Magical Realism in Ukraine

There is a Ukrainian writer, from my city of all places, who’s getting translated into English and celebrated like he’s going to be important. I haven’t read him but I saw a blurb and it says he’s into the whole magical realism crap. For those who don’t know, magical realism is about making the grime, the violence, the perviness, and the sheer shittiness of life in third world countries look cute to Western consumers of exotic literature. It was a big thing in the eighties, and it’s very embarrassing that the ridiculous fad is reaching Ukraine now.

Even Latin Americans who invented the whole thing have realized it’s pathetic and don’t write like it any more.

Book Notes: Castellanos Moya’s The Fighter and the Maid

Castellanos Moya’s books give a bonus to readers who read more than one. The books are interconnected in very subtle yet fascinating ways. So if you read just one, you will massively enjoy it as a standalone book. Yet read another, and you’ll see the first one in a very different light.

Obviously, Castellanos Moya didn’t invent this way of writing. Balzac, Galdós – they all have their narrative universes that are complex and fun to explore. Castellanos Moya does it amazingly well, though. The Fighter and the Maid was written 7 years before Moronga but I’m reading it after. And it’s so enjoyable. I’m seeing Moronga in a very different way thanks to the earlier novel. It’s really subtle, really seamless, and it’s like a bonus hidden in the books for the regular readers.

The novel itself is about the beginning of the Civil War in El Salvador, and I strongly recommend it to anybody who wants to have an opinion on immigration or the border wall. Are you entirely sure that you are ready to have the characters of this novel move here? Any opinion is fine as long as it’s informed. These are Salvadorans in their own words. Why not get informed from this source before opining?

Against Double Standard

Warren apologized to the Cherokee Nation. This is very good. I’m glad she did the right thing. Now she needs to apologize to the American people for the fraud she perpetrated for decades, stiffing people by laying claims to an identity she had no right to claim.

If it came to light that the blond and blue-eyed Trump got promotions and accolades by claiming he was African American, what would you say? Well, that’s what I’m saying. The nature of her actions doesn’t change based on whether I like the noises she makes about any other issue. She needs to apologize to everybody because everybody was victimized by her fraud. And then we can all move on.

No Better

And the worst part is that Maddow’s fans are the same people who were bellyaching about Trump’s comment that “some Mexican immigrants are rapists.”

How do you think your constant blabber about Russians who are eager to slaughter the entire population of Fargo make Russian immigrants feel? Welcome or scared out of their minds? How are you better than Trump, you silly pieces of utter ridiculousness? How are you any better?

With all your posturing about your superior morality and caring about immigrants, you are absolutely no better than Trump.

No Coffee in Jail

In the car, Klara says, “You have to drive carefully, Mommy. Because if you hit a person, police will come, and they will put you in jail. There’s no coffee in jail! You won’t like that!”

We are not introducing the concept of jail at home, so she must have picked it up at school. I’m starting to wonder about her classmates’ families.

Toddler Emotions

So I received some unpleasant news on Monday. It’s not a big deal but I was bummed. Disappointed, angry, bored, restless, in need of reassurance.

Five minutes after I got the news, Klara became impossible and continued being so for days after. I thought, ah, terrible threes are upon us. But the analyst explained that she’s acting out my feelings. Not only does she know exactly how I feel (although I obviously don’t show it), she is not old enough to perceive the difference between my feelings and hers. She thinks my feelings are hers. So she feels disappointed, angry, bored, restless, and in need of reassurance but she has no idea why. And she’s going to keep enacting my emotions until I get over them.

This feels creepy as fuck because I don’t like anybody to have access to my intense emotional life. And I can’t just press a button and stop feeling what I’m feeling. I’m just sitting here, not bothering anybody, and quietly emoting away in private. But no, I can’t. First, I couldn’t go to the bathroom without company and now I can’t emote on my own. Jeez. OK, I’m off to try to make myself feel better because I can’t take another week of these collective negative emotions.