Ignacio Padilla (1968-2016)

Lamento comenzar el blog de este mes de Agosto con el lamentable fallecimiendo del escritor, cuentista, narrador, investigador Cervantista Ignacio Padilla quien lamentablemente fallecio en un percance automovilístico.



«Lamento el fallecimiento de Ignacio Padilla, un hombre de letras en el más amplio sentido de la palabra. Mi pésame a su familia», escribió en su cuenta de Twitter el secretario de Cultura de México, Rafael Tovar y de Teresa, sobre el hecho ocurrido el sábado.

Ignacio Padilla fue un profundo investigador de la obra “Don Quijote de la Mancha” de Miguel de Cervantes y el 10 de febrero de 2011, el escritor se convirtió en miembro de la Academia Mexicana de la Lengua.

Desde fines de los 80, Padilla publicó unos 30 libros como Subterráneos(1989), La catedral de los ahogados (premio Juan Rulfo para Primera Novela 1994), Si volviesen sus majestades (1996), Amphitryon (premio Primavera de Novela 2000), Espiral de artillería (2003), La gruta del toscano (Premio Mazatlán de Literatura 2007) y El daño no es de ayer (2011).

En 2016 publicó el libro de ensayos Cervantes y Compañía, por el aniversario 400 de la muerte del autor del Quijote.

Descanse en Paz, Ignacio Padilla


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The 15 best films of Ingmar Bergman

July is the month that we remember Ingmar Bergman, the greatest (along with Andrei Tarkovsky, Akira Kurosawa and Federico Fellini) as one of the greatest film Directors and  writers of history of cinema.

Ingmar Bergman was born on July 14 of 1918 and passed away on July 30 2007 and that is why in this month we are remembering this unforgettable and remarkable Swedish Film Director in which his films are masterpieces of art cinema.

Ingmar Bergman has inspired many other filmmakers such as Woody Allen, Stanley Kubrick and Andrei Tarkovsky in which he said “I am only interested in the views of two people: one is called Bresson and one called Bergman.” and Bergman likewise had great respect for Tarkovsky, stating: “Tarkovsky for me is the greatest director”.

In a world in which we are filled of many “commerical blockbuster films from Hollywood”… thankfully, we have the Art Houses in which we can admire the real art cinema… the art of Ingmar Bergman.

Here are the 15 best films of Ingmar Bergman:

“The Seventh Seal”


“Wild Strawberries”

“Cries and Whispers”


“Fanny and Alexander”



“Through a Glass Darkly”



“Winter Light”


“The Silence”


“Hour of the Wolf”

“The Passion of Anna”

“Face to Face”


“The Magic Flute”


“Autumn Sonata”



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Yves Bonnefoy (1923-2016)

Yves Bonnefoy, the greatest French poet of the second half of the twentieth century, passed away, this last July 6 at age 93. Yves Bonnefoy was one of the most sophisticated voices of the XX Century literature.



Yves Bonnefoy was a Poet, art historian and translator.  He was a professor at the Collège de France and a multiple times candidate for the Nobel Prize in literature.

He translated many works of Shakespeare which are considered among the best in French.

Yves Bonnefoy wrote many essays about Picasso, Balthus, Giacometti, Mondrian, Alechinsky and Miró.

One of the last interviews with Yves Bonnefoy was at the International Book Fair, in the Mexican city of Guadalajara, back in 2013…….

“Why is it necessary to think in poetry?” That was the question that Yves Bonnefoy made in his press conference at the International Book Fair of Guadalajara, when he received the award FIL for literature in Romance languages.

In that unforgettable press conference, Yves Bonnefoy explained about the huge importance of poetry in the contemporary world.

Because he said, “The Poetry, is the more direct approach with the truth of life”.                “There is not only poetry in the poems, Bonnefoy said,  poetry,  can also be found in texts of Shakespeare or Cervantes”.

Yves Bonnefoy first studied Mathematics and later, in Paris, influenced by Gaston Bachelard y Jean Hippolite, he decided to study Philosophy and science.

Influenced by Baudelaire, Mallarmé, Jouve and Sartre, the work of Bonnefoy is characterized by its philosophical dimension (of the movement and the immobility of Douve, 1953; Dans le leurre du Seoul, 1975). And as already mentioned above, he was an author of essays on art and poetic (a réve fait unto Mantoue, 1967; Le nauge rouge, 1977; The Poésie et l’Humanité, 1984).

