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A platform to get your cultural two cents out there.

La Iaia – On És La Màgia?

La Iaia – On És La Màgia?

Catalonia, a region of northeast Spain with its own culture and language, has had its own music scene since the mid-80s. Beyond the boom of indie-pop music generated around the Catalan capital for the last 15 years, new groups from less populated areas but as culturally engaged as Barcelona are breaking through.

On The Edge

On The Edge

Spain, a country that has gone under different and turbulent periods during the last century, always have suffered to take itself seriously and claim its position in the European scenario. The last part of this complicated puzzle was placed after the big 2008 economical crash, where Spain, one of the most inflated real estate market in the world, collapsed in a recession without precedents in recent history. Chirbes captures some of the subtle human reasons and consequences of this new episode of Spain´s struggle to conciliate past, present and future, with characters that are both victims and perpetrators of this sordid scenario. On the Shore is considered one of the best Spanish literary works of the last decade.

Instrumental – James Rhodes

Instrumental – James Rhodes

“I was raped when I was six years old. I got confined in a psychiatric hospital. I was a drug addict and an alcoholic. I tried to commit suicide five times. I lost my child custody. But I am not going to talk about that. I am going to talk about music. Because Bach saved my life. And I love to be alive.”

Submission

Submission

Submission, Houellebecq´s most controversial novel so far, satirical and incredibly funny, envisions the 2022 France presidential elections led by the Muslim party, a probably unlikely but possible scenario. His main character, Francois, an intellectual Sorbonne lecturer with a sophisticated food taste, lascivious sexual inclinations and high drinking needs, witnesses how our venerated western society adapts to the drastic cultural switch. During the inconceivable process, he´ll start wondering whether we all prefer to offer submission in the end -despite our values and intellectual decisions, or maybe western culture is simply doomed anyway.

David Bowie – Blackstar

David Bowie – Blackstar

In an age when musical nostalgia is raking in money that would make Wall Street blush, it is endearing to see artists restrain from pillaging their past glories for a quick buck. David Jones invented genres and characters only to abandon them so his vision would not be tainted by the rewards that came calling.

Sphinx

Sphinx

Sphinx is dark mercury, an elusive first-person narration of a genderless love story that unfolds in the decadent nights of 80’s Paris. Witten under Oulipian constraint (Oulipian literature uses constrained writing techniques as a way to trigger ideas and inspiration), Anne Garréta constantly makes us evaluate the nature of male/female roles in the relation by removing every mention to the protagonists’ gender. Oh, and don’t miss the translator’s notes at the end of the book, they’re fascinating.

Freedom

Freedom

One of my resolutions this year is to catch up with American Literature. I’ve started with what some call the Great (contemporary) American Novel. The book is up to the expectations; Freedom is a profound, rich and unsettling portrait of middle class America in which Franzen models with acute psychology a bleak, yet somehow heroic set of characters that struggle with the boundaries of their personal liberties.

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