Wednesday, November 21

Blue Eyes


Mesmerized by your eyes
first time we met
Tender blue eyes
the colour of the calm ocean
in the midst of dusk
with a lovely glint
of mischievous childish joy.
Blue eyes, dancing in the moonlight
last night we were together
Mysterious blue eyes
iluminating the dark sky
on a cool summer night
when your manly confident stare
never tried to connect mine.
Brilliant blue eyes
dancing in the moonlight
and though dancing together
you would never try
in my memory forever
will stay embedded your eyes
God, I will miss them
those gorgeous blue eyes.
Deep blue eyes
flickering in deep thought
of us together again
on a cool autumn day
Sweet blue eyes
Shimmering in the morning
we both know where
our friendship is right now
and that is the greatest beauty
of your magical blue eyes.

Thursday, September 27

The Brightest Star

the number to be
the loveliest child
the most wonderful parents
the most unfair destiny
the brightest star in sky
(To my dearest friends, c.a.s.j. and a.c.g.a.)

Saturday, September 22

Welcome e-DOL colleagues! and thanks a lot for visiting my blog even if it is as part of the last assignment for this interesting on line course we are enrolled in ( a great work of Evelyne and the rest of teachers).
In my opinion, after two years of hard work, this last assignment has been the most attractive and relaxed. I am happy all of us can share our blogs. It doesn't matter if we are too personal sometimes, we already know some data from one another.

Feel free of writing comments on it.
Enjoy being bloggers!
I am sure I will enjoy all your blogs.

Friday, August 24

Our friendship

Yesterday my friend told me that our friendship was the most important and I thought of creating a small poem for him. Well, my particular way of doing it always with a fixed structure:

Adjective + Adjective
Gerund + Adverb/Noum
Like a + simil
I can't recall where this idea came from.
As he likes playing with words, I have played with the Spanish word "encantador" and the different ways of saying it in English with their slight difference in meaning.
Here is the poem:
Our friendship
delightful and tender
casting a lovely spell on us
like an enchanting romance
Will this magic last forever?
(To my dearest friend A.C.G.A.)

Monday, August 20

Stolen Generation


(Last April I was reading evidence about the “Stolen Generation” and I got impressed by these testimonies, so I decided to write about it for 26 May, Australian National Sorry Day, but then I did not have the time. That’s why I am here to do it now).

The Stolen Generation refers to the forcible removal of Aboriginal and Torres strait Islander children from their families and communities by Australian government and church missions from the beginning of the 20th century until the 1970s. According to the official government report, at least 100,000 children were removed from their parents with terrible consequences such as broken families, shattered physical and mental health, loss of language, culture and connection to traditional land, loss of parenting skills; and the enormous distress of many of its victims today. Although children of full Aboriginal descent were removed, in general the children of “mixed descent” the so called “half-caste” children were the most targeted. The stolen children were raised in institutions or fostered out to white families “for their own good” (according to the policies of the time). The conditions in these institutions were often terrible –food and clothing was often in short supply and punishments were cruel and included physical assaults.

In response to efforts made by Indigenous community groups, in 1995 the Federal govern
ment commissioned the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission to make a report about the Stolen Generation. It was the first time the Australian government had formally investigated the devastating psychological, social, cultural and economic effects of the forcible removal of Indigenous children.
The official report took evidence and recorded testimonies from 535 Indigenous people throughout Australia, which resulted in the Report “Bringing Them Home: The National Enquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from their families”. This National Inquiry observed that in many cases gross violations of human rights occurred. Children were in some cases forcibly removed from their mother’s arms while still in hospital. Other evidence indicated that deception and brutality was used to remove children. One account referring to events in 1935 stated that:

