Archive for Francisco de Quevedo

a journal of the [second] plague year

Posted in Books, Kids, pictures, Travel, University life with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 10, 2021 by xi'an

Read the picaresque El Buscòn (in French, translated by Nicolas Restif de La Bretonne), dating from 1602-1604, but the classic French translation from a century later is quite enjoyable and the story often hilarious. (I read this book after reading in 2019 the BD (comics) by Alain Ayroles and Juanjo Guarnido called les Indes Fourbes, that was inspired from El Buscòn and pretended to produce its sequel, located in South America). Also read the second volume of Olen Steinhauer, The Confession, just as impressive a dig into the minutiae of a Balkanic socialist dictature as the first one. And into the complex mind of another militia inspector in the homicide squad. (Just wondering if there were truly paper cups in the post-war Eastern block!)

Made my first fresh pastas with the traditional pasta machine my daughter got me as a Xmas present! I need improvements but, despite the mess this creates (flour everywhere!), it is a real treat to eat fresh pastas. The next goal is to check if soba noodles can be made with the machine….

Watched some parts of a rather terrible Korean series, Demon Catchers (or The Uncanny Counter). With absolutely no redeeming feature, although a very popular show… And the beginning episodes of another SF Korean series, Alice,  playing with time travel themes until it hit the usual paradoxes. (At least the physics fomulae on the white boards sounded correct, even though the grossly romanticised home office of a physics professor made no sense.)

Gave up on Augusto Cruz’ London after Midnight. Which revolves around the search for a surviving copy of the 1927 horror movie London after midnight, made by Tod Browning, and seemingly cursed. The plot is terrible and the style awful, an unpalatable endless infodump… Read P. Djeli Clark’s delightful short story A Dead Djinn in Cairo, which is a prequel to Haunting of tramcar 105 about a supernatural Cairo in the early 1900’s.

Les Indes Fourbes [book review]

Posted in Books, pictures with tags , , , , , , , , on October 6, 2019 by xi'an

Among the pile of Le Monde issues I found when I came back from Japan, I spotted a rather enthusiastic review of a bédé (comics) by Alain Ayroles and Juanjo Guarnido called les Indes Fourbes, which is the pastiche of the continuation of a 16th century picaresque (Spanish) novel El Buscon by Francisco de Quevedo. While picaresque novels often end up being overwhelming by the endless inclusion of stories within stories, this one is quite amazing and does not suffer from its length (200 pages) or the continuation of switches in the plot, the end being particularly terrific. The author of the scenario also wrote the De Cape and De Croc series, which I enjoyed and which takes place at about the same time, inspired from Cyrano de Bergerac and his trip to the Moon. The drawings are however made by another author, more in tune with the story and quite elaborate. Definitely enjoyable!