One anecdote that Yves Bonnefoy  used to remember was the day that when he, and along with historian and critic Jean Starobinski, went to visit Borges, who was in a hospital in Geneva. When the visit was finished, Bonnefoy and Starobinski started to leave the hospital and Borges suddenly began to shout: ” N’oubliez pas Verlaine, n’oubliez pas Verlaine!” (“Do not forget Verlaine, Do not forget Verlaine”!). While Bonnefoy and Starobinski  walked away from the room, still blasted the voice of Borges in the corridors of the place. By the word – said Bonnefoy on poetry- began to exist again. It will be so.

Yves Bonnefoy  was honoured with a number of prizes throughout his creative life. Early on he was awarded the Prix des Critiques in 1971.

Ten years later, in 1981, The French Academy gave him its grand prize, which was soon followed by the Goncourt Prize for Poetry in 1987.

Over the next 15 years, Bonnefoy was awarded both the Prix mondial Cino Del Duca and the Balzan Prize (for Art History and Art Criticism in Europe) in 1995, the Golden Wreath of Struga Poetry Evenings in 1999, and the Grand Prize of the First Masaoka Shiki International Haiku Awards in 2000.

Toward the final years of his life, Bonnefoy was recognized with the Franz Kafka Prize in 2007 and, in 2011, he received the Griffin Lifetime Recognition Award, presented by the trustees of the Griffin Poetry Prize. In 2014, he was co-winner of the Janus Pannonius International Poetry Prize.

Rest in peace, Yves Bonnefoy


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Yannick Nézet-Séguin, New Music Director of the Metropolitan Opera.

I am very, very happy to announce that today, Thursday, June 2nd, the Opera World received with happiness the annoucement of Maestro Yannick Nézet-Séguin as the New Music Director of the Metropolitan Opera.


This is the first time in four decades that the Metropolitan Opera has a new Music Director.

Yannick Nézet-Séguin, who is actually the music director of the Philadelphia Orchestra, is one of the most brilliant conductors of this generation and all Opera lovers around the world, specially the MET followers are more than happy of having Maestro Nézet-Séguin as the new Music Director.

Yannick Nézet-Séguin brings a special energy and passion while conducting and it is always a huge pleasure and joy to watch him conduct and I feel that Peter Gelb and the MET Council made an excellent and very wise choice.

All of us who watch and follow the Operas of the MET are very, very lucky to have Maestro Yannick Nézet-Séguin as the new music Director.
I have seen him conduct many operas and concerts, including the recent MET’s production of Verdi’s masterpiece “OTELLO” with Aleksandrs Antoņenko, Željko Lučić and Sonya Yoncheva in which in my opinion, it was one of the greatest performances of Otello ever precisely because of the brilliant and marvelous conducting of Maestro Nézet-Séguin.

Another extraordinary Opera experience was with the MET’s 2014 production of Dvorak’s “Rusalka” with Renée Fleming and Piotr Beczala in which Maestro Nézet-Séguin brought more poetry to the already beautiful music of Antonín Dvorak.

Another wonderful moment of Maestro Nézet-Séguin that I loved and I highly recommend to all music lovers to listen is the marvelous “The Nutcracker” concert. In this concert, you will notice the passion and love that Maestro Nézet-Séguin has for music:

BUT, unfortunately, we will still have to wait for a few more years though, Yannick Nézet-Séguin will not officially take up the Met post until the 2020-21 season, leaving the company without a full-time music director in the meantime.
I feel that, after the also extraordinary and legendary Maestro James Levine made his annoucement of his retirement in this last spring, we all are very lucky to have now Yannick Nézet-Séguin as the new Music Director of the MET and I want to congratulate to Peter Gelb for this excellent decision.


CONGRATULATIONS Maestro Yannick Nézet-Séguin!!!!!!!!

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Shakespeare and Cervantes, 400th Death Anniversary

On  April 23th of 1616, two of the greatest writers of international literature passed away, one of the English literature, the other, of the Spanish Literature.
William Shakespeare and Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra and that is why, April 23th, is the international day of the Book.
And writer Inca Garcilaso de la Vega also passed away in the same date.

Happy International day of the Book!

