Since it is Sunday for once I can have a totally off topic post. I just read in El Nacional the Vargas Llosa bi-weekly commentary reprinted from Spain's El Pais which referred to his visit at Bayreuth. Some of you might remember my fondness for opera, but that is not the point. Some of you might hate Wagner for whatever reason, including political, and neither is this the point. The point is that this is the best article on Wagner I have ever read. By far. Spanish, sorry.
I have wondered often if the best way to discuss the icons of a culture is through the eyes of a foreigner. For example, the best book on the French Revolution, in my opinion, is Citizens from Simon Schama. Although I have not read it, shame on me, Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville remains a classic and apparently can still be of use today to understand the US of A according to a Seattle friend who read it recently and could not believe I have not read what is also considered a classic of French Literature. I suppose that as a penance I should get it next time I travel to France... And of course, the best blogs about Venezuela are written in English even though the writers are Venezuelan (cough, cough..)
Last lame joke aside, there is a kernel of truth in that a fellow countryman has a hard time in gaining enough distance from its most iconic cultural subject. We might even see that in Venezuela today as the best book on Chavez so far is El Poder y el Delirio by Mexican Krause. Maybe not the most detailed or complete, but certainly the one with the clearest understanding of what is going on.
Just food for thought in a quiet Sunday afternoon.