I Know Where I’m Going: Katharine Hepburn, A Personal Biography

Hepburn’s life, as told in snippets of stories to Chandler, who met with the actress dozens of time through the years. Not to knock Hepburn’s life, which was extraordinary, but this bio can be missed.
Best parts were detailing her relationship with Spencer Tracy, where she throws all feminist thought out the window and becomes his slave, he doesn’t love her as much as she him, he never speaks terms of endearment to her. Also detailing the filming of the African Queen, on location in Africa with Bogey. And her torrid affair with Howard Hughes, who eventually stopped asking her to marry him.

Hopscotch/La Rayuela

I should have broken my cardinal rule a few weeks ago: thou shalt not purchase a copy of a book when you have a library copy of that same book with you in your bag. And alas, this is how it ends that I returned Cortazar’s Hopscotch to the library, intending to buy a copy of it later that day, and came up empty. Should have bought it when I saw it, lesson learned.
Learned about the magical Cortazar from Bolano’s translator, and love it so far. I’m somewhere in the middle of the book, but the way he encourages you to read it, jumping from one section to the next via guideposts at the bottom of each chapter, I have no idea how far along I actually am. Storyline so far is an Argentinian writer (Oliveira) in Paris having an affair with La Maga (from Uruguay), getting drunk in Parisian lofts with other intellectuals. I need to own a copy of this book to continue reading– it is an intimate experience, jumping from one to the next, and I begin to feel weary with a library book’s closeness.

The Savage Detectives

Best thing I’ve read in 2007. A book in 3 parts: Mexicans lost in Mexico (1975), The Savage Detectives (1976-1996), The Sonora Desert (1976). Juan Garcia Madero kicks us off with entries from his diary in Mexicans Lost in Mexico, from November 2 (invitation to join the visceral realists) through December 31 (peeling away from a house to protect a prostitute from her pimp on New Year’s Eve, heading for Sonora with Belano, Lima and Luna. We join Madero again at the end with The Sonora Desert, with entries from January 1 through February 15, as they search the desert wasteland for Cesera Tinajero, a poetess of the original visceral realists in the 1920s.
The meat of the book is the middle, Savage Detectives, all 400 pages of it culled from the perspective of everyone except Ulises Lima and Arturo Belano, but filling in the gaps about their lives in Europe and Africa. Both were not Mexican, but Argentinian and Chilean respectively, and head off to Paris, Barcelona, Madrid, Israel and parts beyond. To try and recreate all the stories packed into this section would be madness.
Suffice to say, the story is packed with poetry, since we’re following the story of two poets from Mexico City in the 70s. There’s also adventure, eroticism, loyalty, duels, hunger, jailtime, a boy rescued from a crevasse by Belano, poets drinking mescal and smoking Ducatos, the search for Cesera Tinajero who ended up giving her life for the prostitute whisked away from Mexico City on New Years Eve 1975.
This was the kind of book that makes you want to live your life to the fullest, to pack in as much joy and adventure and poetry as possible, to realize there is no shame in not writing but just appreciating.

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