“ I was at the post office with my Mum and Auntie (and cousin). They put us in the police ute (vehicle) and said they were taking us to Broome. They put the mums in there as well. But when we’d gone (about ten miles) they stopped, and threw the mothers out of the car. We jumped on our mothers’s backs, crying, trying not to be left behind. But the policemen pulled us off and thew us back in the car. They pushed the mothers away and drove off, while our mothers were chasing the car, running and crying after us. We were screaming in the back of that car. When we got to Broome they put me and my cousin in the Broome lock-up. We were only ten years old. We were in the lock-up for two days waiting for the boat to Perth.”
The effects of the forcible removal of children were devastating and are still being felt today. Evidence shows that the removal from family and community have caused irreparable harm. These children are more likely to have poor health, depression, lack of self-esteem, have lower levels of education, are more likely to be arrested and/or imprisoned and have problems with alcohol and drug abuse. Good parenting skills were not learnt in institutions or foster homes and this has affected the way that children taken from their families relate and interact with their own children.
“Bringing Them Home” report opened the way of recognition of the Stolen Generation by including recommendations for a journey of healing such as the continuing recording of testimonies, the reunion of families and communities and the establishment of regional centres where language and culture could be preserved. It was also recommended that All Australians should be educated about the Stolen Generation.

One of the recommedations of the report was that a National Sorry Day should be declared, a day when all the Australians can express their sorrow for the whole tragic episode, and celebrate the beginning of a new understanding. The first National Sorry Day was held on 26 May 1998 and it offered the community the opportunity to be involved in activities which took place across Australia.
The native Hibiscus flower was adopted as a national emblem of the Stolen Generation. Sorry books, where people could record their personal feelings, were presented to representatives of the indigenous communities. Hundreds of thousands of signatures were received, as well as apologies registered electronically.

Sorry Day was an annual event between 1998 and 2004. In 2005 the National Sorry Day was renamed as “National Day of Healing”, focusing on the healing needed throughout Australian Society to achieve reconciliation and “walk together”.

One of the most lyrical and moving expressions of the sorrow and despair of the Stolen Generation has been given by the singer and songwriter Archie Roach. In 1990, Archie recorded the album “Charcoal Lane” with the song “Took the Children Away” which became an anthem for the many Aboriginal people who identify strongly with its story. Archie has also expressed this sadness in another more recent song “My Mother’s Heartbeat”.
The internationally successful rock group Midnight Oil obtained worldwide media interest during the Sydney 2000 Summer Olympics when they performed at the Olympic closing ceremony wearing black T-shirts with the word “SORRY” emblazoned across them.

Sunday, July 1

My congratulations to the 2nd Bachillerato students of "IES Val do Tea", Ponteareas (Spain) on their successful University Entrance Exams. They all have passed, 100% passes!
We (all the teachers) are very proud of you.
Have a great summer and enjoy your new University Course.

Sunday, April 22

Stop all the Clocks

Funeral Blues
W. H. Auden

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He is Dead.
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now; put out every one,
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun,
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

I do not generally like poetry but Funeral Blues by Wystan Hugh Auden (1907-1973) is one of all my time favourite poems.
It is the most beautiful, meaningful, truthful poem about death to me. The lines "He was my North, my South..." are incredibly touching. When I first read the poem I was deeply moved. I love it. And the thought of calling nature to withdraw, of packing up the moon and dismantling the sun is both romantic and sorrowful.
I do not know the circunstances behind his writing Funeral Blues but it seems to me that he suffered the loss of his (male) lover -he was homosexual- and wrote such a magnificent poem to express his grief, and he really makes you feel his pain and abandon with every verse.
The final line is a summing line, wrapping up the poem: For nothing now can ever come to any good.

This poem was included in the film four weddings and a Funeral, and when I heard the words of this memorable poem spoken exactly at the appropriate time -at a funeral- by the character of Mattew I thought that this beautiful scene made the film worth seeing. The fact of using it in a film does not diminish the quality of the poem.

Saturday, April 14


It's Saturday! Damn, what a long, long week! It has been one of those weeks when everything goes wrong and today I feel scared, vulnerable and completely uncertain. After a relaxing holiday week, I thought I'd be feeling on top of the world, ready for anything. I thought I'd be filled with confidence, brimming with enthusiasm and ready to tackle life's problems head on. But I'm not.
I'm having a horrible week. Worst week ever. Feel sorry for me.


One should always...

Learn from the past
Plan for the future

Promise I'll do it.

I am going to cheer myself up and next week will be a new bright one for me. PROMISE.

