domingo, 22 de abril de 2012

World Book Day

"In a village of La Mancha, the name of which I have no desire to call to mind, there lived not long since one of those gentlemen that keep a lance in the lance-rack, an old buckler, a lean hack, and a greyhound for coursing."

"To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them?
To die: to sleep; No more;
and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, 'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep; 
To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub."
As you all know by now, these two quotes belong to two of the most famous works in universal literature. The first one from Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes and the other one from Hamlet by William Shakespeare. Both authors have in common the fact that they died on the same date, the twenty-third of April 1616.

Don Quixote and Hamlet are two great characters, they are well-known all over the world, but do you have a special character from a special book for you? Who is it? Why do you like it?

Mine is Sir Sigfredo of Ivanhoe, the main character in Sir Walter Scott's most popular novel, Ivanhoe. It's a great romance that takes place during the Age of Chivalry. Ivanhoe is a noble and brave knight who returns home from the Crusades to marry Lady Rowena, an Anglo-Saxon princess. However, he gets involved in the hard struggle between Prince John and his brother, Richard the Lionheart. He has to fight Prince John and his followers to help Richard win back the throne of England. For this battle, Ivanhoe will count on with the generosity of a Jew man, Isaac and his beautiful daughter, Rebecca.

I've always enjoyed this kind of stories, with the knights fighting for a good cause, where you know that the "good guys" are going to defeat the "bad ones" but you're not totally sure about what is going to happen with the love affair behind the main story.

As every great piece of writing, Ivanhoe has its great film as well. Obviously, Ivanhoe is a 1952 film by the MGM, which was nominated for the Oscars in three categories. In the above photo, you can see Robert Taylor in his role as Ivanhoe.There were other fantastic actors and actresses such as Elizabeth Taylor, Joan Fontaine and George Sanders in that extraordinary production of the fifties in Hollywood.

Leave you comment on your favourite character from a book or in case you don't enjoy reading much, from a film.It will be interesting to read about it.

4 comentarios:

  1. f I have to choose, I could say my favorite writer is Jose Saramago, who died recently. In his books, he used to put the mankind in a difficult situation and try to imagine how could those people resolve the problems they have to deal with. I think he look for deeply inside our humanity so I like him books very much.
    Talking about the character, I choose "Kvothe", from "The name of the wind", written by Patrick Rothfuss as the first book of a trilogy "The Kvothe´s history".

    The books are his history from the begining until the end of his life.
    Kvothe is a very clever bard and sorcerer with great power who tries to deal the world where he lives in. He´s a complicated character who is usually thinking about the love, the power, the life... I highly recommend it!


  2. I don't have a favorite writer and I don't have read so much as I would have wanted. I would like to say that I have read the classics, but when I have tried it I have found, the most of the times, very boring... but between these classics I found the character of Jean Valjean (Los miserables by Victor Hugo). I don't remember exactly how the story was but I remember very good the sensation it leave on me, and I recommend you to read it... It would like you.


  3. I don't usually read many novels because I don´t have enough time to do all the things that I want to do but when I have some time I like reading some books. Ones of my favourite is "The Pest " by Albert Camus.
    I think this book is very interesting because it explores human behaviour in extreme situations. The Pest tells us the story of a Village called Oran, where everybody lives quietly with a monotony that for these people is usual . Suddenly all their lives change a lot because of The Pest and although at first people don't seem to be very concerned about it , little by little their lives are changing... to have a world completely different , death , depression, loneliness ... and everyone begins to value simple things from their past . Then everybody begins to accept the new life and it soon emerges a sense of equality among its inhabitants. After some months The Pest leaves Oran very slowly and the doors of the village are opened again but its inhabitants are now very very different. The bad experience made people take notice of the really important things of the life.
    I think The Pest is nowadays called Crisis... What do you think?

  4. My favourite books? All books have something interesting. I have a few thousand books at home. So, I don´t know what´s my answer.
    I read Don Quijote once a year. In this book there is all questions and all answeres you can imagine. That´s great! When I read this book, I feel I read him for the first time.
    And there´s another think: this book is absolutely modern. Like the human nature.