Shakespeare’s quotes:

If music be the food of love, play on, Give me excess (Twelfth Night)

All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players (As you Like it)

Now is the winter of our discontent Made glorious summer by this sun of York (Richard III)

We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep. (Prospero, The Tempest)

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 (HAMLET)

Frases del Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha:

El que lee mucho y anda mucho, ve mucho y sabe mucho. (Don Quijote)

“El año que es abundante de poesía, suele serlo de hambre.” (Don Quijote)

“La sangre se hereda y la virtud se aquista; y la virtud vale por sì sola lo que la sangre no vale.” (Don Quijote)

“Donde está la verdad está Dios” (Don Quijote)

“Es tan ligera la lengua como el pensamiento, que si son malas las preñeces de los pensamientos, las empeoran los partos de la lengua.”

“La música compone los ánimos descompuestos y alivia los trabajos que nacen del espíritu”

“La pluma es la lengua de la mente”

“La pluma es lengua del alma; cuales fueren los conceptos que en ella se engendraron, tales serán sus escritos.”

“La poesía tal vez se realza cantando cosas humildes.”


Gabriela Jacqueline's photo.


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Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz and Gabriel García Marquez

Today, April 17th is the death anniversary of two of the most important writers of the history of Latin America.  Mexico’s (New Spain back then)  Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz,  the  most important woman poetist of the Spanish-Mexican Baroque time and Gabriel García Márquez, Nobel Prize in Literature in 1982, author of one of the most famous novels of international literature of the XX Century, “One Hundres Years of Solitude”.
Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, one of the most brilliant minds of the history of Spanish-Mexican Literature, had a huge encyclopedic knowledge about the Greek and Latin classics, painting, philosophy, poetry, astronomy and Theology and she was called as “The Tenth Muse.”
Many important Mexican,  Spanish, American, German, French and British scholars made important studies about Sor Juana’s life and her works.
Gabriel García Márquez,  known affectionately as “Gabo” was one of the most important novelists, journalists and shor-story writers of the famous “Latin American Boom” and among in the many works of García Márquez are “Love in the Time of Cholera”, ” The Autumn of the Patriarch” and of course, “One Hundred Years of Solitude” this last one,  is one of the most readed and most sold  books around the world. His works have achieved significant critical acclaim and widespread commercial success, most notably for popularizing a literary style labeled as “magic realism”, which uses magical elements and events in otherwise ordinary and realistic situations and because of that, García Márquez won the Nobel Prize in Literature.
The date of April 17th is marked for Spanish-Latin American literature because of the deaths of  Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz and Gabriel García Márquez.
Sor Juana died on 17 April of 1695 at age 43 and Gabriel García Márquez died on April 17th of 2014.

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A tribute to James Levine

Yesterday, Thursday, April 14th,  was a very bitter sweet day for me, while I was preparing to listen to the Opening night of Strauss’ “Elektra” at the MET (Metropolitan Opera House) I was reading, at the same time the breaking and unexpected news of the retirement of Maestro James Levine, who has been the music Director of the MET for more of 4 decades.


The news came for me like a bucket of cold water.  I grew up watching and listening to many wonderful, extraordinary operas, with James Levine conducting. It was always a huge pleasure and joy to watch James Levine conduct because, just like Leonard Bernstein, he really loved what he did, I always noticed, on James Levine’s face, while he always conducted, a huge, sincere pleasure, joy and love (just like Bernstein) for the music and no matter if it was Verdi, Mozart, Puccini or Wagner, James Levine was always there, ready, at the MET (which was practically his second home) conducting and bringing us joy, beauty and poetry to all of us, Opera lovers.   My Opera life wouldn’t be the same, without my wonderful experiences of watching the many Operas of the MET, with James Levine conducting.  James Levine brought me Placido Domingo, Leontyne Price, Sherrill Milnes, Jessye Norman, Luciano Pavarotti,  Renata Scotto, James Morris, Ferruccio Furlanetto,  Leo Nucci, Matthew Polenzani and many, many more Opera stars that I can name to musical life.

2,551 performances at the MET, more than twice the number led by any conductor in Met history—of works by thirty-three composers, his retirement marks the end of an era,  and of an important period in New York City’s cultural history.  James Levine made his debut (with Puccini’s Tosca) at the MET in 1971 and became the Met’s music director in 1976.  James Levine transformed the MET Orchestra into one the finest of the world. He became the company’s artistic director in 1986 and held that post for nearly two decades, and was lauded for conducting the core Italian repertory as well as works by Wagner and Mozart, and for championing key 20th-century operas by Berg and Stravinsky, several of which he brought to the Met for the first time.

The name of James Levine was synonymous to the MET.

Thank you, James Levine, for your many, many, many years of hard work and love for the Opera. Thank you, dear Maestro.


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