Wednesday, April 11

La mayoría de nosotros conocimos a esta mujer tras el asesinato del director de cine holandés Theo van Gogh. Ella escribió el guión de la película “Submission: Part I” (Sometimiento) denunciando la situación de postración y sufrimiento de las mujeres bajo el Islam. Unos meses después el cineasta fue acribillado a balazos, degollado y su pecho convertido en tablón de anuncios donde el asesino, un integrista musulmán, clavó con un cuchillo una nota de condena de muerte para Hirsi Ali. Según algunos testigos, Van Gogh llegó a utilizar el sentido común holandés antes de morir ajusticiado y preguntó: ¿Seguro que esto no podemos hablarlo?.

Recientemente esta somalí, apasionada y polémica ha vuelto a ser noticia en España por la publicación de su libro Mi vida, mi libertad (Galaxia Gutemberg / Círculo de lectores). En él presenta sin tapujos su atribulada vida; sus privaciones y sufrimientos en la infancia, la permanente huída de las guerras que asolan África, las constantes palizas recibidas de su madre, su educación destinada a convertirla en sierva de Alá y de los hombres, su rebelión en la temprana juventud, siendo los libros los que la salvaron de este destino y por último su valentía como ciudadana occidental.

Nació en Mogadiscio (Somalia) el 13 de noviembre de 1969, en una familia islámica de la tribu Darod. Su nombre Ayaan significa “persona afortunada” y su padre Hirsi Magan Isse era un oponente del dictador somalí Mohamed Siad Barre por lo que la familia se vio obligada a abandonar el país huyendo primero a Arabia Saudí, después a Etiopía y finalmente a Kenia donde estudió en un colegio de tradición británica y comenzó a leer novelas occidentales. En estas lecturas Ayaan aprendió que había mujeres independientes, activas, capaces de decidir sobre sus propias vidas y asumir las consecuencias de sus actos, sin la imprescindible tutela masculina que había a su alrededor.

Mujer. Negra. Musulmana. Ayaan Hirsi Ali resume así su vida: “Me crié en África. Vine a Europa en 1992, a la edad de 22 años, y fui elegida diputada por el Parlamento holandés. Hice una película con Theo van Gogh y ahora vivo con guardaespaldas y circulo en coches blindados”. Este es el resumen desde una infancia africana hasta convertirse en afamada diputada y escritora.
Suele decir que el vivir amenazada de muerte es como tener una enfermedad crónica, se pierde el miedo a morir. Piensa que en Occidente la vida se toma como si estuviera garantizada para siempre, en África la muerte siempre ronda. Virus, bacterias, guerras, sequías, inundaciones, hambrunas, soldados y torturadores se la pueden arrebatar a cualquiera en cualquier momento.
Pero incluso amenazada y con guardaespaldas siente que es una privilegiada de estar viva, porque ¿Cuántas mujeres nacidas en Mogadiscio en 1969 siguen vivas’ ¿Y cuántas de ellas tienen voz propia?. Ella sigue viva y libre y es mucho más de lo que pueden decir los millones de mujeres musulmanas que han tenido que rendirse, que son esclavizadas y encerradas en la jaula del Islam. Ella misma recibió una educación islámica ortodoxa y fue una niña más entre las que aprendían a recitar los 99 nombres de Alá, su abuela además le obligaba a memorizar a todos sus ascendientes. “Eres una Magan. Recuérdalo siempre”, le advertía agitando una vara delante de ella. “los apellidos te harán fuerte. Son tu linaje”.

Su abuela atemorizó su infancia, era una mujer iletrada que vivía en la edad del hierro. Hirsi Ali estaba condenada a una vida de sometimiento. A Alá. Al clan. A su padre. A los varones de su familia. Según su abuela, una mujer sola es como un pedazo de grasa de oveja a pleno sol. Acudirá cualquier cosa a comer de esa grasa. También le dijeron que, al igual que las cabras, una chica joven era una presa fácil para un predador y que una violación era mucho peor que la muerte pues manchaba el honor de todos los miembros de la familia.
Así es que se encargaron de coserla para que llegara virgen al matrimonio. Esa barrera sólo la podría romper su marido.
A los cinco años fue sometida al rito de la purificación (así es como llaman a la ablación), en muchos países de África y Oriente Próximo se purifica a las niñas mutilándoles los genitales.

