Looking for the Gulf Motel

 

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Richard Blanco (2nd Inauguration of President Obama)

There should be nothing here I don’t remember . . .

The Gulf Motel with mermaid lampposts
and ship’s wheel in the lobby should still be
rising out of the sand like a cake decoration.
My brother and I should still be pretending
we don’t know our parents, embarrassing us
as they roll the luggage cart past the front desk
loaded with our scruffy suitcases, two-dozen
loaves of Cuban bread, brown bags bulging
with enough mangos to last the entire week, Continue reading

“Max and Moritz” by Wilhelm Busch – Part Five

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Wilhelm Busch confessed later on in life, that some things in his book really did happen. His friendship with the miller’s son Erich Bachmann and their childhood antics together likely inspired the figures of Max and Moritz. A pencil portrait that Bush drew at age 14 shows Bachmann as a young man with thick, round cheeks like those of Max. Continue reading

“Max and Moritz” by Wilhelm Busch – Part Three

 

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Max und Moritz was initially rejected for publication, it was never meant to be a children’s book.  It was Busch’s publisher Kaspar Braun who suggested offering it through the children’s book division of his publishing house rather than in the pages of the satirical weekly, Fliegende Blätter, as Busch had suggested. Braun paid Busch 1000 guilders, the equivalent of about 2 years’ pay for a craftsman, for the rights to his manuscript. Continue reading

A Life Backward?

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“People say you’re born innocent, but it’s not true. You inherit all kinds of things that you can do nothing about. You inherit your identity, your history, like a birthmark that you can’t wash off. … We are born with our heads turned back, but my mother says we have to face into the future now. You have to earn your own innocence, she says. You have to grow up and become innocent.” 

― Hugo Hamilton, The Sailor in the Wardrobe Continue reading

The Book of Disquiet

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Now, I touched genius and it will not be forgotten. Forever it will live on my nightstand, waiting to be opened again…anywhere…anytime. Fernando Pessoa found the words to describe a searching soul like me. He must have written it for simple-complicated people like me. Perhaps it’s a manual on our souls, rather than a book?

Continue reading