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Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Hokusai answers Hafiz

Hokusai, The Great Wave Off Kanagawa










No one could ever paint
A too wonderful
Picture

Of my heart
Or
God

Nimeni vreodata nu a putut plasmui
O icoana daruita
Cu darul minunilor

A tumultului inimii mele
Ori
A Celui din Veci Vesnic

No one, but Hokusai?



(Sufi)

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Rob Gonsalves, Acrobatic Engineering

Rob Gonsalves, Acrobatic Engineering











Rob Gonsalves
Inginerie acrobatica

Acrobatii lui Gonsalves, fiinte daruite cu indrazneala de a crede in universul fanteziei.


Imagine a day ...

... when grace and daring
are all we need
to build a bridge.

Imagine ... today.

Inchipuie-ti o zi

... cand gratia si cutezanta
ne sunt de ajuns
sa faurim marele pod peste marile ape.

Inchipuie-ti ... este astazi.

Is Qatar the Next Dubai?

a falcon handler Late out of the tourism starting gate, Qatar is suddenly leading a charge of gulf nations into the roughly half-trillion-dollar global travel market. Why are these small and conservative Islamic countries suddenly courting the world's luggage-rolling masses after decades of indifference? One reason lies underground. With economies centered on petroleum — and with supplies slowly dwindling — many oil-dependent nations are scrambling to diversify their revenue streams.

But the more immediate inspiration lies next door: the bling-bedecked Cinderella story of the travel industry, the emirate of Dubai.

Read more in the NY Times of May 31.

The Catastrophe Wasn't Katrina

Eugene RobinsonEugene Robinson: The evidence, by now, is overwhelming. Beautiful, decadent New Orleans wasn't doomed by Hurricane Katrina but by decades of human incompetence and neglect.

Read the opinion of Eugene Robinson in the Washington Post of today.

Fareed Zakaria: A Political Path Out of Iraq

Fareed Zakaria The only concrete plan the American Administration has in view for Iraq is a better-functioning Iraqi army and police force. But the problem there is fundamentally political. Until we fully recognize this, doing more of the same will accomplish little.

Fareed Zakaria gives his opinion in the Washington Post of today.

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Iraqi Bloggers

Maliki Announces Government, Zarqawi Announces Dress Code, from the blog of a Konfused Kid
Zeyad is a 27-year-old dentist in Baghdad and the author of the blog, Healing Iraq. Born in Baghdad. Spent early childhood in England. Came back to Iraq in 1986. Blogging since October 2003.

Hassan Kharrufa, 20, is studying civil engineering at the University of Technology in Baghdad. Never traveled outside Iraq. Learned English by reading books. Favorite authors: Agatha Christie, Robert Ludlum. Blogging at An Average Iraqi since February 2004.

Konfused Kid, 21, attends college in Baghdad, where he studies computer engineering. Fan of science fiction, aspiring guitarist. Started his blog Eject: Iraqi Konfused Kollege Kid in July 2005.

Ayad Rahim, a freelance journalist exploring the Arab world, Islam, terrorism and Iraq. Recently spent six months in Iraq recounting his experiences on his blog, Live from Baghdad. Lives in Cleveland.

All of them post on the NY Times' blog "Day to Day in Iraq" on a regular basis.

More Magritte

Rene Magritte, La Condition humaine, Washington DC National Gallery
Tabloul este la Galeria Nationala de Arta din Washington si cred ca spune foarte mult despre ce ii aseamana si ce ii deosebeste pe Rene Magritte si Rob Gonsalves.

In fata ferestrei este asezat un sevalet, pe care se afla un tablou, care infatiseaza niscaiva natura - iar draperiile au rostul lor, sa sublinieze ca acolo se afla o pictura.

Insa este o pictura care isi cere dreptul ei la viata, natura evadeaza pe fereastra afara, iar pervazul are si el rostul lui, sa sublinieze ca natura este adevarata.

Titlul sporeste enigma, "La condition humaine". Pentru ca totul este o enigma aici. Care este in fond diferenta dintre viata si poveste, pare sa ne sugereze Magritte?

Viata cu povesti. Un bun prieten al meu, Marius Dobrin, are un blog, Viata cu povesti se numeste - l-a cam lasat de izbeliste de la o vreme, ocupat fiind cu alte proiecte, dar poate se va intoarce sa ne spuna cum aluneca povestea in viata si cum viata aluneca in poveste.

