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"The trouble with the term ‘magic realism,’ el realismo mágico, is that when people say or hear it they are really hearing or saying only half of it, “magic,” without paying attention to the other half, ‘realism.’ But if magic realism were just magic, it wouldn’t matter. It would be mere whimsy — writing in which, because anything can happen, nothing has effect. It’s because the magic in magic realism has deep roots in the real, because it grows out of the real and illuminates it in beautiful and unexpected ways, that it works. […]

But, to say it again: The flights of fancy need real ground beneath them. When I first read García Márquez I had never been to any Central or South American country. Yet in his pages I found a reality I knew well from my own experience in India and Pakistan. In both places there was and is a conflict between the city and the village, and there are similarly profound gulfs between rich and poor, powerful and powerless, the great and the small. Both are places with a strong colonial history, and in both places religion is of great importance and God is alive, and so, unfortunately, are the godly.

I knew García Márquez’s colonels and generals, or at least their Indian and Pakistani counterparts; his bishops were my mullahs; his market streets were my bazaars. His world was mine, translated into Spanish. It’s little wonder I fell in love with it — not for its magic (although, as a writer reared on the fabulous ‘wonder tales’ of the East, that was appealing too) but for its realism. My world was more urban than his, however. It is the village sensibility that gives García Márquez’s realism its particular flavor, the village in which technology is frightening but a devout girl rising up to heaven is perfectly credible; in which, as in Indian villages, the miraculous is everywhere believed to coexist with the quotidian.”

— from Salman Rushdie’s remembrance of Gabriel García Márquez for the New York Times

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valsez:

Poems for $.50 in a small bookstore in San Francisco 

valsez:

Poems for $.50 in a small bookstore in San Francisco 

(via fuckyeahbookarts)

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Happy Earth day, fellow earthlings

Happy Earth day, fellow earthlings

(Source: ourtimeorg, via alhayatjamilah)

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"I condemn the violent attack on Raza [Rumi] for what it is: an assault on freedom of expression and opinion. I condemn everything. Ad infinitum. Ad nauseam. Yet, professional engagement with violence and living with the possibility of physical harm never prepares you for that moment when it enters the very personal domain—when it is you, your family or close friends and peers that are the ‘breaking news’ horror of the day. I am not theorizing. It’s a lesson learnt over and over in the last few years.

[…]

One of the few rights we can still exercise unfettered is the right to sadness and sorrow.”

— For Guernica, Human Rights Watch Pakistan Director Ali Dayan Hasan writes an eloquent take on freedom of expression and the choice to live outside of the fear of saying what one must to counter the chaos in Pakistan

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Nearly a third of primary school-aged children in Pakistan are not in school, according to the United Nations. Millions of children are left out, despite the fact that the country’s constitution mandates a “free and compulsory” education for all young people. Out-of-school children are everywhere to be seen in Pakistan — working in the shops of auto mechanics or as domestic servants. Young girls, barely seven or eight are hired as nannies. In this audio slideshow that I made for the Pulitzer Center on Crises Reporting which supported my look at education in Pakistan, I feature some out-of-school children I met in Islamabad to get a sense of what their lives are like and if school was ever an option for them.

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(Source: metalite, via d-u-n-i-y-a)

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"You write better with all your problems resolved…You write better in good health. You write better without preoccupations. You write better when you have love in your life. There is a romantic idea that suffering and adversity are very good, very useful for the writer. I don’t agree at all. I don’t go so far as some writers, who jog every day. But I do believe that you have to be in almost athletic condition to write every day.”

— Gabriel Garcia Marquez

[This March 1988 Esquire article came out just after Love in the Time of Cholera was published. I just finished reading that a month or so ago and was awed after I looked up Gabo and saw that he was still alive. It felt like such an honor to exist on the same planet and him and to breathe the same air as someone so incredible.]

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"The soul
Like the square root of minus 1 
is an impossibility that has its uses.”

— from “Imaginary Number,” a poem by Vijay Seshadri who is the recipient of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize in poetry

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"I love the word ‘desi.’ It is so beautiful. I can go around saying it over and over again. I’m of the view that it is the best word to describe ourselves. Phrases like African American, Asian American, Hispanic American, etc. are bureaucratic words that do not hold within them the revolutionary aspirations and histories of a people (categorized but not controlled). I prefer words like Black, desi, Latino, Chicano, because these words raise associations of struggles, such as the Black Power movement (‘Black is Beautiful,’ etc.), the Chicano struggles of the farm workers, of La Raza, and what not. Desi seems to be a similar word, one filled with so much historical emotion. And again, it is an ironic word, because it means of the homeland, but it does not say what that homeland is. We who use it do not hearken back to the ‘homeland’ of the subcontinent, because we are generally not nationalistic in that sense. Our homeland is an imaginary one that stretches from Jackson Heights to the Ghadar Party, from the rallies against Dotbusters to the Komagata Maru, from the 1965 Immigration Act to Devon Street. This is a homeland that we can relate to and it is what makes us feel like we belong in something of a collectivity. Hence desi."

— from “Smashing the Myth of the Model Minority” by Vijay Prashad

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Traditional Morocco

Kazuyoshi Nomachi

(via fotojournalismus)

(via cavahamdoullah)

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"Life is short, the art long."

— Hippocrates (via observando)

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"I am unable to grasp the large catastrophes. They leave my heart untouched. At most I can read about such atrocities with a kind of greed – a pornography of horror. But I shall never rid myself of those images. Images that turn my art into a bag of tricks, into something indifferent, meaningless. The question is whether art has any possibility of surviving except as an alternative to other leisure activities: these inflections, these circus tricks, all this nonsense, this puffed-up self-satisfaction."

— Franz Kafka, Diaries  (via sacreamour)

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— from “The World I Live In: Tennessee Williams Interviews Himself,” by, of course, Tennesee Williams

— from “The World I Live In: Tennessee Williams Interviews Himself,” by, of course, Tennesee Williams

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"I would rather die of passion than of boredom."

— Vincent van Gogh (via stories-yet-to-be-written)

(Source: acrylicalchemy, via bohemiandrifter)