diumenge, 26 d’abril del 2009



Hammett was born on a farm in southern Maryland. His parents were an old Maryland family. He grew up in Philadelphia and Baltimore. Sam left school when he was 13 years old and held several jobs.[

Hammett turned to drinking, advertising, and eventually, writing. His work at the detective agency provided him the inspiration for his writings.

Appearing primarily in the magazine Black Mask, Hammett's work soon became a favourite with readers. Bringing his real-life detective experience to his writing, he is today regarded as a founding father of the genre, as well as elevating detective fiction to the level of literature.

Many of his stories featured a pudgy, middle-aged operative of the Continental Detective Agency, known only as The Continental Op.

His best-known creation was Sam Spade, the tough, shifty detective of The Maltese Falcon. Spade was based in San Francisco.

Hammett's writing career was short. He produced four novels and almost all of his short stories between 1922 and 1931. A fifth novel (The Thin Man) followed in 1934. Then, nothing, because, ironically, Hammett had come to loathe the hard-boiled genre that he had pioneered.

He aspired to write mainstream novels that would rival those of Hemingway and Fitzgerald.
During the 1950s, Hammett's support of leftist causes brought the attention of the House Un-American Activities Committee, and he was called upon to testify. Hammett's refusal to name names resulted:

- in five months behind bars.

- in him to be blacklisted;

- in his books were removed from libraries, and his radio shows cancelled.

He died near-penniless in 1961.


Red Harvest first appeared in the magazine Black Mask, serialized over four issues.

The main character, Continental Op, is also the narrator: first person narration.
There has never been a movie version of Red Harvest, although several movies have used its plot (without giving credit).

It is a clear sample of the hard-boiled tradition, due to:

- the recreation of the war against the lack of morality

- totalitarian ideas of some powerful men.

The responsible ones for the huge number of dead citizens are:

- the corrupted high class

- the police.

There is a strong feeling that a strong ethic code is necessary to face social corruption.


It is a 1930 detective novel, originally serialized in the magazine Black Mask. The story has been adapted several times for the cinema.

It is a cult to individual defence against social norms and law since it represents a search for objective narrative.

There are allusions to other media:

- graphic descriptions.

- Use of sounds for descriptions.

- Film script description

Self-defence and social rebellion are justified.

The main character, Sam Spade:

- appears only in this novel and in three lesser known short stories, yet is widely cited as the crystallizing figure in the development of the hard boiled private detective genre – Raymond Chandler's character Philip Marlowe, for instance, was strongly influenced by Hammett's Spade.

- Spade was a departure from Hammett's nameless and less than glamorous detective, The Continental Op.

- Sam Spade combined several features of previous detectives, most notably:

- his cold detachment,

- keen eye for detail,

- and unflinching determination to achieve his own justice. He is the man who has seen the wretched, the corrupt, the tawdry side of life but still retains his "tarnished idealism".

In this novel, Hammett redefines many of the conventions of the "hard boiled" detective genre:

-Spade is a bitter, sardonic character who lets the police and the criminals think he is in with the criminals while he works singlemindedly to catch the crooks.

-Brigid O'Shaughnessy is the classic femme fatale.

-The other crooks are manipulative and self-centered (or merely self-centered) with no concern for anyone's well-being except their own.

However, unlike some other hard-boiled detectives who have a strong sense of idealism underneath the cynical shell, Hammett never provides a clear statement of Spade's notion of morality:

- Although he expresses a strong professional ethic ("When a man's partner is killed he's supposed to do something about it. It doesn't make any difference what you thought of him. He was your partner and you're supposed to do something about it") it also has an element of self-interest about it ("[W]hen one of your organization gets killed it's bad business to let the killer get away with it. It's bad all around - bad for that one organization, bad for every detective everywhere").

- It is left unclear whether Spade might have chosen not to turn Brigid in if there was a bigger monetary gain for him ("...a lot more money would have been one more item on your side"), but certain that his emotional attachment to her (however strong that is) is not sufficient to overcome the risks involved with letting her go.

