Swans Commentary » swans.com July 30, 2012  



Special Summer Issue: Books, Music, Films


My 2012 Summer Postcard


by Guido Monte





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(Swans - July 30, 2012)   This is my 2012 summer postcard to Swans readers listing some of my favorite books, works of music, and motion pictures.




•   If This Is A Man (1947) and The Truce (1963), by Primo Levi (Abacus, 1987)

Primo Levi, prisoner at Auschwitz, demonstrates how it was possible to keep his own humanity during his inhuman internment.


•   The Tartar Steppe (1940), by Dino Buzzati (Canongate Books, 2007)

In this novel, Buzzati describes the stream of time as it passes through the mind of one Giovanni Drogo, an army officer who spends his life guarding a remote fortress.


•   Letters Against The War (2002), by Tiziano Terzani (India Research Press)

Tiziano is against all wars. See one of Tiziano's letters at Swans (http://swans.com/library/art14/ga259.html).


•   The Brothers Karamazov (1880), by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (Spark Educational Publishing, 2004)

A great spiritual drama of modernity.


•   The Man Who Laughs (1869), by Victor Hugo (Indo-European Publishing, 2010)

A touching novel of English history, about the arrogance of the power.




•   Passages (1990), music by Ravi Shankar and Philip Glass

A blending of different forms of music into a unique fusion.


•   Soundtrack of The Piano (1993), music by Michael Nyman

Minimalist and acute piano sounds of nostalgia, especially in the movement called "The Sacrifice."


•   Upon Reflection (1979), music by John Surman

Surman is one of the most brilliant saxophone players of modern times, especially in his track "The Edges Of Illusion."


•   Mingus (1979), music by Joni Mitchell or Charles Mingus, lyrics by Joni Mitchell

Minimalist jazz for a special and universal voice.


•   8:30 (1979), music by Weather Report

A live concert with a different way of jazz fusion.




•   Winged Migration (2001), by Jacques Cluzaud, Michel Debats, and Jacques Perrin

Poetic images of bird migrations backed by touching music.


•   American History X (1998), by Tony Kaye, with Edward Norton

On the neo-Nazi movement, racism, neighborhood, prison, violence and murder; and with a great performance by Norton.


•   Whale Rider (2002), by Niki Caro

A film about Māori tradition and the special archetypal feelings of a young girl for the whales.


•   Gomorrah (2008), by Matteo Garrone

On the criminal clans in the southern Italian region of Campania.


•   Slumdog Millionaire (2008), by Danny Boyle

An incredibly enjoyable story of a former street child in Mumbai.


I think you will like these selections. Have fun, and Peace.


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Swans -- ISSN: 1554-4915
URL for this work: http://www.swans.com/library/art18/gmonte145.html
Published July 30, 2012