Special Summer Issue: Books, Music, Films
by Guido Monte
Fundraising Drive: Dear readers, here is a summer special edition on books, music, and films, which was imagined, organized, and put together by Manuel García, Jr. -- with the help and guidance from Swans editors. We hope you enjoy the result and have an enriched and peaceful summer. But keep in mind, to maintain Swans with the quality and dependability you have grown used to over the years we need financial help. Ask yourselves the value of our work, and whether you can find a better edited, more trenchant, and thoughtful Web publication that keeps creativity, sanity, and sound thoughts as first priorities. Please help us. Donate now!
(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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