From the series: Masters of Modern Literature
Mario Vargas Llosa – The Time of a Hero
The Nobel-Prize winner is well-known for his controversial novels which tell stories about Peru and Latin America culture. The ability to vividly depict internal conflicts, absurds and struggles of the society turned him into one of the most important Latin American writers of all time. One of the authors that gained recognition in the consequence of Latin America Boom of the 1960s, Llosa undoubtedly left his mark on the modern literature.
The City and the Dogs
The controversy accompanied Llosa from the very beginning of his writing career. The novel The Time of a Hero, a fictional story inspired by Llosa’s experience from Military Academy in Lima, emphasised the strictness and artificial order of the world he used to be a part of. The play with narrative voices showed multiple perspectives and emotions of the characters, which proved how differently the understanding of reality is shaped. The book was burnt during a special event by the members of the Academy, however, it turned out to be one of the most significant Peruvian novels of all time.
The role of his prose
Llosa’s ability to explore and experiment with different literary genres is remarkable. Some of his writings are crime novels, in which he not only creates riveting stories but also presents the reality of Peru. Colorful descriptions and meaningful imagery help in understanding the culture and worldview of the people.
Who Killed Palomino Molero?
The atmosphere Llosa creates in the crime novel Who Killed Palomino Molero brings the reader closer to life in Peruvian villages. The grains of sand seem to appear on the pages of the book that illuminates with Peruvian sun. The reader strolls along the streets together with the characters – policemen who investigate the case of the murder. Llosa builds a story of young love, mother tragedy and unanswered questions, offering great adventure into the Latin American world.
To be continued…
From the series: Masters of Modern Literature
Murakami and jazz
The music led him to the kingdom of forgotten reality. Transcending the dimensions and exploring alternative worlds, Murakami opens a box of frightening truths about human beings.
Music and mystery
The question why did the owner of a jazz club become a world-known writer is not easy to answer. He claims that the inspiration appeared during the baseball match, which illustrates the power of a single thought. The love to jazz music and the influence of American culture continuously shape Murakami’s writing. However, unusual, illogical and unexplainable phenomena are the most characteristic ones in his books.
Cats and ears
Murakami subtly builds a pattern of elements that appear in his novels without obvious reasons. The motif of cats, descriptions of ears and distinctive music fascinate, creating an inimitable atmosphere. Shocking images and unanswered questions, deliberate development of the plot and philosophical dilemmas rule in Murakami’s prose. The author depicts the process of the characters’ change, showing how life inertia is converted into the state of self-understanding.
Reflecting on reality
One of the most significant of Murakami’s novel, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, tells a story of Toru, whose seemingly normal, stabilised life ends with his wife’s disappearance. His everyday life is being filled with strangeness and unusual events connected with wells, Tokio streets and the mysteries of consciousness. The author expresses his thoughts on death and sacrifices through intricate dreams and fantasies. Toru’s loneliness is an important theme of the book, showing the limitation of compassion and empathy. Murakami indicates that understanding of others will never be full and would not eradicate unfulfillment.
The world of fantasy
The author’s thoughts on what defines the reality are significant especially when all illusions are lost. The power to change our perception and attitude lies in our hands and with at least a tinge of fantasy we are able to alter it.
To be continued…
Skies and glory
Winners and losers
The Sun and the Moon
Snowflakes and poems
Writers and actors
People and monsters
Palaces and castles
All I’ve built with you
The seas and the mountains
The ruins of what was left
All the islands in the world
Lava and wetlands
Steel and timber
All the places I’ve crossed
Everything I wanted I had
Avenue beneath Californian dawn
Each feather gradually hardened
Illusion joined kindlessly
Large mosaic no one praised
Stopped the ubiquitous violence
Woke Yosemite zonetime
Advice from seniors
Are you a lower classman and want to read about a few tips from your older friends about how to get ready for senior exams? This is the article for you! Find out when to start revising materials for your “matury”, “Abitur”, or senior exams and how to do it! 🙂
There are many different opinions about when to start revising for exams. Almost all seniors advise studying systematically and regularly during all 3 or 4 years of high school. Some might argue that revisions a few months before real exams are pointless because you will forget it all. They prefer to stay up all day and night before the exam day and prepare then. I guess they like to work under pressure and that’s their method of studying. However, most of the students in our school start revising for “matura” after New Year’s Eve. The mock exams start soon after that, and in school teachers might also start revising.
Psychologists also argue when is the best time to start preparing. Every student has his/her own way of learning, and if they don’t, they should find one that works best for them.
During your 3 or 4 years of high school, you should collect your notes, quizzes, tests and other materials from class, since it will become a gigantic database for your future revisions. You don’t need to worry about borrowing the notes from others a week before the senior exam. If you have any long-term papers to write (internal assessments, Extended Essay or others) it’s better to start working on them as soon as possible. Try writing little things down, whenever you have some free time. Also, use your summer holidays to catch up with some part of the course that maybe you didn’t really understand in class, or organize your shelves, so that you can enter the new year or your senior year prepared.
Some seniors also advise organizing your work schedule. If you have any free periods (“okienka”), use them exhaustingly, so that you can make the best of your time spent in school and not work on homework until 3am. Additionally, don’t take too much on your plate. We all know how exciting it is: parties, sports, driving, school, voting, maybe a job. So many things to do, but so little time. Get your priorities straight! Think about what are the most important things for you during the next 3 years. Maybe make a list of your goals and aims. Organize your time so that you can still attend parties, but you aren’t failing any classes.
I once heard that you can’t have it all: enough sleep, friendships/parties, and good grades. You can have only 2 out of those 3 things. I disagree. Good organization, not postponing anything for “later” and motivations help you achieve anything you want. Just listen to what your older friends are telling you, and focus! There are only a few more years of high school left, and then you will be free to go out into the world by yourself! Good luck!
The steps of how I know you
Precariously have I taken the first step
And therein like a tsunami, the great tide invaded
To sweep me, however softly, off my feet
I prayed to, they wished to, but I’ve never given in
A following shade of splendour
Body soaked in positivity that I took my body upon
I stood with both feet now
Could have sworn I saw it clearly
Both the sand and the shells made it real to me
I have seen everything since my eyes saw you
Nothing else was this wholehearted
Craziness felt serene during shining hours
And this is how the sea under my feet parted