- Spade's blatant calculus of risk, reward and duty with which Hammett ends the novel contains remarkably little trace of morality.

dijous, 23 d’abril del 2009


Tradicionalment, a Catalunya la diada de Sant Jordi és el dia dels enamorats, i és costum que les parelles es regalin una rosa i un llibre. La presència del llibre es deu a que la diada coincideix amb el Dia Internacional del LLibre, que des de 1930 commemora la mort de l'ecriptor espanyol Miguel de Cervantes. La diada té un caire reivindicatiu de la cultura catalana, però el que sorprèn és que, sent una diada tant representativa a tot el principat, no sigui una festa nacional, com l'Onze de Setembre, i ens haguem de conformar en escapar-nos un moment per comprar el llibre i la rosa i no poder gaudir d'un ambient de festa popular pels carrers de tota la nostra geografia nacional.

A tot arreu del principat es venen llibres i roses, però és a La Rambla de Barcelona on té lloc l'agrupació més nombrosa de gent a la recerca del seu llibre o la seva rosa, o tots dos! A les parades habituals de La Rambla se n'afegeixen moltíssimes altres de temporals. És força tradicional trobar-hi els autors més de moda firmant els seus llibres, així com els llibreters fent un descompte al preu de venda. A la resta del principat, es poden trobar paradetes de llibre a l'exterior de la majoria de llibreries i papereries, així com també d'altres ambulants, totes això sí engalanades amb la nostra senyera.

Quant a les roses, hi ha parades amb reivindicacions polítiques, per ajudar a organitzacions humanitàries, per recaptar fons per escoles o simplement per a aconseguir alguns diners extra. Per exemple, a Amposta, els alumnes de 4t de la ESO vendran roses durant tot el matí pels carrers i avingudes de la ciutat. És una forma de recaptar diners per al viatge de final de curs, així que si algú se'ls troba, seria una bona forma de col.laborar-hi.

Però sobre tot cal destacar l'ambient festiu que genera la diada. Es realitzen activitats a les biblioteques i concerts als carrers, i es promouen molts d'actes culturals als carrers per a que tothom que hi vulgui s'hi pugui afegir i gaudir d'aquesta diada tant emblemàtica.

Així que, us desitjo a tots i a totes una


dimecres, 22 d’abril del 2009



The poem begins with the question, "Little Lamb, who made thee?" The speaker, a child, asks the lamb about its origins: how it came into being, how it acquired its particular manner of feeding, its "clothing" of wool, its "tender voice." In the next stanza, the speaker attempts a riddling answer to his own question: the lamb was made by one who "calls himself a Lamb," one who resembles in his gentleness both the child and the lamb. The poem ends with the child bestowing a blessing on the lamb.

"The Lamb" has two stanzas, each containing five rhymed couplets. Repetition in the first and last couplet of each stanza makes these lines into a refrain, and helps to give the poem its song-like quality. The flowing l's and soft vowel sounds contribute to this effect, and also suggest the bleating of a lamb or the lisping character of a child's chant.

The poem is a child's song, in the form of a question and answer. The first stanza is rural and descriptive, while the second focuses on abstract spiritual matters and contains explanation and analogy. The child's question is both naive and profound. The question ("who made thee?") is a simple one, and yet the child is also tapping into the deep and timeless questions that all human beings have, about their own origins and the nature of creation. The poem's apostrophic form contributes to the effect of naiveté, since the situation of a child talking to an animal is a believable one, and not simply a literary contrivance. Yet by answering his own question, the child converts it into a rhetorical one, thus counteracting the initial spontaneous sense of the poem. The answer is presented as a puzzle or riddle, and even though it is an easy one--child's play--this also contributes to an underlying sense of ironic knowingness or artifice in the poem. The child's answer, however, reveals his confidence in his simple Christian faith and his innocent acceptance of its teachings.

