Fado is the musical genre that people most associate with Portugal and especially Lisbon. However, let me tell you, it doesn´t mean everyone here listens to Fado.
When I was young, I didn’t find Fado to be the most appealing music to listen to. I remember to have this image of an old lady, Amália Rodrigues, all dressed in black, with a shawl and crying through melodies. Not easy for a 16 year’s old kid, right?
Through the years, I believe I learned to respect Fado and to understand its value. It is amazing to travel around the world and listen to Fado and feel myself back to my hometown. It is something special and unique, I must admit.
Nowadays I still don’t listen to the most classical fadistas (fado singers) but I’ve discovered a lot of new projects that mix Fado with contemporary music. Rita Vian is one of those artists and I’m addicted to her songs: not only the melodies but her lyrics are something truly peculiar. Hope you like it!
Dissecting a Tokarczuk’s novel
Since the start of the year, I read 3 books: it doesn´t mean I’m reading less than previous years, I just do it slowly and experience the days (and its events) with the authors and their stories and characters.
I first discovered Olga Tokarczuk in ‘Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead’, a novel that portrays a polish village through its peculiar inhabitants, more precisely an old lady that dedicates herself to translating William Blake’s poetry and finding conspiracy theories in a series of deaths. A must as you may imagine!
Tokarczuk’s way of writing is rare and remarkable. For some reason she won the Nobel Prize of Literature! Recently I read ‘Flights’ and, I must say, this novel just confirmed how special Tokarczuk is.
Particularly in times like these, when, due to a pandemic, travel is impossible, to read a book based on the idea of mobility is refreshing and, in this particular case, surprising.
Furthermore, some coincidences made me feel like Tokarczuk was interpreting the reality and explaining it to me: there was this particular series of episodes dedicated to anatomy and dissection that, wondrously, I had to personally follow and put into action… in the book!
Let me explain: due to a printing error, my copy of the novel had some pages in the wrong order lol first I didn´t understood but then it were so many pages that I couldn´t follow the story and contacted the publishers who confirmed the error in this particular edition.
The publishers promised me a new book sent by post (which, by the way, hasn’t arrived yet!) but, because I was really into the novel, I decided to keep reading the book and try to reorder it.
Basically, at the same time I was reading some Tokarczuk paragraphs about dissected body parts to be conserved in formalin, I was cutting pages and reordering the body of the book, following some logic based on my reading instincts.
I have to admit, the book itself is in a complete mess (starting with the cover that you can see in my photo above), yet these coincidences gave it all an intriguing context that made me adore the novel even more.
After this proof of serendipity, and before you leave me to buy online Tokarczuk’s ‘Flights’, allow me a final recommendation: ‘It’s a Sin’ was one the best series I discovered recently: it’s about the LGBT community and the first AIDS’ reported cases, the fear and the deaths it caused.
This series is very emotional and, even in some episodes, kind of tough to deal and follow, but it’s a great testimony of the boost of a disease that, just like nowadays’ pandemic, took the society upside down and was a huge challenge to the science community.
Regarding my last cultural discoveries, let me know your opinions and recommendations in the comments down below.
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