Viata cu povesti. Viata alunecand in poveste, povestea alunecand in viata. Rene Magritte le trateaza pe amandoua cu un pic de detasare, cu o iota de scepticism, cu oarece ironie, poate cu oleaca de cinism, dar numai oleaca. Este viata o poveste, sau povestea a devenit viata? Magritte ne pune doar intrebarea, poate ca nu cunoaste raspunsul, sau poate ca il stie si crede ca e mai bine sa nu ni-l spuna. De ce? Poate ca e un raspuns trist, cine stie?

Poate raspunsul nici nu exista, poate ca viata e doar o poveste. 'What does that mean'? It does not mean anything, because mystery means nothing either, it is unknowable, a spus odata Magritte

Sau poate ca socoate el ca e mai bine pentru noi sa il gasim singuri. Poate ca nu e un singur raspuns. Poate ca fiecare din noi are raspunsul lui.

Poate ca asta si este Conditia umana, fiecare din noi cautam si gasim alt raspuns.

Rob Gonsalves, ca si Chris Van Allsburg, ei cred insa ca raspunsul il putem afla doar daca incercam sa ne jucam alaturi de copiii nostri - si atunci povestile devin neaparat adevarate.




(René Magritte)

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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Rob Gonsalves, Change of Scenery

Rob Gonsalves, Change of Scenery















Rob Gonsalves
Priveliste recroita

La Galeria Nationala de Arta din Washington se gaseste un tablou de Rene Magritte care imi aminteste de tabloul acesta al lui Gonsalves. De fapt sunt deosbiri. In tabloul lui Gonsalves este noapte. In cel al lui Magritte este zi. Aici baiatul isi construieste in fata ferestrelor un oras. Acolo, in fata ferestrei este asezat pe un sevalet un colt de natura. Iluzia obtinuta este aceeasi, natura pare a fi in afara ferestrei, asa cum aici orasul pare si el real.
Insa tabloul lui Magritte isi pastreaza enigma pe cand Gonsalves este un optimist, care crede, odata cu copilul din tablou ca visul este posibil.


Imagine a night ...

... when the darkness
of meadow and lake
feels too quiet and deep,
and so you cut and stitch a city
from the starry sky.

Imagine ... tonight.

Inchipuie-ti o noapte ...

... cand intunericul
pajistei si al lacului
iti par prea tacute si adnaci,
asa ca tu tai si insailezi un oras
din fasii de cer instelat.

Inchipuie-ti ... acum este noaptea aceasta de vraja.

ReMeDiOs VaRo - Mystical Surrealism

Remedios Varo, Encounter
Remedios Varo s-a nascut in Spania, a trait multi ani la Paris, in timpul celui de-al doilea razboi mondial a trebuit sa paraseasca Franta si s-a stabilit in Mexic. Opera ei este o continua lupta intre mitic si stiintific. Eroii ei sunt uneori androgeni, intotdeauna mistici si solitari, obsedati de stiinta. La intalnirea dintre toate acestea se gaseste desigur alchimia. O opera unica in care fantasticul se imbina cu un simt teribil al enigmei.
Remedios Varo, Nacer de nuevo
Remedios varo, Papillia Estelar
Remedios Varo, Fenomeno
Remedios Varo, Vampiros Vegetarinos
Remedios Varo, La Revelacion o el Relojero
Remedios Varo, Exploracion de las fuentes del Rio Orinoco

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Rob Gonsalves, Unfinished Puzzle

Rob Gonsalves, Unfinished Puzzle
















Rob Gonsalves
Puzzle etern


Afinitati cu Escher, Dali, Magritte, Remedios Varo. Inrudit cu ei prin mestesugurile de iluzie optica, prin curajul imaginatiei, prin sederea in zona magicului. Insa toate acestea cu un suflet de copil, pentru ca este ruda apropiata si cu Van Allsburg.


Imagine a day ...

... when you build the world
around you
piece by piece.

Imagine ... today.


Inchipuie-ti o zi ...

... cand construiesti lumea intreaga
in jurul tau, pe podea, langa scaun,
bucata cu bucata.

Inchipuie-ti ... este astazi.