The lamb of course symbolizes Jesus. The traditional image of Jesus as a lamb underscores the Christian values of gentleness, meekness, and peace. The image of the child is also associated with Jesus: in the Gospel, Jesus displays a special solicitude for children, and the Bible's depiction of Jesus in his childhood shows him as guileless and vulnerable. These are also the characteristics from which the child-speaker approaches the ideas of nature and of God. This poem, like many of the "Songs of Innocence", accepts what Blake saw as the more positive aspects of conventional Christian belief. But it does not provide a completely adequate doctrine, because it fails to account for the presence of suffering and evil in the world. The pendant (or companion) poem to this one, found in the "Songs of Experience", is "The Tyger"; taken together, the two poems give a perspective on religion that includes the good and clear as well as the terrible and inscrutable. These poems complement each other to produce a fuller account than either offers independently. They offer a good instance of how Blake himself stands somewhere outside the perspectives of innocence and experience he projects.

dimarts, 21 d’abril del 2009


Keats composed this while staying at a friend's house, north of London. Every evening a nightingale would sing outside his window, and the bird's singing caused Keats to reflect on sad memories.
With "Ode to a Nightingale" Keats's speaker begins his fullest and deepest exploration of the themes of creative expression and the mortality of human life. In this ode, the transience of life and the tragedy of old age ("where palsy shakes a few, sad, last gray hairs, / Where youth grows pale, and spectre-thin, and dies") is set against the eternal renewal of the nightingale's fluid music ("Thou wast not born for death, immortal bird!"). The speaker reprises the "drowsy numbness" he experienced in "Ode on Indolence" , but where in "Indolence" that numbness was a sign of disconnection from experience, in "Nightingale" it is a sign of too full a connection: "being too happy in thine happiness," as the speaker tells the nightingale. Hearing the song of the nightingale, the speaker longs to flee the human world and join the bird. His first thought is to reach the bird's state through alcohol--in the second stanza, he longs for a "draught of vintage" to transport him out of himself. But after his meditation in the third stanza on the transience of life, he rejects the idea of being "charioted by Bacchus and his pards" (Bacchus was the Roman god of wine and was supposed to have been carried by a chariot pulled by leopards) and chooses instead to embrace, for the first time since he refused to follow the figures in "Indolence," "the viewless wings of Poesy."
The rapture of poetic inspiration matches the endless creative rapture of the nightingale's music and lets the speaker, in stanzas five through seven, imagine himself with the bird in the darkened forest. The ecstatic music even encourages the speaker to embrace the idea of dying, of painlessly succumbing to death while enraptured by the nightingale's music and never experiencing any further pain or disappointment. But when his meditation causes him to utter the word "forlorn," he comes back to himself, recognizing his fancy for what it is--an imagined escape from the inescapable ("Adieu! the fancy cannot cheat so well / As she is fam'd to do, deceiving elf"). As the nightingale flies away, the intensity of the speaker's experience has left him shaken, unable to remember whether he is awake or asleep.

In "Indolence," the speaker rejected all artistic effort. In "Psyche" he was willing to embrace the creative imagination, but only for its own internal pleasures. But in the nightingale's song, he finds a form of outward expression that translates the work of the imagination into the outside world, and this is the discovery that compels him to embrace Poesy's "viewless wings" at last. The "art" of the nightingale is endlessly changeable and renewable; it is music without record, existing only in a perpetual present. As befits his celebration of music, the speaker's language, sensually rich though it is, serves to suppress the sense of sight in favor of the other senses. He can imagine the light of the moon, "But here there is no light"; he knows he is surrounded by flowers, but he "cannot see what flowers" are at his feet. This suppression will find its match in "Ode on a Grecian Urn" , which is in many ways a companion poem to "Ode to a Nightingale" . In the later poem, the speaker will finally confront a created art-object not subject to any of the limitations of time; in "Nightingale," he has achieved creative expression and has placed his faith in it, but that expression--the nightingale's song--is spontaneous and without physical manifestation.

dilluns, 20 d’abril del 2009


"Hyperion" was undertaken during what many critics consider Keats's most intense period of creative productivity, a period also marked by personal difficulties:
- After embarking upon a walking tour of Scotland and the Lake District, Keats returned home creatively energized.
- His publication of Endymion in 1818 drew harsh reviews, some of which included personal attacks.
- More significantly, his brother Tom's tuberculosis had worsened, and Keats felt responsible for his brother's care.
- Letters Keats wrote to his friends during this period indicate Keats felt divided between his obligations to Tom and his obligations to his poetry.
- After Tom's death, Hyperion remained unfinished; Keats abandoned the poem entirely.
- Late in 1819, after he had met and fallen in love with Fanny Brawne, Keats began to revise Hyperion extensively.
- By that time Keats was suffering from the advanced stages of tuberculosis, which eventually precluded him from working and left the revision, like the first version, incomplete.
- "The Fall of Hyperion", as it is now titled, remained unpublished until long after Keats's death.
Plot and Major Characters
Stylistically and thematically influenced by earlier works, the Hyperion poems demonstrate Keats's interest in and response to classic literature.
"Hyperion" exists in two fragmented versions:
- with narratives drawn from Greek mythology,
- and the second poem attempts to revise the first:
· It is stylistically different from the earlier poem, adding a long prologue and altering the poem's structure and theme.

