Sábado, 19 de abril de 2014

Querido J:

Pocos días antes de que se produjera el suceso había acabado de leer la versión final del manuscrito de Sergio González Ausina, Última carta. Quizá recuerdes a Sergio. En aquel Factual llevaba un blog sobre el suicidio, que era un asunto que le interesaba profundamente. Y aunque nuestro Factual fue brevísimo le dio tiempo a dejar escritas un par de notas maestras. Ahora acaba de ultimar un libro que comienza así: «Vivo en un país desértico y ruidoso donde el suicidio se guarda en un armario. No hay mayor novedad. Salvo que esta vez el cadáver corre de mi cuenta.…  Seguir leyendo »

El tránsito a la inmortalidad de un escritor acontece cuando su apellido deviene en adjetivo. Así, usamos de manera habitual cervantino, o «shakespeariano», para designar cualidades vinculadas a sus creaciones literarias. Hace décadas que «garciamarquiano» devino en adjetivo. Rosa Beltrán indicó en las actas de un importante congreso de semiótica: «Como en toda enfermedad cuyas causas se desconocen, los síntomas del contagio del estilo garciamarquiano han sido descritos con metáforas y, casi siempre, como un padecimiento». Existe desde hace años una ruta turística garciamarquiana por el Caribe colombiano. Comienza en Cartagena de Indias y pasa por Barranquilla, Mompós, Santa Marta, Valledupar y por supuesto Aracataca, donde nació en 1927 el premio Nobel que acaba de abandonarnos.…  Seguir leyendo »

El pasado 7 de febrero, el Consejo de Ministros acordó la tramitación parlamentaria de un anteproyecto de ley que reforma el artículo 23 del Código Civil para conceder la nacionalidad española a quienes acrediten ser descendientes de los judeo españoles expulsados en 1492 y una especial vinculación con nuestro país, aun cuando no tengan residencia legal en España, cualquiera que sea su ideología, religión o creencias, todo ello sin necesidad de renunciar a su nacionalidad anterior.

522 años después, España podría sellar la definitiva reconciliación con nuestros hermanos sefardíes, españoles sin patria cuyos antepasados fueron injustamente perseguidos y desterrados. España no solo está obligada a reparar uno de los errores históricos más importantes, sino que debe reabrir sus puertas y animar a los sefardíes a que vuelvan para que ayuden a reconstruir un país en crisis.…  Seguir leyendo »

La canonisation par le pape François, dimanche 27 avril à Rome, du pape Jean Paul II (1978-2005) – associée à celle de Jean XXIII (1958-1963), le « père » du concile Vatican II – répare une injustice que commet déjà une mémoire ingrate et défaillante.

La popularité planétaire du pape argentin et son ardeur réformatrice font de l’ombre à Karol Wojtyla, ce pape polonais qui, le jour de ses obsèques, il y a seulement neuf ans (8 avril 2005), avait été salué par le monde entier comme l’un des géants de la fin du dernier siècle.

LA LÉGENDE DU PREMIER PAPE VENU DE L’EST

Vingt-cinq ans après la chute du mur de Berlin, la légende du premier pape venu de l’Est et qui a « vaincu le communisme », ses pèlerinages « coups de poing » dans sa Pologne natale opprimée, son soutien aux dissidents de l’Est s’estompent dans les mémoires.…  Seguir leyendo »

Poland’s foreign minister, Radoslaw “Radek” Sikorski, has been intimately involved in the Ukraine crisis, including in the negotiation of an agreement in February that then-Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych walked away from, further fueling the Maidan protest. Sikorski spoke with The Washington Post’s Lally Weymouth Wednesday, ahead of the diplomatic talks in Geneva aimed at defusing hostilities, about the crisis, U.S. global credibility and what Vladi­mir Putin has his eyes on next. Excerpts:

What do you think is going to happen in Ukraine?

I think President Putin wants to prevent Ukraine from becoming a successful European/E.U.-associated country. To that end, he needs to destabilize Ukraine and to upset its electoral calendar and make it more difficult to carry out economic reforms.…  Seguir leyendo »

While the world focuses on Ukraine, ships and planes from Japan and China challenge each other almost every day near a few square miles of barren islets in the East China Sea that Japan calls the Senkaku and China calls the Diaoyu islands. This dangerous rivalry dates to the late 19th century, but the flare-up that led to widespread anti-Japan demonstrations in China in September 2012 began when the Japanese government purchased three of the tiny islets from their private Japanese owner. The issue is bound to arise during President Obama’s upcoming visit to Japan.

When the United States returned Okinawa to Japan in May 1972, the transfer included the disputed islets that the United States had administered after 1945.…  Seguir leyendo »

Since Xi Jinping became president of China, there has been a sustained crackdown on advocates of democracy and civil society. A couple hundred Chinese citizens have been arrested and tried or await trial. Lawyer and activist Xu Zhiyong , a founding leader of the New Citizens’ Movement, was arrested in July; his four-year prison sentence was upheld this month. The sentences of other New Citizens’ Movement leaders, including Ding Jiaxi, Li Wei, Zhao Changquing and Zhang Baocheng, were recently announced: Each will be imprisoned for at least two years.

Many people mistakenly think that the New Citizens’ Movement did not have a chance to do much before being wiped out.…  Seguir leyendo »

With hope fading for the rescue of 271 passengers, most of them high school students, who remain missing after the South Korean ferry Sewol capsized and sank Wednesday, it is not too early to draw lessons from the disaster. South Korea’s early response was to point to “human error” and seek the arrest of the ferry’s captain, first mate and another crew member. But it’s worth keeping three points in mind as investigations proceed.

First, few great disasters have one single explanation. In some cases imagination fills in an incomplete story. The Great Chicago Fire of 1871 almost certainly wasn’t started by Mrs.…  Seguir leyendo »

Until now, fighting the Afghan war has been an American project, and Americans have feared most that their withdrawal will be followed by chaos. That’s why they have focused on handing over the fighting to Afghanistan’s military.

But the first round of the presidential election on April 5 opened a new prospect. Just by turning out in large numbers in defiance of Taliban denunciations, Afghans showed that they craved a stable future — and would need friends in the neighborhood to help broker their differences. That creates an incentive for every nearby country to collaborate on holding Afghanistan together after the Americans leave.…  Seguir leyendo »

Late last month I bought an Indian comic book online. I hadn’t bought one since the mid-80s, when I was a boy and would walk to the bookstore in my hometown in Kashmir to pick up copies of D.C. and Marvel Comics, or Amar Chitra Katha, a series based on the lives of major contemporary, historical and mythological figures in India. My latest purchase, “Bal Narendra” (“Boy Narendra”), was styled after Amar Chitra Katha.

I turned the pages with a mixture of anticipation and foreboding. The book purports to tell stories from the childhood of Narendra Modi, the longtime chief minister of Gujarat, one of the richest states in India, and the polarizing Hindu nationalist candidate for prime minister in the ongoing election.…  Seguir leyendo »