Su severa abuela les decía a Ayaan y a su hermana menor que sus clítoris eran muy largos. Ellas no entendían nada, hasta que les tocó vivirlo.

(Este es el momento más duro de la historia, me va a resultar terriblemente difícil narrar todo este dolor. Me estremezco sólo de pensarlo, pero voy a hacerlo).

Recuerda que llegó un hombre a casa y su abuela se encerró con su hermano, le hicieron algo, no sabía qué pero había sangre y su hermano se quejaba, tenía la cara desencajada y la mirada aterrada. Luego le tocó a ella. El hombre tenía unas tijeras inmensas, su abuela y otras mujeres le sujetaban. Aquel hombre puso la mano sobre su sexo y empezó a pellizcarlo hasta que las tijeras descendieron entre sus piernas y el hombre cortó sus labios interiores y su clítoris. Lo oyó perfectamente. “Clack”. El dolor que experimentó no tiene palabras, no dejaba de aullar, le invadió entera, un dolor imposible de explicar. Después de la mutilación, de notar la sangre correr por las piernas, le cosieron con una aguja sin punta. La aguja pasaba entre sus labios externos hasta sólo dejar la abertura del tamaño de una cerilla. Intentaba defenderse, chillar, protestar y su abuela le repetía que era sólo una vez en la vida, que a partir de ahora estaría limpia.
La pesadilla no acababa nunca hasta que aquel hombre cortó el hilo don sus dientes.
No recuerda más de su dolor pero sí del de su hermana pequeña. Haweya, sus chillidos le helaron la sangre, luchó tanto, intentó zafarse de tal modo, que al hombre se le escapaba de las manos. Le cortó los muslos y las cicatrices las llevó de por vida (desgraciadamente murió tras una violación en Nairobi cuando estaba embarazada)

Hay muchas Ayaan. Muchas Haweya. Miles de niñas mueren durante o después de la ablación, al practicarla con una cuchilla de afeitar o un cristal o a causa de infecciones posteriores. Todas se ven afectadas psicológicamente. Según las Naciones Unidas les ocurre a seis mil niñas cada día en el mundo. Se calcula que existen 135 millones de niñas y mujeres que ya han pasado por esas mutilaciones.
Además de la muerte, esta brutal práctica provoca otras complicaciones que causan inenarrables dolores que pueden llegar a prolongarse toda la vida. El ser virgen es muy importante. Al marido se le exige que abra la herida con su órgano sexual, pero a menudo no es suficiente para desgarrarla, así que tiene que “cortar” con lo que tiene a mano, unas tijeras, un cuchillo o un cristal. Si es civilizado, lleva a la mujer al hospital para que le operen.

Más tarde decidió escapar de un matrimonio concertado con un hombre al que no conocía y pudo huir a Holanda donde empezó a vivir como una mujer libre. Con una paga que le dieron como refugiada se compró unos pantalones y se despojó de su larga y púdica falda. Cuando probó una bicicleta y se cayó, se sintió libre.

Empezó a romper con el Islam, sobre todo a partir del 11-S. Más tarde leyó El Manifiesto Ateo, pero antes de llegar a la cuarta página sabía que había echado a Dios de su vida, se había vuelto atea. Lo descubrió definitivamente en Grecia, de vacaciones. Se miró en el espejo y dijo muy despacio en somalí: “No creo en Dios”. Y se sintió bien, no experimentó ningún dolor, sino una gran claridad, desapareció el miedo al infierno y a la sexualidad. En el Islam todo gira alrededor de lo que es pecado, de la culpabilidad. En Holanda descubrió que “si cruzaba las barreras”, si desoía la palabra del profeta, no iba a ocurrir una catástrofe, los edificios no se iban a derrumbar a su paso. Cuando se atrevió a anunciar públicamente que había perdido su fe y comenzó a criticar el trato dado por el Islam a las mujeres, empezó a recibir graves amenazas.

