Food for Thought #9

Hélène Vogelsinger is one of those artists, I must admit, I don’t know I discovered. But I’m truly grateful to the algorithm that took me to her music and unique ambiance.

As you may hear, her music is sidereal and ethereal, it has a special aura that makes me connect with the nature and the universe. And it has been a great help, since basically the start of the new year, as in Portugal we are in lockdown. 

Due to this pandemic, all the shops (except supermarkets and pharmacies), are closed in Lisbon. And, as you know me, I’m an avid reader. So, one of these days, I bought for the first time a book through one of those delivery platforms. 

It worked very well and I probably will repeat it, since the lockdown has come to stay. In your country, do you also have platforms to deliver books? Some friends told me it was the time to finally invest in an ereader but no… about books, I still love the traditional way ahah

So, 2021 started with me reading a classic, ‘Lost Illusions’, from the french author Honoré de Balzac. This novel is huge, more than 700 pages but I’m having such a good time that I read 600 pages in the last 20 days!! 

‘Lost Illusions’ is set in the beginning of the 19th century and it takes place in the french province but also in Paris. It follows the ups and downs of a young poet named Lucien that goes from his village to the french capital and gets blind with the local artistic life. 

In fact, this drama reveals itself as a collection of illusions: in his attempt to be successful in the literary scene, Lucien is again and again a muppet in the hands of greedy publishers and journalists. 

As many of you may know, I used to be journalist and this novel was interesting to see how this profession evolved: it seems it started with people that was looking just for fame and power to, fortunately, a career that demands an intensive dedication in order to inform with facts, based in the truth, the events that occur in our society. 

Many of you are probably thinking “well, it is rarely like that PedroL!”, but fortunately there is a lot of great quality journalism and the internet came to reveal it. Nowadays, I have the chance to follow newspapers from all over the world and read interesting reports that feed my hunger to know more about other countries and cultures.

Another cultural recommendations I would like to share with you today are related to tv series. I had such a great time following ‘Pátria’ and ‘Normal People’.

For those who haven’t seen these series, what are you waiting for?? Both series are based in books and both made me want to discover its authors (Fernando Aramburu and Sally Rooney, respectively).

‘Pátria’ is set in San Sebastian, more precisely in a village called Soraluze, and tells the story of the families affected by the terrorism in the Basque country. I truly believe it is a noble chronicle to know more about those tragic years in this beautiful region (read about my trip to Vitoria Gasteiz here!).

It is never easy to talk about terrorism and the concerns it caused, but I strongly believe this series offers a lot of answers for those who grew up not understanding what was happening in the Basque country.

In fact, ’Pátria’ is a valuable document for everyone: those who have lived it and can now set free their thoughts in a serene and safe way; and those who just heard about it and want to know more about the conflict.

‘Normal People’ is another amazing series: it follows a couple that met in secondary school and, for a bunch of reasons, never turned their relation into something stable, proficuous I would say. 

‘Normal People’ is undoubtedly good, I had a lot of interest following these two main characters, so different and so in love, yet, simultaneously, so incongruent and so human. I really think this mix of moods is the ingredient that made me adore this series and I’m sure you’ll love it too. 

Regarding my last cultural discoveries, let me know your opinions and recommendations in the comments down below.

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8 responses to “Food for Thought #9

  1. Hi Pedro, we are in lockdown here in Canada too, and as you said music as being one tool for release the pressure and let our mind fly. Nice to meet you!

  2. Lovely music – such a surprising intersection of spiritual, with the candles, and electronic. I too having been reading a lot in these days of solitude and pandemic. Both physical books and audio books. I can’t do ebooks because I already spend some much time behind the screen, I need a break.

    • I know Ruth, this girl is truly surprising and magical 🙂 about ebooks, I have to share with you this secret: I never read one ahah if I have the chance to read a physical book I’ll do it without any doubt ahah audio books never tried but it must be interesting, maybe some day eheh have a lovely weekend, PedroL

  3. I was thinking about ebooks like you until I got my Kindle… 😀 I love reading at night but my husband couldn’t sleep with my lamp switched on… so he bought me an e-reader. It makes so easy to buy books (e-books are usually cheaper), to read until it fells out of my hands. Sometimes I order normal books (Amazon) because I miss the smell, the beutiful cover or to touch the paper, but most of the time I just read e-books. My son loves reading too and he couldn’t sleep without his e-reader. I was a teacher in Hungary (now we live in the UK) and my students loved e-books too. Maybe it’s related to our screen addicted life but in this case it’s a good thing as reading is a popular thing again (when I was a kid it wasn’t).My latest favourite is Love virtually by Daniel Glattauer. My all time favourite classic is Crime and punishment by Dostoevsky.

    • so cool to read your experience wiith ebooks Eszter 🙂

      I have to be honest, I think I am affraid of loosing this dedication to books because it kind of happened to me with the music: I used to buy a lot of albuns and then, when I started to have the chance to download it for free, it became so banal that, after some time, I realize I didn´t value the music nor the artists…

      I believe about literature it might be different, but I still have so much pleasure with a book, that if I have the chance I keep buying books eheh but I know (and feel) how tempting is to have access to so many books in a single click…

      I really like Dostoievski and some other russian authors, specially Gogol eheh and my favorite book of all the times is ‘The Magic Mountain’, by Thomas Mann, have you read it?? he’s such a great author!!!

      have a wonderful week,
      see you soon,
      PedroL

  4. No… I should have read it at the Uni, but I didn’t… 🙂 When I was younger I loved classics. Nowadays I only read contemporary novels.
    Oh, and a recommendation on the TV side: After life (Netflix). It’s a hilarious British drama/comedy. At the end I was crying like a baby. Truly amazing!

    • ahah I like your uni 🙂 but trust me, the Magic Mountain is wonderful 🙂 so cool, will check that series you recommended, feel free to let me know more interesting stuff 🙂 and thank you so much for your words 🙂 have a great week 🙂 PedroL

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