"Hyperion" relates the fall of the Titans, elemental energies of the world, and their replacement by newer gods:
- The Olympian gods, having superior knowledge and an understanding of humanity's suffering, are the natural successors to the Titans.
- Keats's epic begins after the battle between the Titans and the Olympian gods, with the Titans already fallen.
- Hyperion, the sun god, is the Titans' only hope for further resistance.
- The epic's narrative, divided into three sections, concentrates on the dethronement of Hyperion and the ascension to power of Apollo, god of sun and poetry:
· Book I presents Saturn fallen and about to be replaced and Hyperion threatened within his empire.
· At the council of the Titans, Book II, Oceanus advocates acceptance of their inevitable defeat, though his speech is contrasted with those of other Titans.
· In the unfinished Book III, Apollo undergoes his transformation into the new ruling god. He meets with Mnemosyne, or memory and the mother of the Muses, in order to assume his powers and to attain immortality.
"The Fall of Hyperion" is darker than "Hyperion":
- with the former suggesting that:
· beauty can only be achieved through pain,
· and that poetry is incomplete if it evades and leaves unexpressed the suffering of humanity.
- the poet occupies the space of the poem in a dream-vision:
· The Poet asks for help, and he receives the vision of the fall of Hyperion and the ascension of Apollo, elements which structure the first Hyperion.
· The action begins in a forest, where the speaker, consciously portrayed as the Poet, consumes fruits and drinks a toast to all poets.
· This drink initiates a dream-vision where the Poet meets a Muse figure, Moneta, who challenges the Poet to ascend to the world of art, where fame offers a type of immortality.
· Although humbled by this challenge, the speaker enters a holy shrine to poetry, where he undergoes a death and rebirth.
· The Muse and the Poet debate the nature of poetry, happiness, visionary experience, and the role of the poet in the modern world.
· Moneta distinguishes poets from dreamers.
1. whose imaginations focus only on individual ideals.
2. whereas true poets have awakened their imaginations to tragic pain but attempt to redeem sorrow with compassion and visionary acceptance.
· Moneta permits the speaker to enter the temple of Saturn, and she reveals to him her story.
· The Poet then describes Moneta's vision of the decline of the Titans. The speaker empathizes with the gods, and his ability to feel pain and suffering through imagination defines him as a Poet.
- The remainder of the poem narrates the laments of the Titans as they are replaced by the Olympian powers and led by Apollo. It ends with the introduction of Hyperion, who attempts to lead the final fight of the Titans against the new gods.
Major Themes
In addition to Greek mythology, both poems draw from earlier poetic works, including Milton's Paradise Lost which is both imitated and challenged:
- Hyperion is often considered Miltonic in style and theme,
- and The Fall of Hyperion has been compared to Dante's The Divine Comedy, in terms of its structure as a dream-vision and in its use of a Muse figure.
Many themes introduced in the Hyperion poems are identifiable as those associated with Romanticism. Hyperion, which marks the exchange of the old powers for the new, addresses ideas about poetry, beauty, knowledge, and experience.
These ideas are also present in "The Fall of Hyperion". Hyperion's dominant themes address the nature of poetry and its relationship to humanity:
- The narrative suggests a thematic consideration of progress, particularly towards enlightenment and depictions of beauty, even as it evokes classical ideals found in Greek mythology.
- Visual and verbal representations, in the use of language and of Greek sculptural forms, contribute to this exploration.
- Through his representation of gods, Keats's commentary on Romantic opposites includes the real and ideal, history versus myth, finite versus infinite.
- The theme of truth is also prevalent:
· The speech of Oceanus and the ascension of Apollo both point to Hyperion's concern with truth and its relationship with beauty, knowledge, and suffering. Truth is closely associated with knowledge and both are acquired through pain, which results from the understanding and acceptance of change and impermanence.
· However painful, truth is pure and beautiful, and what is beautiful is eternal. It is this honorable truth that the human spirit strives to attain.
The structure of The Fall of Hyperion encourages a thematic consideration of the nature of art and beauty:
- In this version, the significance of the imagination is central.
- Here, the dream-vision structure emphasizes the Romantic tension between material representations and inner visions.
- The immortality offered by art, as opposed to human mortality or divine immortality, contribute to thematic issues with life and death.
- It is concerned with both pleasure and pain as integral to life and asserts the predominance of suffering. Also expressed is the relationship between knowledge, suffering, and divine power.
- Perhaps the strongest theme presented by the poem is the Poet's identity and his responsibility to humankind.
The Hyperion poems illustrate Keats's aesthetic theories:
- One dominant theme in the poems is Keats's notion of “negative capability,” his assertion that the ability to entertain opposing ideas, images, and concepts without “any irritable reaching after fact and reason” is a poetic necessity.
- This aesthetic quality is believed to be present in those rare individuals who transcend Selfhood, leaving them able to identify with and express the experience rather than with their perception of the experience, and thus able to convey art's truth and beauty.