Esta mujer me ha hecho reflexionar, replantearme ciertas ideas, a valorar a otras culturas o religiones de un modo más crítico sin temor a ser tachada de racista. No se puede admitir ni permitir en nombre de la tolerancia con otras culturas o religiones comportamientos contrarios a cualquier respeto a los derechos humanos y a los valores occidentales.
Hirsi Ali no acepta la “Alianza de Civilizaciones”, se pregunta: ¿ Es civilizado provocar un sufrimiento intolerable a las mujeres? ¿Es civilización violar los derechos humanos haciendo de las esposas, las hijas, una propiedad? ¿Es civilización la corrupción moral de los países islámicos?

No voy a añadir nada más sobre esta valiente mujer. Si podéis, leed sus memorias y también Yo acuso donde recoge su denuncia del Islam y de la situación de las mujeres musulmanas. mujer tras el asesinato del director de cine

Wednesday, January 24

Beautiful! A lovely tale by Jean Giono.

Last week a great friend of mine emailed me this delightful short-story and I felt I could not help writing about it. I hope he will like this post, it is specially dedicated to him.

The story is a remarkable parable for all times and ages, it can be enjoyed by children as well as adults. It is an inspiring testament to the power of one person and gives a positive message about what can be done to restore the earth.

This powerful eco-fable is the story of a tireless shepherd, Elzéard Bouffier, who planted a hundred acorns a day over thirty years and how this simply act heals a wounded earth and the wounds on mankind too. He not only transforms the desolate, barren landscape with miserable, contentious inhabitants to one filled with the scent of flowers, the songs of birds and fresh, flowing water. He also revitalizes his community, teaching us about hope, humanity and our own ability to create change in the world.

The Man Who Planted Trees, Jean Giono's beloved tale was first published in 1954 by Vogue magazine, it has been translated into at least a dozen languages and has inspired many thousands of people qround the world regarding the benefits of planting trees. A Unites States publisher originally asked him to write a few pages about an actual memorable person, instead he wrote about a fictional character and they rejected this wonderful story because it was invented. Giono then donated his pages and made them available for free to readers anywhere. He later wrote to the American scholar and translator Norman Goodrich "It is one of my stories of which I am proudest. It does not bring me one simply penny and that is why it has accomplished what it was written for" and he said that his purpose in creating Bouffier was to persuade people love trees, or more precisely to make them love planting trees.

Jean Giono (1895-1970) was a self-taught man, he lived his entire life in the little city of Manosque in France. His elderly father was a cobbler and his mother ran a hand laundry. This family of three lived in the poorest of tenements and at the age of sixteen he went to clerk in a bank. In 1929 he published his first two novels, "Hill of Destiny" and "Lovers Are Never Losers". They were followed by "Harvest" (1930), "Blue Boy" (1932), "Song of the World" (1934), "Joy of Man's Desiring" (1935), "Horseman on the Roof" (1951), and "The Straw Man" (1958). Giono wrote over thirty novels, numerous essays, scores of stories, many of which were published as collections, plays and film scripts. In 1953 he was awarded the Prix Monégasque for his collective work and in 1954 he was elected to the Académie Gouncourt, whose ten members award the annual Prix Goncourt. Jean Giono died, midway through his seventy-fifth year.

The Man Who Planted Trees is beautiful in its simplicity. It opens with an introductory paragraph which presents the personal characteristics that the author considers exceptional qualities in a human being:

  1. Sufficient longevity to demonstrate persistence
  2. Complete absence of egoism
  3. "Unparalleled generosity" without thought of compensation
  4. A positive and visible effect on nature

The adventure started in 1913, during a walking tour through the old Roman province of Provence in France. The narrator (Giono, himself?) hiked along the wild, deserted plateau. This region near the Alps is marked by high winds and the lack of water has turned the area bare and desolate. He met a shepherd, Elzéard Bouffier, and stays overnight with him. The man lived in a stone house, not a hut and is clean, groomed, the house tidy, the food good. Even his dog "as silent as himself" was "friendly without being servile".

He was left alone by the death of his wife and son and had little and wanted for nothing, but the landscape where his sheep grazed was desolate and the closest villages were days away by foot, and most ot these were small, miserable collections of abandoned ruins.

