National Geographic Traveler’s feature on Buenos Aires has this photo of the stunning Librería El Ateneo Grand Splendid – a bookshop set in a 1920s theatre : (hat-tip: novelwhore.com). It makes me want to go and buy books there despite not being able to read Spanish.
In more Latin American-related reading, The Millions has an essay on earthquake literature in Chile. Back in 1835 Charles Darwin experienced a quake on the outskirts of the town of Valdivia and he subsequently wrote in The Voyage of the Beagle :
“A bad earthquake at once destroys our oldest associations: the earth, the very emblem of solidity, has moved beneath our feet like a thin crust over a fluid ….If beneath England the now inert subterranean forces should exert their powers…how completely would the entire condition of the country be changed!”
Luke Epplin, the author of the essay, brings us up to date by describing when he lived in Santiago in 2004:
“I learned the Spanish word for earthquake before the word for thunderstorm. But that’s not uncommon for someone who learns the language in a country where thunder rumbles infrequently but the earth shakes every few months.”