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They weren't Martians, they were humans.


The hungry invaders who jumped the fence in Melilla would be what many far-rights consider "superfluous people" and, therefore, eliminable

1. Oracle

I take refuge, as I almost always do at the beginning of summer (when discouragement invades me, the heat arrives and governments skate without ice), in the occasional reading of the wise and often reactionary vade mecum

Manual Oracle and art of prudence,

of the Jesuit Baltasar Gracián (1601-1658), which I manage in the edition (without “fixing”, unlike those destined to train seasoned executives who want to mutate into sharks) of Emilio Blanco (Cátedra).

A mature work (1647), made up of 300 glossed apothegms from which, despite their propaedeutic eagerness, a pessimistic and often quite Hobbesian conception of the world emerges from the relationships between the allegedly rational ones who live and die in it (or they kill and we kill).

A book with simple syntax and convoluted and conceptual semantics, which requires a demanding and thoughtful reading, nothing to do with the widely read


(1934), the best-selling (more than five million copies, although fewer now circulate) breviary by the also religious Aragonese (but this saint, thank God) José María Escrivá de Balaguer.

The (often contradictory) advice from the


comes very much to mind in our latest


pandemics, wars, mass murder of those who escape from hell hoping to live in purgatory, economic crisis, African famines (for now), runaway inflation, troubled planetary future.

Anyway, I don't want to make anyone bitter on the first weekend of July.

Suffice it for today to remind my unlikely readers of the existence of this book that should not be read often, but which should make a place for it on the nightstand.

Look at the reminder I found yesterday —and how much comes to mind from what comes in the teaching—: “Man is born a barbarian, redeem yourself from the beast by cultivating yourself.

Make culture people, and more the older”.

As a castizo would say, take it now, Celaá!

2. Martians

In the fanciful case that those who jumped the fence in Melilla had been evolved Martians instead of desperate human beings, the Moroccan authorities and the prosperous mafias would have saved themselves dead (23? 37? When will we know how many?) , placing huge loudspeakers on the wire fences that would transmit at full volume the ballad

Indian Love Call

performed by Slim Whitman, which is the weapon that destroys the brains of the invading Martians in Tim Burton's wonderful film

Mars Attacks!

(nineteen ninety six).

After all, those hungry invaders would be what many far-rights consider “superfluous people” and, therefore, expendable.

To escape from hunger without being bothered you have to have papers, and to have them you have to have obtained them precisely in the dream place: the supremacist whiting bites its tail.

The thing about the Martians inevitably reminds me of the new, complete and very careful edition of the

Martian Chronicles

(Chair, translation and edition of Jesús I. Gómez López), by Ray Bradbury, one of the best, most intelligent and poetic texts in the history of science fiction.

First published in 1950, the


consist of a succession of more or less independent stories revealing the (bad) relationship between man and the red planet, which Bradbury (whom Ridley Scott pays homage to in

Blade Runner

giving his surname to the replicants' building) presents us as an almost magical realm of metaphors and desires about to be destroyed.

A joy that has already turned 72 years old.

3. Intrigues

Surely many, on the other side of this paper or virtual page, are already imagining themselves lying in the shade reading mystery novels.

Of the two that I recommend today, neither is properly what is called a


but both participate in different forms of police intrigue.

Murder in the Botanical Garden

(Destiny), by José María Guelbenzu, is the latest (in all senses of the term) investigation of my beloved Mariana de Marco, the stupendous judge (Guelbenzu and her creature hate the generically marked term) whom we met nine installments ago in a destiny northern.

Mariana, who is now in her late forties, is still a physically spectacular woman, one of those whom one cannot help but turn to look at on the street, but above all she is smart, uninhibited, efficient, cultured.

She lives in Madrid with her (enviable) partner, the unemployed journalist Javier Goitia, who is the chronicler of her new investigation: the body of the secretary of the Club de Amigos de los Jardines appears in the Botanical Garden, along with a bouquet of aconite (whose alkaloid is lethal) and a bottle of whiskey (or perhaps rum:

the mistake makes Guelbenzu more cervantine).

The plot gets complicated: the judge on the one hand and Goitia on the other investigate the members of the club;

there is some shameful adultery and perhaps a suicide.

In the end, struck by an unforeseen tragedy, Mariana, my Mariana, decides to say goodbye to her career and disappear from our lives as readers.

The same thing Sherlock Holmes did one day, who, however, returned from the dead, perhaps fed up with his stillness (except in

Pedro Paramo).

The other novel I am referring to is

Clinical Case

(Impedimenta, translation by Alicia Frieyro), by the Scotsman Graeme Macrae Burnet, an enveloping, very Hitchcockian intrigue with personality splits, set in London in the sixties and under the then powerful shadow of the anti-psychiatry of Laing and Cooper (which left such a mark on in a generation of Spanish psychiatrists and, what is worse, in their long-suffering patients).

An entertaining, intelligent, summer intrigue.

Let them take advantage, when they are cool, there in the blessed shade.

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Source: elparis

All news articles on 2022-07-02

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