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May 14th, 2018

upcoming trip

I'm under the gun with work right now, but I have an adventure to look forward to: Wakanomori and I enjoyed the landscapes of La Niña and Lady: La Vendedora de Rosas so much that were traveling to Colombia on May 23, returning very late on June 2. Oh boy! Time to test out two-years-and-a-bit of Duolingo Spanish! But hey, when I very-first traveled to Japan, that's about how much Japanese I had, and I had considerably less Tetun when I went to East Timor. Anyway, I have an ice breaker, a question to ply people with: "Cuentame una historia de este lugar."

"Yeah," said a friend of mine, "but will you understand the response?" Good question. Maybe in bits and pieces? Fragments? Especially if they speak.... wait for it.... DES... PA.... CITO!

Sorry, sorry. The truth is, I really love that song. Me and several billon other people--currently 5.1 BILLION VIEWS on Youtube. Woo!

Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee are Puerto Rican. Have a different song that I also love, by a Colombian singer, Kiño, assisted by Jennifer Arenas and Elmece. It's "Sueños cumplidos," and it was the music that played at happy moments in Lady: La Vendedora de Rosas**



ETA--All of which to say, I will likely not be reading or posting much, if at all, during the days of the trip.

In unrelated news, but noteworthy for anyone who reads this on LJ: my paid account will expire while we're gone. I'm letting it lapse: I pay for the account over at DW, and I've decided not to pay both places. This means if you're reading at LJ, you will start to be assaulted by all manner of ads. There'll always be a link at the bottom of the entry to the original post on Dreamwidth, so you're welcome to come read here if you prefer an ad-free experience.

**Incidentally, I'm reading the story of her life (v...e...r...y slowly, which great help from a dictionary app), upon which the telenovela was based, and dang, but a lot of the things featured in the telenovela actually did happen.

This entry was originally posted at https://asakiyume.dreamwidth.org/884968.html. Comments are welcome at either location.

Briarley, by Aster Glenn Gray

Briarley retells the story of Beauty and the Beast, imagining what might happen if Beauty’s father was man enough not to let his daughter sacrifice herself for him. Instead, he stays in her place.

In this retelling, it’s World War II, and the father is a parson who’s also a veteran of the Great War, and the beast takes the form of a dragon.

You know this is going to be a different type of retelling by the parson’s initial reaction to the dragon’s dilemma:
“The curse says you must learn to love and be loved, does it not? Those are the only conditions?” The dragon nodded, his head still buried in his hands. The parson broke a piece off a roll and buttered it. “Then I suggest you get a puppy,” he said.

Nor is this mere flippancy: “I have seen shell-shocked soldiers make great, great strides when they are given charge of a dog,” he says, and adds,
“A dog is a more loving creature than man. All the things that we wish we were, dogs are: loyal, faithful, loving, and cheerful in the face of adversity.

And that’s the type of story this is: the parson musing on the nature of love, different types of love, in the company of the dragon, who’s at first haughty, vain, capricious, and entitled, but gradually becomes… well, somewhat less so. Gray resists the easy out of a dramatic personality transformation—the emotional equivalent of taking off the glasses and having a character become suddenly gorgeous. Real people are beloved despite being prickly and short tempered. In this story, the parson has reasons for feeling both deep pity for and a deep attachment to the young man that the dragon once was.

The two talk not only about love, but also morality, vindictiveness, compassion—so much. And lest I’ve made it sound like some kind of milk-soaked graham cracker of a story, let me quickly also add that it’s **funny** too, as when the dragon and the parson have this exchange:
“That’s not how you learn to love, not at all. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it does not kidnap – ”

“You’re misquoting,” the dragon interrupted. “Paul doesn’t say anything about kidnapping.”
The parson replies, “I believe the injunction against kidnapping is implied by all the rest of it.”

It’s an original, moving, surprising story—I highly recommend it. It's available on Amazon here.

This entry was originally posted at https://asakiyume.dreamwidth.org/885013.html. Comments are welcome at either location.

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