Spatiu si obiecte: Isamu Noguchi

Isamu Noguchi, Shodo Shima Stome Study
Shodo Shima Stone Study, al lui Noguchi, creat in 1978 pentru Walker Art Center din Mineapolis. Un nume jumatate englezesc, jumatate japonez (studiu in piatra de Shodo Shima). Este o gradina nipona redusa la esential - niste bolovani uriasi de rau ingraditi de un dreptunghi de granit rupt in doua. Ai o senzatie de forta: obiectele concentreaza spatiul inconjurator.
Se pare ca Shodo Shima inseamna in japoneza gradina magica - si intr-adevar, bolovanii aceia de rau, ingraditi de dreptunghiul de granit rupt in doua, devin obiecte magice. Magia obiectelor, care face cu putinta absorbirea irezistibila a spatiului. Magul Noguchi, care isi transfera magia in operele sale.
Iar undeva Noguchi spune, "I like to think of gardens as sculpturing of space: a beginning, and a grouping to another level of sculptural experience and use: a total sculpture space experience beyond individual sculptures."


Isamu Noguchi, Great Rock of Inner Seeking
The Inner Stone pare un inceput de lume. Este in aripa de arta moderna a Galeriei de Arta din Washington. Universul intreg concentrat, o secunda inainte de a exploda in Cosmosul asa cum il stim astazi.



Isamu Noguchi, Galaxy Calligraphy
Galaxy Calligraphy - o bucata mare de granit negru, pe care se afla urma unui picior. Bucata de granit are o umflatura, pe care se afla o alta urma de picior. Mi s-a parut aici remarcabil echilibrul dintre spatiu si obiect.

Noguchi, marele mag japonez, in tinerete ucenic al lui Brancusi. Obiecte care absorb spatiul, obiecte care poarta in ele spatiul si sunt in plin efort de a-l elibera, obiecte in dialog tacut cu spatiul. Magia luminii, magia geometriei de dupa Brancusi impletita cu magia esentelor japoneze, magia alb-negrului.

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Treasury Race: and the nomination goes to ...

A birdwatcher who can often be found in Central Park with his binoculars. Known as a conservationist.

President Bush named Henry M. Paulson Jr., chief executive of Goldman Sachs, as the new Treasury boss this morning to replace John W. Snow. The appointment, which requires Senate confirmation, underscores the traditionally heavy Goldman Sachs presence in top economic policy jobs in Democratic as well as Republican administrations.

(Read more in the Post of today)

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Mystery of Magritte

Mistery of Magritte
Rene Magritte, unul din maestrii de la care a pornit Rob Gonsalves. Obiecte obismuite, asezate intr-un contex neobisnuit, care le descopera noi sensuri.

Mistery of Magritte

Mistery of Magritte

Mistery of Magritte

Ceci n'est pas une pipe

Mistery of Magritte

Mistery of Magritte

I detest decorative art

Mistery of Magritte

Mistery of Magritte


Mistery of Magritte



My painting is visible images which conceal nothing; they evoke mystery and, indeed, when one sees one of my pictures, one asks oneself this simple question 'What does that mean'? It does not mean anything, because mystery means nothing either, it is unknowable. (René Magritte)




(René Magritte)

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Monday, May 29, 2006

Joschka Fischer: The Case for Bargaining With Iran

Joschka Fischer
The Iran crisis is moving fast in an alarming direction. There can no longer be any reasonable doubt that Iran's ambition is to obtain nuclear weapons capability. At the heart of the issue lies the Iranian regime's aspiration to become a hegemonic Islamic and regional power and thereby position itself at eye level with the world's most powerful nations. It is precisely this ambition that sets Iran apart from North Korea: Whereas North Korea seeks nuclear weapons capability to entrench its own isolation, Iran is aiming for regional dominance and more.

In this crisis, the stakes are high, which is why Germany, Britain and France began negotiations with Iran two years ago with the goal of persuading it to abandon its efforts to close the nuclear fuel cycle. This initiative failed for two reasons. First, the European offer to open up technology and trade, including the peaceful use of nuclear technology, was disproportionate to Iran's fundamental fear of regime change on the one hand and its regional hegemonic aspirations and quest for global prestige on the other. Second, the disastrous U.S.-led war in Iraq has caused Iran's leaders to conclude that the leading Western power has been weakened to the point that it is dependent on Iran's goodwill and that high oil prices have made the West all the more wary of a serious confrontation.

