Miguel de Cervantes led a busy life. He lived in Spain and
Italy, moving frequently, and was kept captive in Algiers during 5 years. He
also fought in several battles, and in the Battle
of Lepanto he lost the use of his left arm and
was nicknamed "The Cripple of Lepanto". Cervantes also wrote during most of his adult
life, and his greatest work is El Quixote, the adventure novel about the crazy
Spanish knight. However, Cervantes also
wrote many other stories, poems and even plays.
Cervantes married Catalina de Salazar y
Palacios in 1584, and the couple remained married until Cervantes's death.
Though they never had any children, Cervantes had an affair with actress Ana
Franca de Rojas, with whom he had a daughter, Isabel de Saavedra in 1584.
Lope was a poet, a sailor on the
Spanish Armada (using poems to a faithless lover to clean his gun) and an
Inquisitor; he had long-lasting affairs with two actresses, married twice and
became a father at least six times. He was secretary to two dukes, killed a
man, served a prison sentence, lived in the country and in the town, was an
avid gardener and was exiled from Madrid for fouling his ex-lover's name. He
became a priest, lived bigamously with two women in two homes, was widowed and
brought up four children by different mothers on his own. And he wrote plays -
as many, it is believed, as 800. He showed no interest in publishing them until
he had to in order to stop a stream of corrupt versions springing up, by which
time he had written 132. They played for a week and were dumped, and his
fanatical audience were kept engaged for 60 years.
How many books are just taking space in your library? Not only you don’t read them but you have no intention of reading them at all. Even worse, among those, how many of them are great books? Holding them prisioner is a true crime against humanity.
It's time to set them free. Here are some book exchange places in the neighborhoods of Chueca, Chamberí, Barrio de las Letras and Lavapies, where you can Leave a book, Take a book:
La Ingobernable: Calle Gobernador, 39
Bar Generación Beat: Calle Grafal, 2 Biblioteca Instituto Cervantes: Calle Barquillo, 6
Tuuuuulibrería: Calle Covarrubias, 38
Café Matilda: Calle Almadén, 15
Esta es una plaza: Calle Doctor Fourquet, 24
Hobby Languages: Calle de las Huertas, 18, 3D (Martes de 11:30 a 13 y de 19:00 a 20:30)
Both summers I’ve been in EDD (Enfants de Dieu, an organization which helps Street Kids in Rwanda) I saw this common pattern of how kids were obsessed about going to the US. It’s a great goal, but it’s a bit limiting. The world is changing, Africa is changing, and there are many countries where there are wonderful things happening. Many of them are much closer home, that’s why it is very important to widen our scope and our minds.
We always want to learn more, but we need to start with ourselves, with our community, our city and our country. When you know yourself better, when you are proud of yourself and the people you care about. You are prepared to engage with the rest of the world in a much more meaningful way and start building relationships, not in unfairly, but equal terms.
We never see all the engineers, doctors or many of the common hardworking people when it comes to portray Africa, specially sub-saharan Africa in the media.
The truth is that today Africa is a place of hope. It is the youngest continent, the one which is growing, and will grow the most in the near future and the one were probably there will be the greatest amount of opportunities.
Besides there have been great African leaders not only in sports (Abebe Bikila, first Olympic medal running a marathon with no shoes), but also in astronomy (Thede Medupe, an astrophysicist who created Astronomy Africa), Medicine (Akilu Lemma, discovered how to prevent bilharzia, after malaria one of the most dangerous diseases in tropical countries) environment (Wangari Maathai, who protected millions of acres of forest, inspired rural women to plant trees and reversed a catastrophic trend of deforestation) and politics (Nelson Mandela, took a giant step in combating racism and empowered millions of South Africans of all races to vote in the first fully democratic elections in South Africa in 1994) which people all around the world still look up to.
As I started sharing these facts with with the kids in my last visit to Rwanda. They taught me a lot through their questions and their reactions to the different topics I presented to them. I wanted to find out more, they pushed me to learn more.
Today it’s not me presenting country cards to them, but them to me. Can't wait to learn more things about Rwanda, Africa and Les Enfants de Dieu.
10. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - F. Scott Fitzgerald
9. The Beauty and the Beast - Jean Marie Leprince
8. The Canterville Ghost - Oscar Wilde
7. Four Weddings and a Funeral - Richard Curtis
6. The Jungle Book - Rudyard Kipling
5. Moby Dick - Herman Melville
4. Emma - Jane Austen
3. The Little Prince - Antoine Saint Exupery
2. Lost World - Conan Doyle
1. Romeo and Juliet - William Shakespeare
It was the place for the General Hospital of Madrid. It was opened to the public in 1992. It’s named after the Queen Sofía of Spain.
3. Un Mundo. Ángeles Santos, 1929.
2. Figura en una ventana. Salvador Dalí, 1925.
1. El Guernica. Pablo Picasso, 1939.
It was Isabel’s de Braganza, second wife of Ferdinand VII, took the initiative of getting together all the works of art collected by the Spanish monarchs and create a museum. Isabel died at only 21 years of age after a difficult pregnancy.
The museum was destroyed by the invading French troops of Napoleon, and it’s inauguration was postponed until 1819.
Pablo Picasso was named director of the museum in 1936, he never worked there, but accepted the designation.
The Guernica was shown for the first time in Spain in 1982 in Casón del Buen Retiro which belongs to Prado Museum.
There is a copy of the famous Leonardo da Vinci’s Gioconda.
3. El Jardín de las Delicias (The Garden of Earthly delights). El Bosco, 1500
2. Los fusilamientos del 3 de Mayo. Goya, 1814
1. Las Meninas (Ladies-in-waiting). Velázquez, 1656
The transfer of 700 works of art of Baron Thyssen from his mansión in Lugano was the greatest move of artistic works in Europe since the Second World War. Carmen Cervera married Baron Thyssen in 1985. Thyssen Museum officially opened in 1992, the Spanish government bought most of the collection in 1993.
3. Hotel Room. Edward Hopper, 1931.
2. Ostermorgen (Easter Morning). Caspar David Fiedrich, 1830.
1. Sueño causado por el vuelo de una abeja alrededor de una granada un segundo antes de despertar (Dream caused by the flight of a bee around a pomegranate a second before awakening). Dalí, 1944.