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Saturday, 24 June 2017

The Bishop, the Gypsy and the Dancing Bear

“Reminiscing over his breakfast of grapefruit, the bishop found it almost impossible to believe that he remembered such a strange phenomenon as a gypsy boy and a dancing bear.  […]Surely, that was not in his lifetime?

It was, perhaps, in another century, was it not? the poor old bishop worried.  Was it in a dream that the boy bear-trainer had leaned toward him and whispered: His name is Veshengo.  It means man of the forest.  He is the last of the wild bears.”

Friday, 16 June 2017

Magic Realism Writers from Around the Word...I'm in there!!!

Carlos Acosta - Cuba
Chingiz Aitmatov - Russian Kyrgyzstani
Michal Ajvaz  - Czech 
Rabih Alameddine - Lebananese 
Kathleen Alcala - Mexican American (Jewish)
Sherman Alexie - First Nation American
Dean Francis Alfar - Filipino
Edwar Al-Kharrat - Egyptian
Ibrahim al-Koni - Libyan
Isabel Allende - Chilean
Jorge Amado - Brazilian
Rudolfo Anayo - Chicano American
Mario De Andrade - Brazilian
Marie Arana - Peruvian
Reinaldo Arenas - Cuban
Miguel Angel Asturias - Guatemalan
Bernardo Atxaga - Spanish Basque
Marcel Ayme - French
Fadi Azzam - Syrian
Chitra Banejee Divakaruni - Indian American
Michel Basilieres - Canadian
Bertice Berry - African American
Ingrid Betancourt - French Argentinian
Lauren Beukes - South African
Maxim Biller - German (born in Czech Republic)
Adam Bodor  - Transylvanian Hungarian
Jorge Luis Borges - Argentinian
Hafid Bouazza - Moroccan Dutch
Andre Brink - South African
Italo Calvino - Italian
Cuca Canals  - Spanish
James Canon - Columbian
Alejo Carpentier - Cuban
Mircea Cartarescu - Rumanian
Adolfo Bioy Casares - Argentinian
Carlos Castaneda - Peruvian-born American
Rosario Castellanos - Mexican
Ana Castillo - Mexican-American Chicano
Joao Cerqueira - Portuguese
Patrik Chamoiseau - French Martinique
Pia Chaudhury - Indian British
Yi Chung-jun - South Korean
Paul Coelho - Brazilian
Julio Cortazar - Argentinian
Mia Couto - Mozambiquan
Marie Darrieussecq - French
Junot Diaz - Dominican
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni - Indian American
Jose Donoso - Chilean
Kerstin Ekman - Swedish
Mikhail Elizarov  - Russian
Louise Erdrich - Native American
Mario Amparo Escandon - Mexican American
Laura Esquivel - Mexican
Heinz Insu Fenkl - Korean American
Carlos Fuentes - Mexican 
Romulo Gallegos - Venezuala
Cristina Garcia - Cuban
Elena Garro - Mexican
Aleksandar Gatalica - Serbian
Zulfikar Ghose - Pakistani American
Gogol - Russian
Hiromi Goto - Japanese Canadian
Gunter Grass - German
Jiri Grusa - Czech
Xiaolu Guo - Chinese British
Suentra Gupta - Indian
Abdulrazak Gurnah - Tanzanian
Katherina Hagena - German
Knut Hamsun - Norwegian
Thomas Olde Heuvelt - Dutch
Daniela Hodrova - Czech
Peter Hoeg - Danish
Tess Uriza Holthe - Filipino American
Nalo Hopkinson  - Jamaican Canadian
Witi Ihimaera - New Zealand (Maori)
G Cabrera Infante - Cuban
Anosh Irani - Indian 
