Ricardo Blanco's Blog richardgwyn.com

Fiction Fiesta, reality, and Alastair Reid

The first Borges story I ever read was ‘Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius’, in the translation by Alastair Reid, while living in a derelict shepherd’s hut on a Cretan hillside. A couple of years later, like so many others… Read More

A short walk in Valparaíso

I first came across the name Valparaíso via Neruda’s poem dedicated to Don Asterio Alarcón, the clockmaker of that city, many years ago. Neruda’s house is a fabulous creation, built on five stories, most of the rooms having large… Read More

Gabo and the drunks

On Tuesday at five I do a reading in the library of the University of Cartagena – whose most famous alumnus was Gabriel García Márquez – and learn from one of the Profs that there is a crypt in the… Read More

Mompox

  Travel is often a matter of balancing a desire for control and a willingness to abandon that control when it serves no purpose. If one finds oneself in a place where timetables and commitments are loosely treated… Read More

Fictions and Foreigners: Borges and Alastair Reid

The first story I read by Borges, at the age of eighteen, was Tlön, Uqbar, Tertius Orbis. Although the name would have meant nothing to me at the time, the translation was by Alastair Reid. Forty years later,… Read More

A Journey into Memory

  When I remember things from childhood or early adulthood, it often feels as though I am a passive subject, a receptacle or vessel, and the process of remembering becomes one in which memory is seeking me out,… Read More

Of Dogs and Death

    I wrote once before about Juan Rulfo and his novel Pedro Paramo, which has unparalleled status in Mexican literature and was a major influence on the young Gabriel García Márquez on his arrival in Mexico City… Read More

Masks and Death

  When travelling, how do we begin to learn when someone is wearing a mask, with intent to deceive, given that we all wear masks much of the time? We all know, as Hamlet says, that ‘one may… Read More

Dubious categories

In Agota Kristof’s wonderful novel The Third Lie, Claus – or is it Lucas, his anagrammatic twin (the two central characters are indissoluble, or aspects of one and the same person) – spends his nights writing in a notebook…. Read More

Juan Rulfo and the terror of the blank page

  Juan Rulfo and accomplice. This morning, after a restless night, I spent a couple of hours picking up books from the shelves around my room, almost at random, dipping into them, dropping them on the floor, where… Read More

‘Terra Nostra’ by Carlos Fuentes

Incredible the first animal that dreamed of another animal. Monstrous the first vertebrate that succeeded in standing on two feet and thus spread terror among the beasts still normally and happily crawling close to the ground through the… Read More

Drake in the South Sea

To schoolchildren of my generation, Sir Francis Drake was a hero, the epitome of English sangfroid, insisting on finishing his game of bowls before dealing with the Spanish Armada as it sailed up the Channel. It didn’t happen… Read More