". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Monday, December 12, 2016

Books & TV Because I Am Still Sick and Cannot Socialize - Or Do Anything Productive

     . . . . A holiday season in which I need to be in physical proximity and solidarity with my friends and others 'like us' far more than being online -- I'm too sick to inflict myself on anyone.

El V came down with something hours after returning from Cuba a week Sunday night.  Two day later, ay-up, I have it too. He is nearly well again. But the thing, whatever it is, just sits in my throat and head and does not move. Sore throat, headache, exhaustion.  I'm drinking gallons of water and herbal teas.  I sleep about 11 - 12 hours a night. It's not helping that the weather's very damp, and though it warmed today, the temperatures will be plunging again soon as the polar vortex bends its might force over us.

Most excellent crime writer, Ann Cleeves.

   . . . .But I have books.  Have recently begun reading mystery author Ann Cleeves's series.  She's the author of the Vera Stanhope mysteries set in the dramatic city of Newcastle and the scenic Northumberland district, which as the basis of one of many of our favorite television series, Vera, starring Brenda Blythen.  I've watched all the series of Vera, but never have read one of the novels. But today I was able to bring home one of them, The Moth Catcher, from which one of the last of the Vera series was adapted.  I'm so curious to learn how differently the familiar characters appear in print from on screen.

Lately she's branched into another series set in the Shetland Islands, which are equally dramatically located and equally suspenseful.  These too are now a television series, but I haven't been able to see any of them. I began reading the Shetland series this last weekend, and have two more of them now.

Naomi Franckom, the insurance investigator.  Review of The Last Panthers here.

     . . . . As for watching, there are the dvds of The Last Panthers (2016) season 1, Sky Atlantic.

Opening music: David Bowie.  A European television series, acquired by Sundance TV.  Glossy, stylish, sophisticated production values.  Multi-language (French, English and Serbian), multi-European cast.  Locations range from London and Marseille, to Hungary and Bulgaria, Serbia.

It's very good. And very smart.

Watching via dvds from Netflix.

 . . . Netflix offerings recently available for streaming, which I have not yet gotten to, are

Medici: Masters of Florence (2016) season 1, Italy's Rai television production.  Dubbed into English.  The scuttlebutt is that it's OK, but despite actors such as Dustin Hoffman, it nothing at all special.  One person who has seen it commented that actor, Richard Madden, playing Cosimo Medici (son of Giovanni, Hoffman's role) looked like the Red Wedding was more fun than this.

More information about Four Seasons in Havana here.
The one I'm really looking forward to is a Spanish production of Four Seasons of Havana, based on  Leonardo Padura four crime novels published over 1991-98, taking in Cuba’s Special Period, when it was plunged into penury by the break-up of the Soviet Union, and an end to Soviet aid.  I really liked the novels, though the titles in English were all colors, not seasons. I've probably been to all the locations in the series.
The first major TV series from Spain’s Tornasol Films, a force in Spanish/Latin American movie production, producer of Juan José Campanella’s Academy Award winning “The Secret in Their Eyes,” “Four Seasons in Havana” is also the first Caribbean Noir. 

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