Hamid Ismailov - Uzbek
Mette Jakobsen - Danish
Pai Ilmari Jaaskelainen - Finish
Tahar Ben Jelloun - Moroccan
Cynthia Kadohata - Japanese American
Franz Kafka - Czech 
Jonas Karlsson - Swedish
Raj Kamal Jha - Indian
Hiromi Kawakami - Japanese
Daniel Kehlmann - German and Austrian
Porochist Khakpour - Iranian American
Daniil Kharms - Russian
Thomas King - American Canadian 
Laszlo Krasnahorkai - Hungarian
Guus Kuijer - Dutch
Milan Kundera - Czech
Eka Kurniawan - Indonesian
Antoine Laurain  - French
Halldor Laxness - Icelandic
Peter Tieryas Liu - Asian American
Jose Lezama Lima - Cuban
Mario Vargas Llosa - Peruvian
Rani Manicka - Malaysian
Gabriel Garcia Marquez - Columbian
Carole Martinez - French
Tomas Eloy Martinez - Argentinian
Rohinton Mistry - Indian-born Canadian
Mayra Montero - Cuban
Shani Mootoo - born in Dublin, raised in Trinidad, lives in Canada 
Pat Mora - Mexican American
Harry Mulisch - Dutch
Haruki Murakami - Japanese
Nabokov - Russian
Gina Barkhordar Nahai - Jewish Iranian
Bahiyyih Nakhjavani - Born Iranian,  grew up in Uganda and now lives in France
Andres Neuman - Spanish Argentinian
Tea Obreht - Bosniak Serbian
Silvina Ocampo - Argentinian
Kenzaburo Oe - Japanese
Nnedi Okorafor - Nigerian American
Ben Okri - Nigerian
Helen Oyeyemi - Nigerian British
Vikram Paralkar - Indian American
Nii Ayikwei Parkes - Ghanaian
Shahrnush Parsipur - Iranian
Milorad Pavic - Serbian
Victor Pelevin - Russian
Miroslav Penkov - Bulgarian
Ludmilla Petrusevskaya - Russian
Stepan Pisakhov - Russian
Salvador Plascencia - Mexican American
Manuel Puig - Argentinian
Christopher Ransmayr - Austrian
Dolores Redondo - Spanish Basque
Darcy Ribeiro - Brazilian
Philomena van Rijswijk - Australia
Manuel Rivas - Spanish
Carolina De Robertis - Uraguayan - American
Eden Robinson  - First Nation Canadian
Arundhati Roy - Indian
Juan Rulfo - Mexico
Salman Rushdie - British Indian
Preeta Samarasan - Malaysian
Jose Saramago  - Portuguese
Patricia Schonstein - South African
Ekaterina Sedia - Russian
Erick Setiawan - Indonesian
Elif Shafak - Turkish
Ryhaan Shah - Indo-Guyanese
Meir Shalev - Israeli
Anton Shammas - Palestinian
Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi - Indian
Leslie Marmon Silko - First Nation American
Sjon - Icelandic
Sasha Sokolov - Russian
Manil Suri - Indian American
Noemi Szecsi - Hungarian
Antonio Tabucchi - Italian
Paco Ignacio Taibo - Mexican
Ngugi Na Thiongo - Kenyan
Tim Tingle - First Nation American
Tatyana Tolstaya - Russian
Amos Tutuola - Nigerian
Luis Alberto Urrea - Mexican American
Luis Valenzuela - Argentinian
Carl Johan Vallgren - Swedish
Miklos Vamos - Hungarian
Vassilis Vassilikos - Greek
Alfredi Vea - Mexican Yaqui Filipino American
Carlos Velasquez - Mexican
Juan Pablo Villalobos - Mexican
Eugene Vodolazkin  - Russian
Katern Tei Yamashita - Japanese American
Mo Yan - Chinese
Tiphanie Yanique - Virgin Islander
Yorgi Yatromanolakis - Greek 
Banana Yoshimoto - Japanese
Serhiy Zhadan - Ukrainian
Yousef Ziedan - Egyptian