The Iranian regime's analysis may prove to be a dangerous miscalculation, because it is likely to lead sooner rather than later to a "hot" confrontation that Iran simply cannot win. After all, the issue at the heart of this conflict is this: Who dominates the Middle East -- Iran or the United States? Iran's leaders underestimate the explosive nature of this issue for the United States as a global power and thus for its own future.

Read the whole article of Joschka Fischer in Washington Post

Pentagon Seeks Nonnuclear Tip for Sub Missiles

Michael Goddard, Dancing with the devil
(From NY Times of Monday May 29): The Pentagon is pressing Congress to approve the development of a new weapon that would enable the United States to carry out nonnuclear missile strikes against distant targets within an hour.
The Pentagon plan calls for deploying a new nonnuclear warhead atop the submarine-launched Trident II missile that could be used to attack terrorist camps, enemy missile sites, suspected caches of biological, chemical or nuclear weapons and other potentially urgent threats, military officials say. If fielded, it would be the only nonnuclear weapon designed for rapid strikes against targets thousands of miles away and would add to the United States' options when considering a pre-emptive attack.

Would this reduce the risks or not? Well, you know, with military options it's like dancing with the devil.

Cine este Chris van Allsburg

Chris van Allsburg
Autor si ilustrator de carti de copii. A creat Expresul polar, Jumanji, Zathura, Gradina lui Abdul Gasazi, printre altele.
Si el, si Gonsalves, sunt captivati de universul copiilor. Numai ca Allsburg le vorbeste copiilor, pe cand Gonsalves ne vorbeste noua despre copii, cu un pic de umor si cu multa induiosare. Si amandoi ne invita sa fim copii din nou.


Chris van Allsburg, The Polar Express Expresul Polar a fost ecranizat: un tren magic calatoreste in ajun de Craciun spre Polul Nord, pentru ca un baietel trebuie sa primeasca un dar de la Mos Craciun. In film Tom Hanks este foarte ocupat: este si tatal copilului, si mecanicul trenului, si Mos Craciun (si nu numai atat).




Chris van Allsburg, Jumanji
Un joc ii va arunca pe cei doi copii, eroii cartii Jumanji, in cea mai grozava aventura pe care si-ar fi putut-o inchipui. Si Jumanji a fost ecranizat, joaca acolo si Robin Williams, si Kirsten Dunst.




Chris van Allsburg, Zathura
Baieteii din Jumanji vor incerca un joc nou, care ii va arunca in alte patanii.







Chris van Allsburg, The Garden of Abdul Aziz
Intr-o buna zi baietelul s-a trezit in gradina lui Abdul Aziz, care ii fura umbra. Si e tare greu sa te descurci dupa aceea.

Rob Gonsalves, New Moon Eclipsed

Rob Gonsalves, New Moon Eclipsed

Rob Gonsalves
Eclipsa de luna noua


Rob Gonsalves este un vrajitor inocent. Stapaneste tainele de alchimist ale lui Escher, dar are sensibilitatea, sufletul de copil al lui Chris van Allsburg. Iar cu darurile acestea ne vorbeste despre timpul acela delicios dintre somn si trezvie, cand imposibilul devine posibil.



Imagine a night ...

... when a new partner
joins the stately dance
of moon around the Earth
and Earth around sun.

Imagine ... tonight.

Inchipuie-ti o noapte ...

... cand un nou dansator
se prinde in majestuosul balet
al lunii in jurul Pamantlui
si al Pamantului dand roata soarelui.

Inchipuie-ti ... acum este noaptea aceasta de vraja.

Spatiu si obiecte: Aaron Siskind, Marha's Vineyard

Aaron Siskind, Martha's Vineyard 107 B, Phillips Collection, Washington DC Se afla la Phillips Collection, in Washington - ii apartine lui Aaron Siskind. Este una din versiunile lui Martha's Vineyard - sunt niste pietre uriase care parca alcatuiesc bariera intre doua universuri, cel de aici, in care ne aflam, si cel de dincolo. Sau frontiera spatiului - dincolo este neantul.
Siskind, marele maestru al abstractionismului in arta fotografica, cel care spunea, "atunci cand fac o fotografie, o vreau sa fie un obiect cu totul nou, complet si continut in el insusi, a carui conditie de baza sa fie ordinea - nu ca in lumea de intamplari si fapte a caror conditie este in permanentza schimbarea si dezordinea". Aproape toate fotografiile lui sunt alb-negru, si isi alegea forme si detalii din natura si arhitectura, ordonate in plan bidimensional si alcatuind compozitii geometrice clare.

