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I am posting this as a benchmark, not because I think I'm playing very well yet.  The idea would be post a video every month for a ye...

Friday, September 22, 2023


 I got invited to France for 2024 to talk about translation in a congress organized by three hispanists.  I'm very psyched because I haven't been to France in a long time (and never to Normandy). It's always nice when someone knows your work. 


 The implosion of Kendi's center is probably inevitable. White liberals reached out for the most simplistic ideas in the wake of BLM, so Robin D'Angelo and the like made a ton of money. I always found it amusing that Kendi repackaged his ideas in so many formats: antiracist baby, antiracist teen, antiracist geezer.  

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Stupid motivational math trick

 I'm not good at math, but here is a simple math trick. Suppose you wanted to know 7% of 80? Just multiply seven time eight, with is 56, so we know the answer is 5.6. Since percentages are derived from multiplication, 5.6 is also 80% of 7. 

20% is easy to derive in your head. If the bill is $90 and you want a 20 percent tip, you know it is 18, 13.50 for 15%. 

Suppose you want to know 12% of 35.  The first thing I would do in my head is say that 10 percent is $3.5, and then add .7 to that, for 4.2. 

I think everyone watching a basketball or American football game know how many points one team is ahead of another without pulling out a calculator.    

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Freaky Friday

Andrew Gelman proposed a "freaky Friday" to a Shakespeare Professor. The scholar of the Bard said no thank you. This has always been a fantasy of mine. Let me know if you are up for this (but you cannot be in my own field or anything close.). 

Modern Literatures of Spain

 I've been reading a book of this title that just came out, written by Jo Labanyi, Elena Delgado, with some contributions by three experts on Basque, Catalan, and Galician topics. It is focused on 19th and 20th centuries, going back to the 18th for some background as well. It is a cultural history, but culture mostly means political / sociological ideas, not, for example, visual and performing arts, film, comics. Major figures in poetry do not appear in the index (Valente, Rodríguez). A poet will often only appear if linked to some "cultural" issue. It is difficult to critique a book by "index surfing," seeing what is there or not, how many times something is mentioned. This is a 300 page book (approximately so; I am reading it on Kindle). So even major figures will get a superficial treatment. 

I think it is a commendable book: the coverage of four literatures rather than one is revolutionary, and Labanyi and Delgado are deservedly influential scholars. (Elena is a friend; Jo I know a bit but we are merely acquaintances).  

Diario cómplice


298.  Diario cómplice. Luis García Montero (1987). 

Alberti's widow says that Luis wrote his own prologue for the book, which is outrageous in many respects. We have to lose some respect for Alberti himself for allowing that to happen, also for the cursilería of the prologue itself: "Pero yo amo a Luis García Montero, cada vez más escapado de moldes y vaivenes, todavía capaz del verso y la actitud en medio de una plaza, ante este admirable pueblo que lo entiende y aplaude y lo recibe como una paloma mensajera de also que está ansioso de oír." 

I remain immune to the charms of LGM.  

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

9000 books

 Here is my earlier project, 9000 books. I think I will rename this project "9000 books," and then reorder the 15 entries I've already done. I got into the high 200s with the first project, abandoned more than 10 years ago.