Frankenstein ya está en camino

La primera edición del libro Frankenstein de nuestra colección de clásicos Sparrow ya está en el horno.

La misma tiene por portada el trabajo ganador del concurso llevado a cabo entre abril y junio de este año. La introducción viene de la pluma del ilustre filósofo y escritor Rafael Angel Herra. Pronto estaremos comenzando también con el Book Club dedicado al doctor y su monstruo. Mientras tanto, te dejamos con una versión en línea de la historia para ir calentando:

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Escaping the Matrix: La idea detrás de la imagen

¿Aún estás en la Matriz?

‘Escaping the Matrix’ es un espacio para conversar sobre temas relacionados con nuestra percepción de identidad en el mundo moderno, a través del análisis de obras cinematográficas contemporáneas. El objetivo es

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How well do you know your way around Middle-earth?

Our book clubbers have had an amazing journey since Bilbo and the party left Bag End. They went through the Ruhdaur and beneath the Misty Mountains before being taken by mythical beasts all the way to the Carrock. Then they crossed the darkest forest of the Rhovanion and reached Esgaroth, which lies just a few miles from Dale and dreaded Erebor itself.

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They went where?

If you’re wondering the same thing (as many people will most likely do), taking a look at this interactive map and timeline of Middle-earth by the LOTRProject.com will help you catch up with Bilbo and his associates. Hover your mouse over the events on the right side and get the location of our heroes’ adventures as they make their way to the Lonely Mountain. Go and have fun exploring Tolkien’s Middle-earth!

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Galería: propuestas concursantes para la portada de Frankenstein.

El Centro Cultural Británico agradece y felicita a los 25 artistas participantes por su dedicación al crear las más de 45 propuestas que concursan por la portada de la novela Frankenstein de Mary Shelley en nuestra colección de clásicos ´Sparrow‘.

Como verán la gran variedad y calidad de las propuestas les han dado un gran trabajo a los jurados, sin embargo les deseamos la mejor de las suertes a todos. El ganador fue anunciado el lunes 10 de junio.

Aquí tienen la galería, no olviden expresar su aprecio por sus favoritas en los comentarios.

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17 May – “The Hobbit”

We began this book club by looking at the life and times of J.R.R. Tolkien and cultural influences that inspired his work. We looked at his background as a professor of Anglo-Saxon (Old English) at Oxford, and heard the epic  poem Beowulf  recited in the original Anglo-Saxon language (together with a translation into modern English!)

We talked about works by other artists which may have had an influence on Tolkien, in particular the huge operatic cycle “The Ring of the Nibelungs” by the German composer Richard Wagner, and listened to  Siegfried’s Death and Funeral Music from the opera Gotterdammerung, the final of the four operas which make up the “Ring” cycle.

We also looked at Runes and the Runic alphabet ;  runes were an ancient Germanic writing system with which Tolkien was familiar, and incorporated into his works. Students read chapters 1, 2 and 3 for homework……An unexpected journey begins!

"Wotan visits Mime and offers him his help." Illustration to Richard Wagner's Siegfried by Arthur Rackham. 1911
“Wotan visits Mime and offers him his help.”
Illustration to Richard Wagner’s Siegfried by Arthur Rackham. 1911
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A Clockwork Orange: The End

“Alex presents us with the raw picture of life in a broken down society, in which being “good” can sometimes even turn into a defence mechanism against the gross injustices committed by the government authorities supposed to be supporting their population, and being “bad”, into the only way of expressing individuality and acquiring a status amidst the mechanization of human interactions, all within a thought-provoking debate on free will.”Hillary. Book Club. 27th April 2013

Although it’s true what they say about all great things coming to an end,  we are sure that ‘A Clockwork Orange’ will stay with us for a very long time.

To say goodbye to this Book Club we spent some time playing our own version of the old game Pictionary, using words from the novel. Our book clubbers jumped at the task with their best Nadsat and showed how proficient they have become at using the made-up language of Alex and his droogs. (If you want to become as good as them here’s a full Nadsat glosary).

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We also re-imagined our favourite scenes from the point of view of other characters involved and shared our points of view on the final chapter of the book.

When the book was to be published in the United States, Burgess’ editor in New York decided that the chapter #21 was too bland and left it out of the US version. Since Kubrik’s film was based on the edited version of the book, most people are unfamiliar with the original ending, which has led to some degree of controversy on whether the story is better with or without it.

To finish this Book Club, here’s a 30-minute documentray that follows Kubrik as he brings to life his version of Burgess‘ story. Viddy later!

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Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – Week 3

Suddenly she came upon a little three-legged table, all made of solid glass; there was nothing on it except a tiny golden key, and Alice’s first thought was that it might belong to one of the doors of the hall; but, alas! either the locks were too large, or the key was too small, but at any rate it would not open any of them. However, on the second time round, she came upon a low curtain she had not noticed before, and behind it was a little door about fifteen inches high: she tried the little golden key in the lock, and to her great delight it fitted!”

-Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 1

[source]

 Alice then looks through the door to discover an amazingly beautiful garden on the other side. Being the kind of curious child she was, Alice immediately set her mind to get to the other side and lie amongst the flowers; even though she couldn’t even get her head through the door.

Eventually, and after many adventures which involved considerable changes in her size, she manages to get to the garden and continue her journey as we know it.

But what about all the other doors that Alice didn’t open? What would her adventure have been if she had opened a different one?

These are the kind of questions that the great poet T.S. Eliot had in mind when writing the first few lines of his poem Burnt Norton, the first in his Four Qartets. Here’s a fragment of the poem:

Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future.
And time future contained in time past.
If all time is eternally present
All time is unredeemable.
What might have been is an abstraction
Remaining a perpetual possibility
Only in a world of speculation.
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.
Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened
Into the rose-garden. . My words echo
Thus, in your mind.
[continue reading]

In the text, T.S. Eliot ponders about the multiple futures that lie ahead of us at every moment and the infinite possibilities of what our past and future might have been.

During last week’s Book Club, while discussing the poem and its meaning, an interesting question rose: If you were given the possibility to go back and peek through the keyholes of your ‘other doors’, would you do it?  If so, to what purpose?

It was quite interesting to discover that even though many of us do not regret our choices in life, we do wish we could see what might have happened had we chosen differently at certain points in our life. Others however, fervently oppose going thorugh that old path and lingering on memories that never were.

Would you use your chance to look at your other possible lives?

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Brave New World – Week 2

The principle of mass production at last applied to biology. Chapter 1

“Throughout Brave New World, the citizens of the World State substitute the name of Henry Ford, the early twentieth-century industrialist and founder of the Ford Motor Company, wherever people in our own world would say Lord” (i.e., Christ). This demonstrates that even at the level of casual conversation and habit, religion has been replaced by reverence for technology—specifically the efficient, mechanized factory production of goods that Henry Ford pioneered.” Source

What do you think?

Should the cloning of humans be allowed?

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