LitBirthdays June 24 – 30, 2012

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June 25

June 26

June 27

June 28

June 29

June 30


June is

African-American Music Appreciation


Audio Book



June 24


Born June 24

Julia Kristeva (b. 1941) – Bulgarian / French philosopher

Anita Desai (b. 1937) – Indian novelist – Clear Light of Day


June 25

Born June 25

Ricky Gervais (b. 1961) – U.K. comedan, screenwriter, producer

George Orwell (b. 1903) – British novelist, essayist – 1984

Anthony Bourdain (b. 1956) – U.S. food and travel writer – No Reservations

Yann Martel (b. 1963) – Canadian novelist – Life of Pi


June 26

Born June 26

Ya’akov Cohen (also spelled Cahan) (Hebrew: יעקב כהן) (b. 1881) – Israeli poet, playwright, translator

Yves Beauchemin (b. 1941) – Canadian novelist – Le Matou / The Alley Cat (1981)

Noriaki Kubo (The Kubo) (b. 1977) – Japanese manga artist


June 27

Born June 27

Paul L. Dunbar (b. 1872) – U.S. poet, short story writer, novelist – Lyrics of Lowly Life

Bob Keeshan (b. 1927) – U.S. children’s TV personality and Creator of “Captain Kangaroo”

Helen Keller (b. 1880) – U.S. author


June 28

Mariko Nanba (南波真理子) b. 1971 – Japanese music composer for video games – Sonic the Hedgehog series  Mariko Nanba

Read about Mariko Nanba here and here

Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) music track list

Listen to “The Soleanna Festival” composed by Mariko Nanba


Kingdom Valley


Born June 28

Aimee Bender (b. 1969) – U.S. novelist – The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake (2010)

Jean-Jacques Rousseau (b. 1712) – Swiss-French philosopher


June 29

Nawal Al Zoghbi b. 1974 – Lebanese pop singer

Read about Nawal Al Zoghbi here and here

Watch Mandam Alaik music video


Born June 29

Frédéric Dard (b. 1921) – French novelist, crime  fiction, San-Antonio series

Stokely Carmichael (Kwame Toure) (b. 1941) – U.S. political activist


June 30

José Emilio Pacheco b. 1939 – Mexican poet, essayist, translator

Read about José Emilio Pacheco here and here

Read Fernando Valls’ blog post about Pacheco

by José Emilio Pacheco

1 TIENES SUERTE / You’re Lucky
¿Te bautizaron? Sí Nada de “sí”, responde “Sí señor”, no estás hablando con un indio como tú
“Are you baptized?”
“Not ‘Yes,’ answer ‘Yes, sir,’– you’re not talking with another Indian.”

¿Hiciste tu primera comunión? Sí señor
“Did you make your first communion?”
“Yes, sir.”

¿Eres católico? Soy creyente, señor
“Are you Catholic?”
“I am a believer, sir.”

¿Qué quiere decir eso? Creo en Dios pero no voy a misa
“What do you mean by that?”
“I believe in God but I don’t go to Mass.”

Entonces no eres católico ¿Te casaste por la Iglesia? Cuando me casé ya estaban cerradas las iglesias, señor
“Then you aren’t Catholic. Are you married in the Church?”

“When I got married the doors to the churches were closed, sir.”

Ah, vives en pecado ¿Tienes hijos? El primero nacerá en octubre, señor
“Ah, you’re living in sin. Do you have children?”

“The first will be born in October, sir.”

¿No te avergüenzas ante él por ser un asesino? No soy un asesino, señor: si maté a alguien fue en combate y no supe su nombre ni vi su cara
“You’re not ashamed for him that you are a murderer?”

“I am not a murderer, sir: If I killed anyone, it was in combat and I did not know his name or his face.”

Después de todo los cristeros también matan ¿o no? ¡Insolente, ustedes asesinan, nosotros hacemos justicia y defendemos nuestra Santa Fe! Sí señor
“After all, the Cristeros kill too, is that it? Insolent bastard, you all are killers, and we will do justice and defend our holy faith!”

“Yes, sir.”

Bueno, pues tienes suerte, pelón: sólo por el niño que va a nacer te doy la oportunidad de arrepentirte Capitán, a este no me lo fusilan, nomás me le cortan la lengua y las orejas
Okay, you are lucky, boy. Only for the sake of your unborn child am I giving you the opportunity to repent. Captain, I’m not having this one shot, just cut off his tongue and ears.

[from Proceso, December 4, 1982]

Alta traición / High Treason

No amo mi patria. / I do not love my country.
Su fulgor abstracto / Its abstract splendor
es inasible. / is inaccessible.
Pero (aunque suene mal) / But (although it sounds bad)
daría la vida / I would give my life
por diez lugares suyos, / for ten of its places
cierta gente, / certain people
puertos, bosques de pinos, / seaports, pine forests
fortalezas, / fortresses
una ciudad deshecha, / a city in ruins,
gris, monstruosa, / gray, monstrous,
varias figuras de su historia, / several historical figures,
montañas / mountains
-y tres o cuatro ríos./ — and three or four rivers.

[More poems here]


Born June 30

David Frum (b. 1960) – U.S. journalist, speechwriter

James Goldman (b. 1927) – U.S. screenwriter and playwright – The Lion in Winter


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