dissabte, 18 d’abril del 2009


The Draft Constitution of the Catalan Republic of 1928, commonly known as the Constitution of Havana (the place where it was written), was born as one of several attempts to raise Catalonia to the status of an independent state.In the period between the First World War and 1931, a number of factors contributed to the rise of nationalist activity in Catalonia: the birth of the Irish state, the creation of several European countries from the disintegration of the European Empires, the admission of the right of self-determination by both the Americans and the Soviets and the decline of the Spanish Empire (which lost its colonies of Cuba and The Philippines, against the backdrop of the growth of the Catalan economy.This resulted in the creation of the separatist Constituent Assembly of Catalonia in Havana, Cuba, chaired by Francesc Macià. This assembly approved the Constitution of Havana on September 30 and October 1st and 2nd of 1928, as their project of giving a Provisional Constitution for a Catalan Republic.The Draft Constitution was written by Josep Conangla i Fontanilles (Montblanc 1875 – Havana 1965), a Catalan essayist and poet living in Havana, and the leading Catalan separatist in the Americas during the 20th Century.
In 1931 the Second Spanish Republic was proclaimed, but the lack of a strong leader and mature separatist party extinguished the aspirations to independence embodied in this text. Therefore, the constitution never came into effect, and instead the Catalan authorities presented the Draft Statute of Catalonia of 1932 to the Spanish government. This statute (regional constitution), however, was also rejected, and finally the governments of Spain and Catalonia approved theStatute of Catalonia of 1932.
In spite of never having entered into force, the Draft Constitution is a very important text in regards to the political ideas and ideals of the Catalan separatist movement before Franco's dictatorship.

