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Happy Meme - started on Monday...

1. Post about something that made you happy today, even if it's just a small thing.

2. Do this every day for eight days.

3. Tag eight of your friends to do the same.

Today's been kind of rough - I'm still at work and will be for at least another hour.

So I am going enjoy the little things in life: Reese's PB Easter Bunny = NOM. Also, I have two gorgeous calendars at work that make me happy to look at my walls. See them
here and here.

I also have an awesome poster my sister brought back for me from a trip to Spain, containing a quote from Sergio Pitol titled simply "El libro" ("The Book")


It says:

La palabra
libro está muy cerca de la palabra libre; sólo la letra final las distancia: la o de libro y la e de libre. No sé si ambos vocablos vienen del latín liber (libro), pero lo cierto es que se complementan perfectamente; el libro es uno de los instrumentos creados por el hombre para hacernos libres. Libres de la ignorancia y de la ignominia, libres también de los demonios, del los tiranos, de fiebres milenarista y turbios legionarios, del oprobio, de la trivialidad, de la pequeñez. El libro afirma la libertad, muestra opciones y caminos distintos, establece la individualidad, al mismo tiempo fortalece a la sociedad, y exalta la imaginación. Ha habido libros malditos en toda la historia, libros que encarcelan la inteligencia, la congelan y manchan a la humanidad, pero ellos quedan derrotados por otros, los generosos como El Quijote, La guerra y la paz, las novelas de Galdós, los dramas de Shakespeare, todo Dickens y todo Chejov, los poemas de Whitman y los de Rubén Darío, López Velarde, Pablo Neruda y Octavio Paz, Antonio Machado, Luis Cernuda, y tantisisímos más que derrotarán a los otros.

Si el hombre hubiera creado la escritura todos los seres humanos no habríamos salido de las cavernas. A través del libro conocemos todo lo que es nuestro pasado. Es la fotografía y también la radiografía de los usos y costumbres de todas las distintas civilizaciones y sus movimientos. Por los libros hemos conocido el pensamiento chino, griego, árabe, el de todos los siglos y todas las naciones.

En fin, el libro es para nosotros un camino de salvación. Una sociedad que no lee es una sociedad sorda, ciega y muda.



Translated - very roughly, because I am super short on time - feel free to critique:

The word libro ("book"), is very similar to the word libre ("free") only the final letter separates the two words. I do not know if both words come from the Latin liber ("book"), but the truth is that they complement each other perfectly; the book is one of those instruments, created by man, to make ourselves free. Free from ignorance and ignominy, free too from demons, from tyrants, from the fevers of the millennia and military unrest, from opprobrium, from triviality, from insignificance. The book affirms liberty; it illustrates distinct options and paths to follow; it establishes individuality; at the same time, it fortifies society and exalts the imagination.

There have been evil books throughout our history, books that imprison the intelligence; they freeze it, and stain our humanity, but they have been overcome by others: the generous and celebratory books like Quixote, War and Peace, by Leo Tolstoy; the novels of Pérez Galdós, all of Dickens, all of Shakespeare, Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain, the poems of Whitman, the essays of Alfonso Reyes and the poetry of Rubén Darío, López Velarde, Carlos Pellicer, Pablo Neruda, Octavio Paz, Antonio Machado, Luis Cernuda and so many others that continue to vanquish those demons.

If man had not created writing, we would never have emerged from the caves. Through books, we know everything that was in our past. Writing is the photography and also the radiography of the practices and customs of all of the distinct civilizations and their movements. Through books, we have known the thinking of the Sanskrits, Chinese, the Greeks, the Arabs, of all the centuries and of all nations.


In the end, the book for us is a path to salvation. A society that does not read, is a society that is deaf, blind and mute.


That poster? That's my big happy for today.

Date: 2009-04-10 01:32 pm (UTC)
ext_840: john and rodney, paperwork (Default)
From: [identity profile] http://users.livejournal.com/tesserae_/
Great quote. I love the verb exalta (esaltare in Italian) - exalt is a good translation, but it's one of those words that just doesn't have the same clarity of meaning outside its own language. I always think of it as meaning "holding up to the light", where "exalt", for me, has a much more passive and specifically religious connotation. So the concept here of "exalta la immaginacion" gives me a sense of opening up one's imagination to light and air, giving it wings, letting it soar, which is how I've always, always thought about books.

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