Nothing Is Invisible

……….Cultural Kaleidoscopy………..

Archive for the ‘Language’ Category

* Book Review: Pulse by Julian Barnes

Posted by the editors on Sunday, 29 January 2012

Book Review: Pulse (2011)(collection of short stories) by Julian Barnes (Flaubert’s Parrot (1984, shortlisted for the Booker Prize), England, England (1998, shortlisted for the Booker Prize), Arthur & George (2005, shortlisted for the Booker Prize), The Sense of an Ending (2011, winner of the Booker Prize).  Pulse is a collection of wonderful short stories taking the pulse of couples, and in which couples are the pulse, the life blood.  From parents, to newly weds, to first dates, to esoteric historical, from sharp, well-to-do couples, to once-hippie aging couples, to ’til-death-do-us-part couples, to couples divorcing within a year of marriage, from hetero to homo, from love to sex, from complicity to antagonism, from no-strings to all things, Pulse throws its net wide, not that there aren’t an infinity of couples outside of the net, each being, by definition unique, and unfathomable, no matter what we know.  In fact, what is love?  And, to paraphrase and twist, a bit, Raymond Carver, what (don’t) we talk about when we (don’t) talk about love; pain, fun, sharing, loss, thrill, support, tenderness and grief. A must-read for anyone who is, was, or will be part of a couple, or ever wished, or regretted, that they were part of a couple.  And for those solitaries who just wonder about it all.  Marvelous, thoughtful, entertaining and more. (PR)

See our post on the collection of short stories by Raymond Carver, What We Talk About When We Talk About Love.

We recommend that you buy you books.  Have a wonderful personal library..  Here are links to

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Babel – Starring Brad Pitt & Cate Blanchett, directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu

Posted by the editors on Monday, 2 January 2012

Babel (2006)  Directed by Alejandro González Inarritu ( Amores perros (2000), 21 Grams (2003), Biutiful (2010)), starring Brad Pitt (12 Monkeys (1995), Burn After Reading (2008), Moneyball (2011)), Cate Blanchett (Elizabeth (1998), The Aviator (2004), The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)), Gael García BernalKoji Yakusho, in an outstanding ensemble cast, written by Guillermo Arriaga (Amores perros (2000), 21 Grams (2004), The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (2005), The Burning Plain (2009)), with Academy Award-winning music by Gustavo Santaolalla (Brokeback Mountain (2005), Into the Wild (2007), Biutiful (2010)).  This drama, in which a tragic event links multiple interwoven story lines, two in Morocco, one in Japan, and one in California and Mexico, is the poignant story of north, south, east, west, parents, children, love, loss, anguish, trust, hope and tragedy. As befits its title, Babel is about language, of course, and its diversity; among the languages present in the film are English, Spanish, Japanese, Berber and sign language, and the diverse cultural and environmental contexts are wonderfully present through richly visual characterisations, from the vast, natural rugged terrain of Morocco to the dense, man-made mass of urban Japan, and through powerful and evocative sound and music.   The biblical story of Babel is, in a nutshell, that as punishment for trying to build a tower that would reach heaven, the human race was scattered over the face of the earth, dispersed, divided and unable to communicate.  And, in the film, communication is indeed very difficult, not only across languages and cultures but within them, between individuals.  However, through the powerful and sensitive use of close-ups, the exquisite writing and the purity of the acting on the part of virtually the entire cast, it is very much the case that, beyond words, or perhaps beneath them, human emotion is very much something we all share, we can all understand.  Children are extremely important in the film, from a lost child, to the two young Moroccan brothers, to the two young Americans brought to Mexico, to the distraught teenage Japanese girl so powerfully portrayed by Rinko Kikuchi; Inarritu has dedicated the film “To my children…the brightest of lights in the darkest night..”  Babel is not an easy film; it is filled with tragedy and near-tragedy, yet through its inspired writing, outstanding directing, humble and beautiful acting, it is a truly excellent film, contemporary and yet perhaps timeless, and most definitely a must-see.  And if you’ve already seen it, see it again, it is only that much richer an experience. (PR)

See our posts on the films Inglourious Basterds, starring Brad Pitt and The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, written by Guillermo Arriaga and directed by and starring Tommy Lee Jones.

We recommend that you buy your DVDs and Blu-ray Disks.  Have a great personal film library..  Here are links to (Amazon Instant Video, DVDs, and Blu-ray Disks, in that order, where available):

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Jazz, by Toni Morrison

Posted by the editors on Thursday, 24 November 2011

Jazz (1992)(Novel)  by Toni Morrison (The Bluest Eye (1970), Beloved (1987), Paradise (1997) and others)   Pulitzer and Nobel prize-winning author Toni Morrison‘s magnificent jazz symphony of city voices and country hums, Jazz is a lyrical, moving, haunting novel, a multi-voiced human improvisation on love, fidelity and errancy.  Truly exceptional.  More than a must-read. (PR)

We recommend that you buy your books.  Have a wonderful personal library…  Here is a link to

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There but for the, by Ali Smith

Posted by the editors on Thursday, 20 October 2011

There but for the (2011)(Novel) by Ali Smith (Hotel World (2001; shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction and the Man Booker Prize for Fiction), The Accidental (2005, shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, the Orange Prize for Fiction, and won the 2005 Whitbread Novel of the Year award ) and others, including many short stories)   Ali Smith’s There but for the, a sharp, lively, immensely enjoyable and wordplay-filled observation of contemporary culture, full of its “temporary permanence” and “absent presence”, takes shape from the juxtaposed and obliquely interwoven stories of a number of “acquaintances” of Miles Garth, a man invited by a friend of a friend to a dinner party from which he never leaves.  Funny, sad, satirical, light and deep, replete with sharp observations (the internet is “a whole new way of feeling lonely“, among many others) and cultural questions (“What are stories for?“), it pays to keep in mind that Smith is, above all, not “trying to preposition you.” Wonderful reading. (PR)

We recommend that you buy your books.  Have a wonderful personal library..

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All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy

Posted by the editors on Tuesday, 27 September 2011

All the Pretty Horses (1992)(Novel) by Cormac McCarthy (Child of God (1973), Cities of the Plain (1998)The Road (2006))  All the Pretty Horses, a bestseller, U.S. National Book Award winner and U.S. National Book Critics Circle Award winner, is also the first book of McCarthy’s “Border Trilogy.”  A moving novel, All the Pretty Horses, offers us a slightly more “romantic” version of McCarthy’s exceptional rhythmic, almost Hemingway-esque prose (note the use of polysyndetic elements), with its poignant sensitivity to place, its penetrating look at the actions of man.  Easily worth reading more than once. (PR)

See our posts on other novels by Cormac McCarthy: The Orchard Keeper, Outer DarkBlood Meridian (or the Evening Redness in the West)

Also see our post on the Coen Brothers film ‘No Country for Old Men‘ based on Cormac McCarthy’s novel of the same name.

We recommend that you buy your books and DVDs.  Have a wonderful personal home film and book library..

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