dimarts, 14 d’abril del 2009


Presentació de la novel·la Dies d'anhels, que van escriure l’Emigdi Subirats i l'ampostí Rafel Duran fa un parell d'anys a quatre mans, el proper diumenge en el marc de la fira literària Joan Cid i Mulet a l'EMD de Jesús .
Té com a marc la ciutat d'Amposta durant la guerra civil i narra la vida de Joan Talarn, regidor d'ERC a la ciutat montsianenca, que va haver de sofrir un llarg període privat de llibertat, la qual cosa va forçar el seu silenci ideològic durant la resta de la seua vida. El relat està basat en fets reals, a partir de la història que va deixar enregistrada en una cinta la germana del protagonista que va traspassar amb una edat força avançada. La novel.la ha estat publicada per Aeditors, una editorial del Perelló (Baix Ebre) que està fent un molt bon treball quant a la difusió de les lletres ebrenques.
El següent paràgraf forma part del primer capítol de Dies d'anhels:
Voldria bastir l’edifici de les meues remembrances sense oblidar res, car absolutament res de banal crec que hi hagué durant la meva noiesa, ben servida tant de dolçors com de dureses. De vegades, innocentment, tinc la sensació que em domina una estranya força que em porta a realitzar una mena d’inventari simple d’aquelles joguines senzilles que guardava com un tresor en el meu raconet personal de la masia de Vinallop on vivia amb els meus pares, quan no comptava més que amb uns pocs mesos, i que sentia tan meues. El pare era un veritable manetes i ens construïa de tant en tant carretons amb fustes i ferros que ja no li eren de cap ús i amb corrioles velles i rovellades del pou que convertia en roda, i ens passejava a sobre quan trobava cinc minuts lliures - llavors era glòria - i, a més, fabricava espases i aixades i destrals, i ens arreplegava capses grans on podíem jugar a amagar-nos. Sovint em sentia com en un somni adorable del qual mai no m’hagués agradat sortir - despertar n’era l’eixida desagradable -, on tots els éssers estimats giraven al meu voltant i estaven a la meva disposició plena. Ni em mancava res ni em sobrava tampoc. Ni coneixia grandeses ni les podia imaginar. No menjava grans àpats, encara que la mare disposava al meu davant puntualment els aliments suficients per nodrir un estómac gens avesat a estridències, alhora que per llei havia de deixar el plat buit i sense sobres. El color verd de l’herba dels prats i de les fulles dels garrofers - arbres robusts i centenaris- marcava la meua existència. Humil i feliç. Veritablement. No era altra cosa que la rutina d’un infant criat entre verdors congènites insospitades avui dia en temps de progrés, olors profundes d’animals de casa, brous cuinats amb mil sabors naturals, llet d’una vaca que tenia nom propi i aigua fresca acabada de pouar.

diumenge, 12 d’abril del 2009

“Natale con i tuoi, Pasqua con chi vuoi”

La Pasqua italiana si svolge in tre giornate, il Venerdì Santo, la Domenica di Pasqua e il Lunedì di Pasquetta, così che, in occasione dell’arrivo della bella stagione, si può già pensare di organizzare un’escursione. Il cibo è un elemento centrale e nonostante il detto “Natale con i tuoi, Pasqua con chi vuoi”, gli Italiani amano riunirsi anche nella Domenica di Pasqua per gustare insieme i cibi pasquali. Nonostante questi varino di regione in regione si possono trovare dei piatti comuni a tutte o a molte regioni. Ecco i principali.

1. Colazione di Pasqua
Le famiglie delle regioni centrali preparano solitamente un cesto per la colazione di Pasqua. Questo cesto contiene la torta di Pasqua, il capocollo, del vino bianco e uova sode decorate con colori appositi dai bambini. Durante il sabato che precede la Pasqua, si va in chiesa per la benedizione, secondo un rito cattolico, di questi cestini.

2. Pane e torte
Sotto il periodo di Pasqua il pane si arricchisce. Esistono diversi esempi di pani e torte pasquali. Gli ingredienti più usati in ogni caso restano formaggi, pancetta, olive, uova e burro.

3. Piselli
Come segno dell’arrivo della primavera, i piselli compaiono sulle tavole degli Italiani accompagnati da pancetta o prosciutto e prezzemolo. I piselli sono il contorno principale il giorno di Pasqua.

4. Agnello arrosto
Come in molti altri paesi cristiani l’agnello è un importante simbolo pasquale (in Polonia, per esempio, si porta in tavola del burro a forma di agnello) e la pietanza principale per il pranzo di Pasqua. Una delle specialità più famose è il cosciotto d’agnello arrosto.

5. Cappelletti in brodo
Dopo l’abbondanza della colazione e del pranzo della Domenica di Pasqua, per cena ci si mantiene leggeri con l’immancabile brodo di carne e cappelletti.

6. Colomba
È il principale dessert sotto le feste pasquali e il regalo più comune che si può ricevere quando si decide di invitare qualcuno al pranzo di Pasqua. Si tratta di un dolce a forma di colomba, ricoperto di zucchero e mandorle.

