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"Pedro Lasch in his map and article "Latino/a America" envisions the Americas without any boundaries. He discusses how a map can show traces of immigrants travels. His work explores how globalization enforces boundaries to loosen the flow of capital while preventing movement of people."

"Pedro Lasch en su mapa y artículo, 'Latino/a America,' considera las Américas sin fronteras. Él discute cómo un mapa puede mostrar rastros de los viajes de inmigrantes. Su obra explora como globalización impone limites para aflojar el flujo de capital mientras se prohibe el movimiento de las personas."

Text from "Mapping Very Large Complicated Machines"
by Ted English for the online broadside Molossus– August 4, 2009.

Cita de "Mapear Maquinas Grandotes y Complicadas" por Ted English para el volante online Molossus– el 4 de Agosto, 2009

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Sunday, August 21, 2016

Review: Mr. Kafka: And Other Tales from the Time of the Cult

Mr. Kafka: And Other Tales from the Time of the Cult Mr. Kafka: And Other Tales from the Time of the Cult by Bohumil Hrabal
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Short and concise stories that personify factories from a Prague of the past. These same factories were the historic backbone and the bloodline to the industrial revolution that would forever knead the world into its most recent mold. Thankfully, Bohumil Hrabal generously envisages a Czechoslovakia quite unknown, or too difficult to know by the mildly curious Anglophone. This short story, much like the other translations of his work into the English, will coerce and foment a curiosity difficult to satiate. The western (English speaking reader) will find an upshot of communism foreign to the paradigmatic concept that unintentionally- in these short stories- brings philosophers, writers, doctors, criminals, women, and other common folk into a daily interaction. They work side by side in a grueling environment that requires excessive clothing and excessive exposure, creating a vulnerability to the systematic oppression and humanistic oppression already established by a more universal society.

However, the seemingly chaotic threads in these seven short stories must be taken into account. They leave the reader with a ware much like the ingots themselves– better conceived as shrines, meccas, or nebulas at the helm of an existence and essence of the eclectic group of individuals found throughout Mr. Kafka: And Other Tales from the Time of the Cult. The dichotomy of destruction and creation is beautifully narrated by a Hrabal, who himself was submitted to the democratically elected communist regime that delivered him into the crucible that would ironically forge his style and tone that would consequently establish him as a Czech writer; decisively severed from his influences. It cannot be denied, however, that Bohumil was continuously tempted to stray towards the surrealistic and western influence instilled in him early on. That is especially telling in his moments of poetic narration. God bless the hammer, the sickle and the Phrygian cap. God bless Bohumil Hrabal!

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