep into the most dangerous jungle. With his mind filled with pirate ships, treasure chests, lions, and the tusks of elephants, there comes a moment in which the child detains his finger over some point on the map — the most exotic place possible, and thinks: “One day, when I’m older, I will go there.”

Six Bullets For Andy Warhol

He invented frivolity as aesthetic attitude to life and determined that the essence of things is merely in the packaging. This designer was Andy Warhol, born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1928, son of a coal miner who was a Slovak migrant. After being baptized in a Byzantine Catholic rite, the youngster contracted Saint Vitus Dance at the age of 13, which caused his four limbs to move uncontrollably.

The Amber Universe

It’s possible that Borges learned from Oscar Wilde, or perhaps from Bernard Shaw, that to achieve fame, one ingenious, malevolent, surprising, paradoxical, polemical sentence that angers the official representatives of culture is sufficient.


In the tertulias of times past, there was always a scholar who knew everything. He remembered names, faces, dates, and data with absolute precision thanks to his privileged memory which was nourished by voluminous, diverse, and at times, useless reading. Any argument would ultimately appeal to him to act as the Court of Appeals.

William Faulkner: Voices In The Mud

When William Faulkner was already a grand figure and John Kennedy was collecting such objects to adorn some of his private dinners, the writer received an invitation from the President for one of these events in the White House. At this table had already sat many of the Great: Norman Mailer, Saul Bellow, Arthur Miller, and the Sinatras, to name a few. Pablo Casals and his cello had aggrandized some of the exquisite desserts.

Scott Fitzgerald: Jazz, Martinis & White Hats

For someone enamored of success and not inclined to resign himself to his fate, it was a curse to live in a less than aristocratic neighborhood, study in elite colleges through a scholarship, and not be rich but have wealthy classmates and friends. This was the case of Francis Scott Fitzgerald, an attractive and very talented young man, doomed to ply his charm among clans whose slick offspring played polo, danced in the Country Club with rich heiresses who were a bit vain and "had a voice full of money". He would see these women get into the cream and tobacco colored convertibles of their boyfriends, their bonnets tied with ribbons of tulle around their luminous chins, in the shade of chestnut trees on the elegant Summit Avenue in Saint Paul, Minnesota and perhaps in his subconscious, he resolved to hurl his life against that mirror.

Tennessee Williams: The Rotten Flowers Of The Magnolia Tree

His maternal grandfather, named Rakin, was the rector of The Episcopal Church of Columbus, when Tennessee Williams was born in that Mississippi city on March 26 in 1911. His paternal grandfather, one Lanier Williams II, a man of accredited lineage, squandered a fortune trying unsuccessfully to become governor. His mother Edwina was capable of managing a man, a beast, or a storm. His father, Cornelius Coffin Williams, was demeaned during his military career as a simple ne'er do well and wound up as a traveling salesman for a shoe company--a job which permitted him to visit the whorehouse of every place he worked.

The Compass

When you're born, your entire space amounts to the dimensions of the cradle: 80 x 60cm.

The compass will open.

After six months, you can crawl across the room. After one year, you learn to walk. As time envelops you, the space around you will begin to expand: the tricycle in the garden, the daycare center, the bicycle in the park, the first excursion to the ice cream parlor on the corner.