7. Uova di Pasqua
I bambini italiani non attendono impazienti il coniglietto di Pasqua (l’usanza non esiste in Italia) ma non vedono l’ora di mangiare un po’ di cioccolata e di scoprire la sorpresa all’interno dell’uovo di cioccolata che ricevono la mattina di Pasqua.


dissabte, 11 d’abril del 2009


The chairman of Foyles bookshop lives in an abbey, surrounded by the memories of kings, queens and monks - not to mention assorted ghosts and an organ once played by Handel.
For nearl twenty years, Christopher Foyle has been collecting interesting and unusual words, both ancient and modern. This ever-growing collection evolved into the well-known and acclaimed Foyle's Philavery, now followed by Foyle's Further Philavery.
I happen to be one of those people who love these kinds of books, though unfortunately they frequently get lost in the melange of frippery that is located around the checkout counter at better bookstores. Anyway, Foyle, who happens to own such a bookstore in London, has collected a fair-sized book's worth of odd and distinctive words, his favorite of which is "kakistocracy, a system of government where the rulers are the least competent, least qualified or most unprincipled citizens".
The word philavery was invented to describe this book a collection of words chosen simply on the grounds of their aesthetic appeal.
It is a celebration of fascinating words, chosen for their aptness, obscurity, quirkiness or euphony, will delight all logophiles and bibliomaniacs.
Christopher Foyle's books reflect his passion for the overlooked gems in the English lexicon.

dilluns, 6 d’abril del 2009


Helen Forrester's works are best known and most read in Liverpool and Merseyside. Her chef-d'oeuvre is the autobiographical tetralogy set in Liverpool during the depression and early years of World War II: Twopence to Cross the Mersey, Liverpool Miss, By the Waters of Liverpool and Lime Street at Two.

Helen Forrester came from an initially prosperous background, with a public school-educated businessman father, who became bankrupt just after the Wall Street Crash. What really toppled the family over the edge into penury was the fact that there were seven Forrester children; large families were out of fashion.

Helen's father was unable to find any work in Depression Liverpool; nor did Helen's mother fare any better; applying to become a maid, she was told that her educated accent made potential employers very uneasy.

Some readers may see a family's desperate struggle in unfortunate circumstances, while others may see the Great Depression as "a wickedness deliberately plotted by the lending houses of the United States and Europe."

Twopence to Cross the Mersey (1974)

When Helen Forrester's father went bankrupt in 1930 she and her six siblings were forced from comfortable middle-class life in southern England to utmost poverty in the Depression-ridden North. Her parents more or less collapsed under the strain, father spending hours in search of non-existent work, or in the dole queue, mother on the verge of a breakdown and striving to find and keep part-time jobs. The running of the household, in slum surroundings and with little food, the care of the younger children, all fell on twelve-year-old Helen. Unable to attend school, Helen's fear that she was to be trapped forever as druge and housekeeper caused her to despair at times. But she was determined to have a chance asn struggled, despite her parents to gain an education.

Lime Street at Two (1985)

The last part of Helen Forrester's moving autobiography of her early poverty-stricken life in blitz-torn Liverpool. In 1940 Helen, now twenty, reeling from the news that her fiance Harry has been killed on an Atlantic convoy, is working long hours at a welfare centre in Bootle, five miles from home. Her wages are pitifully low and her mother claims the whole of them for housekeeping. Then, early in 1941, she gets a new job and begins to enjoy herself a little. But in May the bombing starts again and another move brings more trouble to Helen, trouble which will be faced, as ever, with courage and determination.

By the Waters of Liverpool (1981)

The third volume in the classic story of Helen Forrester's childhood and adolescence in poverty-stricken Liverpool during the 1930s. Helen has managed to achieve a small measure of independence. At seventeen, she has fought and won two bitter battles with her parents, the first for the right to educate herself at evening classes, the second for the right to go out to work. Her parents are still as financially irresponsible as ever, wasting money while their children lack blankets, let alone proper beds, but for Helen the future is brightening as she begins to make friends her own age and to develop some social life outside the home. At twenty, still never kissed by a lover, Helen meets Harry, a strong, tall seaman, and falls in love...

