Tres Tristes LibrosSunday, August 19, 2012
Page Turner, aka Barbara Hycroft (the young lady in red) is a friend of mine in facebook (note no caps).Today she posted the picture of the woman on the left side of the triptych seen here. When I clicked on the picture it took me to one Robertino Fonseca (a facebook friend of Page Turner) who on his facebook page lists himself as writer/director and lives in Los Angeles. He attributes the photograph to Tres Tristes Libros.
Tres Tristes Libros was the first successful published novel by Cuban born Guillermo Cabrera Infante. It is a novel of three young men’s lives in 1958 Havana nightlife. The novel was deemed critical of Castro’s regime (even though Cabrera had been a firm apologist of the revolution). Cabrera left Cuba. He died in 2005.
I did not think that Guillermo Cabrera Infante had much to do with the arresting picture of the nude woman and her bowl so I searched further and found a “literary” facebook page by that name (all in Spanish). Its mission is:
Bienvenidos a Tres Tristes Libros, espacio de convivencia literaria. Tres Tristes Libros es un sitio cultural cuyo único objetivo es el fomento de la lectura en los países de habla castellana. Nos interesa que los NO LECTORES empiecen a leer y que los LECTORES de hoy sean un instrumento importante en la conversión del no lector a la lectura. No somos parte de ninguna casa editorial ni nos dedicamos a la distribución o venta de libros. Este sitio esta en construcción y GRACIAS POR SU APOYO.
And my translation:
Tres Tristes Libros, a space for literary sharing. Tres Tristes Libros is a site that promotes reading in Spanish-speaking countries. We are interested that those who do not read begin to do so and that today’s readers become important promoters in converting non readers to reader. We are independent of any publishing house nor do we distribute or sell books. This site is under construction, thank you for your support.
Like other literary sites, those who participate in Tres Tristes Libros post favourite literary quotes which they illustrate with images that are either photographic or are illustrations. The site’s photos section contains 323 photographs which are mostly high quality sensual, erotic or otherwise arresting images of mostly women. I am happy to report that most of these photographs and illustrations have some sort of attribution and identification. There are many Modiglianis and paintings and photographs of nude women reading. I did not find the photograph of the woman in the bowl.
One picture drew me. It was a photograph of Kristen Stewart with no attribution. I was immediately drawn to a quote by Argentine writer Julio Cortázar that seems to have no connection to Stewart’s photograph.
Página asesina de Julio Cortázar
En un pueblo de Escocia venden libros con una página en blanco perdida en algún lugar del volumen. Si un lector desemboca en esa página al dar las tres de la tarde, muere.
The Killing Page of Julio Cortázar (my translation)
In a Scottish town they sell books that have a blank page randomly lost somewhere inside. If a reader lands at that page at precisely three in the afternoon he dies.
That made me very curious so I searched and found this in the Julio Cortázar web page:
Instrucciones-ejemplos sobre la forma de tener miedo
En un pueblo de Escocia venden libros con una página en blanco perdida en algún lugar del volumen.
Si un lector desemboca en esa página al dar las tres de la tarde, muere.
En la plaza del Quirinal, en Roma, hay un punto que conocían los iniciados hasta el siglo XIX, y
desde el cual, con luna llena, se ven moverse lentamente las estatuas de los Dióscuros que luchan con sus caballos encabritados
En Amalfí, al terminar la zona costanera, hay un malecón que entra en el mar y la noche. Se oye ladrar a un perro más allá de la última farola.
Un señor está extendiendo pasta dentrífica en el cepillo. De pronto ve, acostada de espaldas, una diminuta imagen de mujer, de coral o quizá de miga de pan pintada.
Al abrir el ropero para sacar una camisa, cae un viejo almanaque que se deshace, se deshoja, cubre la ropa blanca con miles de sucias mariposas de papel.
Se sabe de un viajante de comercio a quien le empezó a doler la muñeca izquierda, justamente debajo del reloj de pulsera. Al arrancarse el reloj, saltó la sangre: la herida mostraba la huella de unos dientes muy finos.
El médico termina de examinarnos y nos tranquiliza. Su voz grave y cordial precede los medicamentos cuya receta escribe ahora, sentado ante su mesa. De cuando en cuando alza la cabeza y sonríe, alentándonos. No es de cuidado, en una semana estaremos bien. Nos arrellanamos en nuestro sillón, felices, y miramos distraídamente en torno. De pronto, en la penumbra debajo de la mesa vemos las piernas del médico. Se ha subido los pantalones hasta los muslos, y tiene medias de mujer.
Instructions-examples on how to be afraid.
In the Quirinal Place in Rome, there is a point known by the initiated until the 19th century and from where during a full moon one can see the slow movement of the statues of the Diosuri (also known as Castor and Pollux) who are fighting with their bucking horses.
In Amalfi on the end of the coast zone, there is a seaside boulevard that fingers out into the sea and night. You can hear a dog bark somewhere beyond the last street lamp.
A man is squeezing toothpaste on his brush. Suddenly he sees a reclining and very small figure of a woman made of coral or perhaps the white of the bread painted.
Upon opening an armoire to take out a shirt, an old calendar falls, it breaks apart, the pages unbind and the clothes become covered by dirty paper butterflies.
It is known that a traveling salesman suddenly had a pain in his left wrist, just below his wrist watch. When he tore out the watch, blood spurted from a wound that had signs of the bite of very thin teeth.
The doctor has finished examining us and he comforts us. He has a serious but cordial voice tells us of the needed medicines and he writes our prescription, sitting behind his desk. Every once in a while he lifts his head and smiles. We feel assured. Not to worry in a week we will be okay. We sink into our chair and we feel happy. We look around in distraction. Suddenly under the dark of the desk we see our doctor’s legs. He has lifted his pants up to his thighs and he has women’s stockings.
I have a small contribution here to Julio Cortázar's penchant to scare us with brief statements. He was a friend of my father's. In the late 40s Cortázar would visit my father. They would chat in the warm kitchen (the only warm room in our frigid Buenos Aires home). One day I slid down the banister. I was perhaps 8. Cortázar beckoned to me and whispered in my ear, "One of these days, without warning that banister is going to change into a Gillette blade."
Las Balas del Diablo
Chips and Roast Beef
La Noche Boca Arriba