The next day he notices that the watersoaked acorns the shepherd had so carefully culled the previous evening are the seeds for oak trees. Invited by the shepherd he accompanies him on his rounds for the day, which consist of punching a hole in the ground at regular intervals with his iron rod, placing one acorn in the hole, and covering it with dirt. The man (in his 50's in 1910 at the start of the story) explains that he has planted 100,000 acorns in three years, of which 20,000 sprouted. Of those he calculated 10,000 would survive. He did not own the land he was reforesting; what he possessed was hope.

The narrator returns after the World War I and finds a great younf forest covering the previously barren hills and the shepherd, untouched by war, still planting trees. He had become a beekeeper who already ressemble God more narrowly by his power to create a new earth. He was planting oaks, beeches and birches. Life returned (water, flora and fauna). Miraculously, water was conserved, dry streams filled again, and seeds germinated into gardens, meadows, and flowers.

Bouffier carried on equally unaffected by World War II, and as his forest of millions of trees spread and overtook abandoned villages, the communities, too, returned to life. People repaired the broken houses and began to bringing up their children there, women planted vegetables and flowers gardens in their backyards and men once again took pluoghs into the fields.

Finally, the Frenc government gives official protection to this astonishing resource without ever knowing that what it called a "natural" forest was, in fact, the product of one man's lifelong devotion, and more than 10,000 people lived there unaware that their happiness was due to Elzéard Bouffier.

In 1945, the narrator visits again the now very old Elzéard Bouffier. His village and the countryside around it thrive, and this is reward enough for this humble man. The narrator also notices that the people in the village has become more kindly and optimistic once the trees have grown.

In 1947 the man who planted trees died peacefully in the hospice of Banon.

It has been made an animated film adaption of this wonderful story. It is a masterpiece of animated art. This 30 minute short eco-film was produced by Fréderic Back in 1987. It won the Academy Award for best animated short film.

And now it comes my reflection of what I can do after reading this magnificent story, both as a person and as a teacher.

As a person I have become aware of the importance of working generously to change the world, and how human communities can be restored along with nature. Human beings cannot make progress in a place where the natural environment has been degraded. So the effects of tree planting can be a good idea for reversing the present environmental decline in cities and rural areas across the globe. And because tree planting is potentially so powerful, it is important to take an effective action, whether I get involved by supporting others or make my own commitment taking care and protecting trees as well as informing and motivating people to do it. Also, I can collaborate with international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and local organizations devoted to this cause.

As a teacher I have thought about celebrating the Tree Day, April 29 in any way. This story can be used to teach about trees and the environment, history, geography, English, French and language arts. Maybe the English Department collaborating with other Educational Departments such as The French and Biology ones could plant a tree in the school garden and also we can watch the eco-film The Man Who Planted Trees with some follow-up activities.

This unforgettable and charming story will show new generations of readers the power of trees to change lives and Earth herself. It is also a vision of the good things that happen whrn we care for the world around us, and take what was barren and make it green. I hope Giono's tale inspires us to plant trees wherever we can.

It is written plainly and gently, it is a tale everybody should read and it is a wonderful book for those difficult days when you feel you are running uphill and everything seems imposible.

I must conclude with the remarkable Wendell Berry's quotation:

"Jean Giono's story of a man's generosity to nature -and throuh nature, to other humans- surely belongs among the most moving and endearing statements of our hope. The stoy-vision and parable and manual- correctly opposes the tree-planter, the earth-husband, to the makers of war. In the figure of Elzéard Bouffier, Giono summarizes the best that can be said of our species. It has given me much joy to reread this story".

-Wendell Berry.

Tuesday, January 9

Acabo de leerlo y aunque suelo desconfiar de los best sellers y de los libros que aconseja todo el mundo, éste no me ha decepcionado. Es una gran novela, una novela hermosa plagada de bellísimas descripciones, con personajes muy bien dibujados, una historia interesante y emocionante con una narración que rápido te engancha.

Es la primera novela para adultos de Carlos Ruiz Zafón, publicada en 2001; pero aunque este catalán pudiera ser desconocido para el público adulto, ya era un narrador juvenil experimentado cuando escribió La Sombra del Viento. Anteriormente había publicado El Príncipe de la Niebla, El palacio de la Medianoche, Las luces de Septiembre y Marina, todos ellos de literatura juvenil y con gran éxito de ventas.

