This photo was taken as the rain clouds began to build. Just as the sun was to set, it shone perfectly through the cloud, creating the “keyhole to heaven”. The Angel reflection around the outside of the cloud/light formation made this photo very unique.
Obit of the Day: Gabriel García Márquez, Literary Pioneer, Dies At His Home in Mexico At Age 87
Gabriel García Márquez, the Colombian novelist whose “One Hundred Years of Solitude” established him as a giant of 20th-century literature, died on Thursday at his home in Mexico City. He was 87.
His death was confirmed by Cristobal Pera, his former editor at Random House.
Mr. García Márquez, who received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982, wrote fiction rooted in a mythical Latin American landscape of his own creation, but his appeal was universal. His books were translated into dozens of languages. He was among a select roster of canonical writers — Dickens, Tolstoy and Hemingway among them — who were embraced both by critics and by a mass audience.
“Each new work of his is received by expectant critics and readers as an event of world importance,” the Swedish Academy of Letters said in awarding him the Nobel.
Mr. García Márquez was considered the supreme exponent, if not the creator, of the literary genre known as magic realism, in which the miraculous and the real converge. In his novels and stories, storms rage for years, flowers drift from the skies, tyrants survive for centuries, priests levitate, and corpses fail to decompose. And, more plausibly, lovers rekindle their passion after a half century apart.
Magic realism, he said, sprang from Latin America’s history of vicious dictators and romantic revolutionaries, of long years of hunger, illness and violence. In accepting his Nobel, Mr. García Márquez said: “Poets and beggars, musicians and prophets, warriors and scoundrels, all creatures of that unbridled reality, we have had to ask but little of imagination. For our crucial problem has been a lack of conventional means to render our lives believable.”
“One Hundred Years of Solitude” would sell more than 20 million copies. The Chilean poet Pablo Neruda called it “the greatest revelation in the Spanish language since ‘Don Quixote.’ ” The novelist William Kennedy hailed it as “the first piece of literature since the Book of Genesis that should be required reading for the entire human race.”
Mr. García Márquez made no claim to have invented magic realism; he pointed out that elements of it had appeared before in Latin American literature. But no one before him had used the style with such artistry, exuberance and power. Magic realism would soon inspire writers on both sides of the Atlantic, most notably Isabel Allende in Chile and Salman Rushdie in Britain.
Suffering from lymphatic cancer, which was diagnosed in 1999, Mr. García Márquez devoted most of his subsequent writing to his memoirs. One exception was the novel “Memories of My Melancholy Whores,” about the love affair between a 90-year-old man and a 14-year-old prostitute, published in 2004.
In July 2012, his brother, Jaime, was quoted as saying that Mr. García Márquez had senile dementia and had stopped writing. But Jaime Abello, director of the Gabriel García Márquez New Journalism Foundation in Cartagena, said that the condition had not been clinically diagnosed.
Mr. Pera, the author’s editor at Random House Mondadori, said at the time that Mr. García Márquez had been working on a novel, “We’ll See Each Other in August,” but that no publication date had been scheduled. The author seemed disinclined to have it published, Mr. Pera said: “He told me, ‘This far along I don’t need to publish more.’ ”
Besides his wife, Mercedes, he is survived by two sons, Rodrigo and Gonzalo.
fol. 070r: Advice on Respectable Careers for Young Men, Contrasted With Examples of Wasted Lives
Aztec Manuscript Created under Colonial (Spanish) Supervision (1541)
What you are looking at is a section of the Codex Mendoza that is meant to depict the “daily lives” of the Mexica/Aztec people. The majority of Aztec books were purposely destroyed by the Spanish, and “approved” re-creations or copies were created by indigenous artists and writers, under Spanish supervision and pending their approval of the contents.
Even those these copies are obviously adulterated, many academics seem content to extrapolate on manuscripts like these as a completely accurate portrayal of pre-colonial peoples in the Americas. The ideas pervasive in pop culture about the indigenous people of Central America is shaped by these works, meant to glorify the colonial objectives of conversion to Christianity, ‘civilizing’ native peoples, and presenting themselves and their actions in a positive or justified light.
The images above read very much like a “Goofus and Gallant" style etiquette manual from the 1950s, and you could wonder whether such a binary system of valuation and morality was inherent to Mexica/Aztec culture, or if it was imposed on traditional beliefs by the colonizers.
Description of the images and actions above:
(1) (upper) At the centre, a ‘Father who counsels his son to be virtuous and not roam about as a vagabond’. On either side, the honorable careers of messenger (left) and singer-musician (right).
(2) (upper middle) On the left, in the ‘house where they assemble for public works’, sits the majordomo, who asks the two seated youths to perform services with digging-sticks and baskets: they weep at the prospect.
Bad examples for the youths are depicted on the right: (clockwise) a vagabond with twisted feet and hands, a ball player who bounces a rubber ball from his hip, a ‘player of patolli, which is like dice’ (gambling perhaps with his clothes), and a thief.
(3) (lower half). On the left, five scenes of artisans teaching their trades to their sons: a carpenter shaping wood with an axe; a lapidary polishing a green stone with a cane tool; a codex-painter (tlacuilo) illustrating a document in red and black; a metalworker blowing to raise the temperature in his brazier for melting gold; and a featherworker preparing coloured feathers for application, his son helping with needle and thread.
On the right, by contrast, are two further bad examples: the large standing figure, with a glyph of two snakes’ heads above his head, is marked in Spanish ‘person with a vicious tongue, and a gossiper’. Below, ‘the vice of drunkenness leads to thieving’: a man and woman sit on either side of a looted coffer drinking pulque, its potency to be enhanced by the rope-like quapatli root on the right.
Further context and history of the manuscript:
A picture-book of European paper and format, with images painted by a native artist and annotated in Spanish, probably for Don Antonio de Mendoza, first Viceroy of New Spain (1535-50), and most likely in the early 1540s. Acquired no later than 1553 by the French cosmographer André Thevet (d. 1592).
The manuscript is arranged in three parts: I A pictorial history of the Aztec emperors and their conquests from 1325 to 1521 (fols. 1r-16v). Between Parts I and II is an intermediate section (fols. 17v-18r), not belonging clearly to either. II An illustrated catalogue of the annual tribute paid by the towns of the empire to the last emperor, Motecuhzoma Xocoyotzin, also known as Montezuma II (fols. 18v-55r). III An illustrated account of Aztec life-cycles, male and female, from birth to death (fols. 56v-71v).