Tomorrow I will bring you a video about Russian magic realism.The Link to the Magic Realism blog

Monday, 6 March 2017

The universe found me this...

The World as Clockface is an impressive Australian
historical fantasy, but so far it has remained ignored.
Maybe that’s because Van Rijswijk’s style owes more to
Garcia Marquez and Borges than to English-speaking
writers. Maybe it’s because her story is ethereal, quirky
and complex. Maybe it’s because Philomena van Rijswijk
doesn’t realise she has to press the flesh at conventions
to become well known. If you find this handsome
Penguin Australia paperback in secondhand stores, buy

Favourite novels read for the first time in 2005
1 Life by Gwyneth Jones
(2004; Aqueduct Press; 370 pp.)
2 The Plot Against America by Philip Roth
(2004; Jonathan Cape; 301 pp.)...
3 Resurrection by Leo Tolstoy
(1901; Penguin; 568 pp.)
4 Winter on the Plain of Ghosts: A Novel of Mohenjo-
Daro by Eileen Kernaghan
(2004; Flying Monkey; 254 pp.)
5 The World as a Clockface
by Philomena van Rijswijk
(2001; Penguin; 406 pp.)
6 Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
(2005; Faber & Faber; 263 pp.)
7 Flicker by Theodore Roszak
(1991; No Exit; 688 pp.)
8 Replay by Ken Grimwood
(1986; Grafton; 366 pp.)
9 The Limits of Enchantment by Graham Joyce
(2005; Gollancz; 250 pp.)
10 Longleg by Glenda Adams
(1990; Angus & Robertson; 339 pp.)

Friday, 6 January 2017

Rest here, Heart

This poem is my Tennyson at daybreak and my St. John of the Cross at nightfall...(- Gerardt Gedartus )

Rest here, Heart, in these cupped hands
that make a cradle filled with air-
only air- sweet and gentle.
O! rest here, my Heart!
Gather yourself up and sleep here,
in the bowl made by these
careful hands-
your sister and your brother,
both worn and wise.
Rest here! O, Heart! sleep a little while-
sleep just a while-
for a month or a day,
while the turmoil carries on
without you.
Feel the warmth and the safety,
where you sleep, cradled,
swaddled in safe dreams,
wrapped in chaste murmurings,
cushioned in a perfect bower of solitude.
O! sleep away the bruises, dear Heart!
let the tears slide away in your sleep;
let love's yearnings gently pulse
like a muffled clock in the night-
a quiet beat, a kind rhythm
draining away passion's purple wounds
and stains.
O! Heart, rest here,
in these two careful hands-
your brother and your sister,
both worn and wise.

(A photo taken on Refugee Day when I worked in a nursing home at Kingston, Tasmania.  Unfortunately, I don't remember the name of the Ethiopian boy who came to help us celebrate.  The other hands are mine.  We painted everybody's nails rainbow-coloured. - Philomena van Rijswijk)


Saturday, 31 December 2016

Tiny Buddha

Acrylics on canvas, P van Rijswijk
Today I let the music in, and remembered
how it softens the cicada-husk of you,
the way sleep does;
how it quiets the circling animal within
the way rutting does;
how music makes the borders around things clear
as though, suddenly, the clumsy hand that colours your life in
learns to stay inside the lines.
Music nectars your half-lit bedroom
until it seems full of an amber chicle.
I recall the first mad months after he left-
my baby daughter would ever so carefully
make up my bed, while I lathered and slathered in lavender.
She would plump hand-stitched pillows and arrange
a sprig of wild fuchsia or a wattle switch, fuzzed with wool,
and when she had put me dumbly to bed,
she would twitch the frog-music on.
My sister had sent it from Rum Jungle,
and to me, it was the tropics,
it was that dry-cleaner steaminess,
and it was those big glycerine drops that slide
off the greasy leaves of rubber trees.
The music was the sound of the little myopic frogs,
like tender jade buddhas, whistling in the dark;
it was the heady come-hither stink of mosquito coils,
and the white fluff left behind in your bed by geckos
that curled up like sardine-can lids from the timber ribs
of a donga built like an umbrella.
Every night, I fell asleep to the mystic drugging of the frogs,
until my daughters could stand the zombie droning no longer.
In that soporific sound, there were the leafy depths of the big wet-
a cyclone-sodden benignity;
the spiraling of a bamboo flute touched with spit;
the dark echoings of a thousand amphibians trapped in the gloom.
Now, released at last from that coma of grief,
I fall asleep to the worry-bead shuffling of the hot-water-heater
and the distant tinkling of tiny temperate frogs,
brown and sober in the sedges.
Now, the night is no longer a subterranean narcolepsy
that fills me with terror.
I no longer wake with dream-tears
on my sleep-branded cheek.
A scrubbed, fresh-painted light washes my room
with godliness.
These days, I sometimes sleep alone
in an empty house
and oh!
how it rings with the lusty singing of dignity.

Suns and Moons

Acrylics on canvas, P van Rijswijk