Ricardo Blanco's Blog

On Not Getting It

  Curiosity can sometimes be more satisfying, more enhancing, than the mere consolation of achievement. A while ago I wrote here on Kafka’s claim that in spite of knowing how to swim, he had not forgotten what it… Read More

Not bad for a girl from Wales

In an interview on the BBC News earlier this month, the singer Bonnie Tyler was interviewed by Katty Kay and Christian Fraser, usually an intelligent and benign pair of individuals with whom I have no axe to grind…. Read More

Notes from a Catalan village: summer on its way

  The weather has been cloudy, windy and wet for much of May – validating the Catalan proverb, Al maig, cada dia un raig (in May, a shower every day) – with just the occasional day of glorious sunshine, when we take… Read More

Knausgaard’s Struggle, or How forgetting stuff can help you remember it more honestly

I have had Karl Ove Knausgaard’s work on my reading list for a while, particularly as some of the better critics have sung his praises (for example James Wood, writing in The New Yorker, or Boyd Tonkin, in… Read More

On getting lost

‘For [Virginia] Woolf, getting lost was not a matter of geography so much as identity, a passionate desire, even an urgent need, to become no one and anyone, to shake off the shackles that remind you who you… Read More

Cwm Banw and the myth of core identity

Deep into autumn, with the rich russet or burnt sienna of the ferns, and the grass still so green, with streaks of cloud racing up the valley to our left and, as the mist thickens, an overlay of… Read More

A Perambulation with Providence

For some time now, I have been wondering about the idea of Providence. It all started with a quotation from Goethe, about the importance of fully committing oneself when setting out on a new project:  ‘The moment one… Read More

On the Cat’s Back

Sometimes our reading maps onto our walks. Or vice versa. The night before I had been reading in Raymond Williams’ People of the Black Mountains how Glyn goes in search of his Taid one evening, when the older… Read More

What can a novelist learn from a nomadic reindeer herder?

In Wayfinding, by Michael Bond, a fascinating account of how people find their way in and around the world (and the perils of GPS on our innate navigational systems), the author quotes a Siberian reindeer herder on how… Read More

The Indifferent Gaze

‘All things long to persist in their being; the stone eternally wants to be a stone and the tiger a tiger.’ J.L. Borges The black bear appeared out of the woods to my left and lumbered across the… Read More