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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