Happy world book day everyone!

In Catalonia it is traditional on April 23rd to give and receive roses and books.

April 23rd has been chosen to celebrate the world book day; this day, in 1616, Miguel de Cervantes and William Shakeaspeare died. Well, not exactly, Cervantes was buried on the 23rd, and Shakeaspeare died that day but according to the Julian Calendar which corresponds to May 3rd. Anyway, some days sooner or later do not change the meaning of the celebration (I sympathise with oxfordians, after all). The fact is that April 23rd for me is more important even than April 3rd (my birthday, ehem).

I guess that my epitaph should be something of the kind here lies — who tried to read as much as she could. I have sailed the seas with Nostromo, fought in Borodino with Bolkonsky, walked Dublin streets with Leopold Bloom. I was in Pompeii during its last days, I have witnessed the rivalry between Scipio and Hannibal, seen Alexander the Great drawing his last breath in Babylon. I have heard a dead woman talking in her coffin as she laid dying, I was as perplexed as Doctor Carr watching her husband David trying to be good, I have been in L.A. with Jack Vincennes, Bud White and Ed Exley.

Because I love reading, and I love books, this is the most important day of the year for me.



4 thoughts on “Happy world book day everyone!

  1. I love the idea of a day for roses and books. And the union of Cervantes with Shakespeare! I wonder what the Bard would have done with the Knight of la Mancha? Or Cervantes with “The Tempest”?

    1. Yes, I also love the contrast between the ephemeral beauty of a rose and the everlasting one of a book.
      Indeed should the oxfordians be right, I’d regret the fact that the two greatest authors in English and Spanish language wouldn’t have left this world almost at the same time.

      I can’t imagine two more different personalities. On one side, the stern castilian gentleman who asked his king in a sonnet:

      que al inglés pérfido cuello
      pongas el justo yugo que merece
      su injusto pecho y proceder insano

      (to put on the English wicked neck the fair yoke that their unfair bossom and insane behaviour deserve)

      and the English who uses the armada to make a joke in The Comedy of Errors

      O, sir, upon her nose, all o’er-embellished with
      rubies, carbuncles, sapphires, declining their rich
      aspect to the hot breath of Spain, who sent whole
      armadas of caracks to be ballast at her nose

      I can see Saint Peter almost desperate in the gates of heaven waiting for those two writers to stop arguing 😀

      1. Yes, one might think them diametrically opposed, and yet they both seem to have the unbounded love of language and wordplay that is so characteristic of the Renaissance. As well as a humane quality that prizes the best in us without ignoring our flaws.

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