Liverpool Miss (1982)

The continuing story of Helen Forrester's poverty-stricken childhood in Liverpool during the Depression. The Forrester family are slowly winning their fight for survival. But fourteen-year-old Helen's personal battle is to persuade her parents to allow her to earn her own living, to lead her own life after the years of neglect and inadequate schooling while she cared for her six younger brothers and sisters. Her untiring struggles against illness caused by severe malnutrition and dirt (she has her first bath in four years) and, above all, the selfish demands of her parents, make this a story of amazing courage and perseverance.

diumenge, 5 d’abril del 2009

Mig miler de Campredonencs i Campredonenques reclamen el canvi de traçat de l’A-7

"Entre Campredó i Font de Quinto. Ni parlar-ne!! Canvi de traçat, ja!!".

Aquest lema fou el crit de guerra del mig miler de Campredonencs i Campredonenques, que ahir al migdia van tallar durant uns vint minuts l’autovia entre Tortosa i l’Aldea. Volíem demostrar que no estem disposats a acceptar el traçat de la futura autovia A-7 per la zona proposat pel Ministeri de Foment.

Campredó és una pedania, amb consciència de poble, del municipi de Tortosa. El nucli urbà, on hi viuen més de 1.000 persones, es veu cercat pel riu Ebre, al sud, pel polígon industrial Baix Ebre, a l’oest; i per l’autovia Tortosa-l’Aldea, al nord. Només hi ha una zona on poder continuar planificant per al creixement i el desenvolupament, a l’est, on s’hi troben una zona d’horts i dos nuclis més petits que depenen de Campredó, i que coneixem per Font de Quinto i el Raval del Pom.

En aquesta zona és on Foment projecta el pas de la futura autovia A-7 (desdoblament de la N-340). La calçada que se construiria seria una barrera enorme que impediria el creixement natural del poble. Per a l’Emigdi Subirats, escriptor, veí de Font de Quinto, i germà meu, "els dos nuclis es convertirien en dos clots, en un buit marginal que hipotecaria el nostre futur. El traçat, a més, suposaria la destrucció d’un jaciment de tombes antropomòrfiques".

A les onze del matí va començar la marxa amb els veïns que llençaven consignes com "Un poble unit no es pot dividir!" o "Escolteu el territori, no ens equivoquem!".

Campredó reclama a Foment que accepti el traçat alternatiu proposat pels ajuntaments de Tortosa, Amposta i l’Aldea i que transita 500 metres més al sud, on l’afectació és menor.

divendres, 3 d’abril del 2009


El proper dissabte 4 de març, a les 11 hores, el Consell assessor de Campredó ha convocat una manifestació per protestar contra el traçat de l'autovia que té projectat el ministeri de Foment en el tram entre La Jana i El Perelló. Cal destacar aquesta unitat d'acció de tots els membres del Consell que volen encapçalar aquesta lluita per aturar que quedi trinxat el nostre poble i els nuclis urbans separats irreversiblement.
La manifestació tindrà lloc en el marc de l'autovia Tortosa-L'Aldea, a l'alçada del lloc on té projectat Foment el traçat de l'altra autovia, per comprovar l'impacte terrible que tindria en la nostra vida quotidiana. Es tallarà l'autovia durant una estona.
S'espera aconseguir una important mobilització ciutadana, ja que hi ha força expectació al poble i a la comarca. A veure si el temps ens acompanya i no ens fa una mala passada.
Us esperem a totes i a tots!!!
Entre Campredó i Font de Quinto, ni parlar-ne!!!

dimecres, 1 d’abril del 2009


Dites entorn el mes d'abril

de cada cent, un de bo
la vella que això deia en tenia cent un
i no n'havia vist mai ni un.

D'abrils i de senyors
pocs i que no siguin traidors.

No hi ha mal any
si l'abril és bo.

Per l'abrilcada gota val per mil
i el blat s'estira com un fil

Per l'abril,abriló
ous al ponedor.

No t'embarquis per l'abril
si no vols estar en perill.

Abril finit
el camp florit.

L'abril mullat
fa créixer l'herba per al ramat.

Per l'abril,llibres i roses mil.

A l'abril
aigües mil.

Per l'abril
no et treguis ni un fil.

No donis l'hivern per passat
fins que l'abril no s'hagi acabat.

Abril ploraner
maig rialler.

L'abril diu al maig
jo no he pogut
tu plou a raig.