Trabajó en publicidad y después se trasladó a Los Ángeles donde escribe guiones de cine. Actualmente se está haciendo una película de La Sombra del Viento aunque la riqueza de un libro a duras penas se puede plasmar en un film.

"Todavía recuerdo aquel amanecer en que mi padre me llevó por primera vez a visitar el Cementerio de los Libros Olvidados...", este comienzo de la historia fue el que me hizo sumergirme en su lectura. El autor ha sido un poco "tramposo".¿Cómo se puede empezar una novela con un niño huérfano que está olvidando la cara de su madre, que adora leer y que su padre le lleva a un lugar tan increible como el "Cementerio de los Libros Olvidados"?. Desde las primeras páginas ya me sentía llena de ternura por el niño y su padre, inquieta por husmear en la maravillosa y olvidada librería, prendida de la historia que iba surgiendo y cautivada por el lenguaje de la novela.

La historia comienza cuando Daniel Semper, un muchacho de 10 años común y corriente, hijo de un librero, es conducido por su padre a un lugar mágico y misterioso una mañama brumosa de 1945 en Barcelona -el Cementerio de los Libros Olvidados, un edificio grande, viejo y sombrío; lleno de volúmenes de autores prácticamente desconocidos y olvidados que la gente ha ido llevando allí para preservarlos del abandono, indiferencia o destrucción.

Según la tradición, el que entra aquí por primera vez tiene que adoptar un libro. Daniel se siente atraído por La Sombra del Viento de Julián Carax, una novela de misterio. Esa noche, ya en su casa lo lee de un tirón. Al día siguiente mucha gente desea este libro hasta ahora olvidado, unos lo quieren comprar pagando más de lo que vale, otros lo quieren quemar...

En los siguientes años Daniel se verá envuelto en crímenes, intrigas y correrá peligro por proteger el libro de ciertas personas o al curiosear en la vida de Julián Carax, descubriendo que es tan enigmática o más que sus novelas.

La Sombra del Viento mezcla técnicas de relato de intriga y misterio, de novela histórica (describe la Barcelona oscura de la posguerra y la de principios del siglo XX),y de comedia de costumbres con chispas de humor y sabiduría popular con personajes como Fermín Romero de Torres, el mendigo que rescata Daniel de las calles dándole trabajo en la librería de su padre, de terror con el funesto y brutal inspector Fumero, o de amor con las historias de Julián y Penélope y de Daniel y Beatriz.

Pero es, sobre todo, una tragedia histórica de amor que se proyecta a través del tiempo. Con gran fuerza narrativa, el autor entrelaza intriga, misterio, suspense,humor, amores y desamores, drama, terror, pasión... todo ello plasmado con gran precisión.

Es una novela tierna sin empalagar, dura pero sin dramatizar demasiado, triste y a la vez alegre, viva.

Personalmente llevaba tiempo sin disfrutar de esa lectura casi viciosa de "una página más", "sólo otro capítulo y lo dejo" y La Sombra del Viento me ha devuelto esa sensación placentera e inquietante de no poder dejar de leer.He disfrutado con historias de amor de morir y matar, de amigos infatigables que no desesperan ni abandonan nunca, de odios tan poderosos como el amor, de gente que lucha por su libertad, por vivir y sobrevivir en ciudades bellas y épocas tristes, de niños solitarios, de hombres solos, de la soledad, de la lealtad, de la ternura y de los libros.

Me he emocionado y me ha interesado como hacia mucho tiempo que no lo conseguía un libro y he sufrido con los avatares de unos personajes a los que vamos amando o despreciando a medida que les vamos conociendo. Mis personajes preferidos son Julián Carax porque perdió muchas cosas, lo trataron muy mal y, sim embargo, nunca dejó de ser buena persona y el protagonista de la historia, Daniel, con el que sufres y a quien le deseas que todo le salga bien, porque es débil pero tiene también fuerza y sobre todo cree en el respeto, el amor y la amistad.

Si quieres disfrutar de una auténtica experiencia, un cóctel lleno de aventuras y suspense, aderezado con toques de humor y amor, no lo dudes, este es tu libro.