Insula Martha's Vineyard e aproape de Cape Cod. Isi trage numele de la cel al fetitei exploratorului William Gosnold, cel care a aruncat acolo ancora in 1602. Fetita lui, Martha, murise cu cativa ani mai devreme. Insula de fapt primise doua nume la botez - era si Martin's Vineyard (John Martin era capitanul corabiei lui Gosnold) - si doua nume a pastrat pana pe la 1700. Asa ca localnicii ii spun mai simplu, The Vineyard.

Iar Siskind avea sa revina de nenumarate ori asupra fotografiei pietrelor uriase de acolo, din Martha's Vineyard, bariera intre doua universuri.


Aaron Siskind, Martha's Vineyard, Spencer Museum of Art, The University of Kansas

Rob Gonsalves, Table Top Towers

Rob Gonsalves, Table Top Towers













Rob Gonsalves
Turnuri pana la cer

Un oras cu blocuri turn care sa atinga cerul trebuie mesterit neaparat de copii, pe o masa plina de cuburi. Iar ca turnurile chiar sa zgarie norii , nu e nevoie decat ca fratiorul se se cocoate in copac.

Imagine a day ...

... when everything you build
touches the sky.

Imagine ... today.

Inchipuie-ti a zi ...

... cand tot ce cladesti
atinge cerul.

Inchipuie-ti ... este astazi.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Could free web sites come to an end?

Sir Tim Berners-Lee
Tim Berners-Lee, who invented the Web in 1989, envisioned a platform on which everyone in the world could communicate on an equal basis. But his vision is being threatened by telecommunications and cable companies, and other Internet service providers, that want to impose a new system of fees that could create a hierarchy of Web sites. Major corporate sites would be able to pay the new fees, while little-guy sites could be shut out.

Sir Tim, who keeps a low profile, has begun speaking out in favor of "net neutrality," rules requiring that all Web sites remain equal on the Web.

Sir Tim argues that service providers may be hurting themselves by pushing for tiered pricing. The Internet's extraordinary growth has been fueled by the limitless vistas the Web offers surfers, bloggers and downloaders. Customers who are used to the robust, democratic Web may not pay for one that is restricted to wealthy corporate content providers.

"That's not what we call Internet at all," says Sir Tim. "That's what we call cable TV."

(Read the whole article in NY Times from May 28)

Friday, May 26, 2006

The US Treasurer leaves us

John Snow
Treasury Czar John W. Snow decided to step down. He plans to stay in the job no later than July 3, while a replacement is sought. He has presided during a period of strong economic growth but at times seemed out of sync with the White House.

Possible candidates to succeed Snow include former commerce secretary Evans, a longtime Bush friend; Commerce Secretary Gutierrez; Ambassador Mulford, a former treasury undersecretary who now represents the US in India; and the president's former chief economic adviser Friedman, who is also a former Goldman Sachs chief executive. Start in the race. Hey guys, you have fun!

(from NY Times)

The Pope in Poland

Pope Benedict XVI
Our journey together will be inspired by the motto: Stand firm in your faith, Benedict said after his plane touched down in Warsaw. He wants to honor the memory of John Paul II, and to pay homage to the country of his great predecessor.

I have to see him in person to fall in love with him, said Marianna Wasik, 75, who took a bus and a train from the town of Sierpl in the countryside for the visit.

But in this part of Europe, memory plays an unavoidable part, and that, too, shaped the itinerary for this four-day trip. It will include visits to Auschwitz and Birkenau, Nazi death camps where millions of Jews died in World War II.

(NY Times)

News Alert: C.I.A. Nominee Is Confirmed

Gen. Hayden, Sen. Leahy35 Minutes ago, the Senate confirmed Gen. Michael V. Hayden as the next C.I.A. boss.

Hayden will stand up to the president or anybody else who's trying to get him to reach a certain conclusion on the intelligence, and speak truth to power. (Hayden according to Levin)

Hayden is the leader and honest broker the CIA needs to regain its footing as the world's premier spy service. (Hayden according to Feinstein)

(Carl Levin is in the Senate from the part of Michigan, and Diane Feinstein is from California. Both are Democrats)

(Buffalo News)

Gripa aviara

Partirai, la nave, partirai ...
Se pare ca e groasa.

Cheers, Daily Kos...

Daily Kos, State of the Nation
It started on May 26, 2002

Now, we can see what the Blogosphere is: a welcome revolution in journalism (Joe Wilson). And Yearly Kos (opens June 8) will be "the underground political event of 06", "the can of whupass".

Yearly Kos is the place to be if you care about progressive politics (Mark Warner).

Daily Kos, State of the Nation, Happy Birthday!

Bush, Blair: Misstesps in Iraq

They are a duo even in descent
Bush said the "biggest mistake" for the United States was the Abu Ghraib prison scandal, in which guards photographed themselves sexually tormenting Iraqi prisoners, spawning revulsion worldwide. "We've been paying for that for a long period of time."

Blair said he and Bush should have recognized that the fall of president Saddam Hussein would not "be the rise of a democratic Iraq, that it was going to be a more difficult process" because "you're talking about literally building the institutions of a state from scratch."

While Bush increasingly has begun to acknowledge missteps in handling the war, his comments last night -- together with Blair's -- represent his most explicit acknowledgment that the administration underestimated the difficulty of the central project of his presidency.

Blair cited the process of "de-Baathification" that immediately followed the overthrow of the old government. Many analysts say that decision to remove all of Hussein's loyalists fueled the insurgency because it threw tens of thousands of Iraqis out of work and left an administrative vacuum, and Blair agreed that it should have been done "in a more differentiated way."

Well, and what's next? I'd like to quote here Thomas L. Friedman, "As long as I see Iraqis ready to take a stand for their country, I think we have to stand with them." It means Standing By Stand-Up Iraqis

(Washington Post, New York Times)

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Ingeniosul bine temperat

MHS, Ingeniosul bine temperat Acasa ma astepta un colet, l-am desfacut, era Dictionarul Onomastic al lui Mircea Horia Simionescu. Pe pagina de garda mi-a facut onoarea de a imi scrie o dedicatie. Aici, departe de tara, duc dorul cartilor in romaneste. Am cateva doar, un prieten bun mi-a trimis Craii lui Mateiu si Supravietuirile lui Cosasu. Si o carte pe care aici nu aveam cum sa o gasesc oricat as fi cautat-o, Arta icoanei, O teologie a frumusetii, a lui Evdokimov.

Cand am plecat din Bucuresti, acum cativa ani, am luat cu mine o carte pe care tocmai o cumparasem cu cateva zile inainte, Intoarcerea de Petre Popescu, fusese scriitorul generatiei mele, ma inflacarasem odata cu el in anii de deschidere din deceniul al saptelea, si ani de zile ma gandisem dupa aceea la destinul lui, si la al atator altora, care plecasera. Acum aveam raspunsul, Intoarcerea, pe care o citeam in aeroprot, asteptand sa iau avionul care avea sa ma duca departe, pe drumul pe care el plecase de mult.

Impatimit dupa Milorad Pavici, am cumparat Dictionarul khazar, bine inteles ca aici l-am gasit in engleza. Vai, cata deosebire fata de limba romana, mult mai potrivita sa exprime subtilitatile sarbesti ale lui Pavici!

Verisoara mea, Gabriela Banu, mi-a trimis traduceri facute de ea din Garcia Lorca si Coelho.

In rotunda
rascruce,
sase fecioare danseaza.
Trei de carne,
trei de-argint.
Visele de ieri le cauta,
dar le tine-imbratisate
Polifemul cel de aur.
Chitara!

Sa ma intorc insa la Dictionarul Onomastic, primit azi. E o sarbatoare, la orice pagina l-ai deschide. Si, ca si Dictionarul khazar al lui Pavici, e o carte de nisip. Se deschide mereu la alta pagina. Si te fura imediat, te afunzi, si drum de intoarcere nu mai exista.

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