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On the One Hand Stark Reality, On the Other Hand Fantasy

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Colombian writer and Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez greets fans and reporters outside his home in Mexico City on March 6. Photo: Mario Guzman/EPA/Landov

Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez died Thursday at the age of 87. His work, including the novel One Hundred Years of Solitude earned him a Nobel Prize and sparked an entire genre of literature.

NPR’s Mandalit Del Barco reports his magical realistic style of narrative had its roots in two grandparents with two different perspectives.

Garcia Marquez was born in 1927 in the Colombian coast town of Aracataca, which experienced a boom after a U.S. fruit company arrived. In a 1984 interview with NPR, he said his writing was forever shaped by the grandparents who raised him as a young child:

“There was a real dichotomy in me because, on one hand … there was the world of my grandfather; a world of stark reality, of civil wars he told me about, since he had been a colonel in the last civil war. And then, on the other hand, there was the world of my grandmother, which was full of fantasy, completely outside of reality.”

According to the BBC obituary, in 1965 he was politically active and a journalist but little known. He was driving to Acapulco with his family when he had a idea for a story. He turned the car around, went home and shut himself in a room for 18 months with six packets of cigarettes a day.

He emerged eighteen months later to find his family $12,000 in debt. Fortunately, he had thirteen hundred pages of phenomenal best-selling text in his hands.

The novel’s first printing in Spanish sold out within a week, and during the next thirty years One Hundred Years of Solitude sold more than twenty million copies and was translated into more than thirty languages.

The New York Times called it the first piece of literature since the Book of Genesis that should be required reading for the entire human race.

Democracy Now! opens its full-episode remembrance with Marquez’s own words accepting the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982:

[translated] The country that could be formed of all the exiles and forced emigrants of Latin America would have a population larger than that of Norway. I dare to think that it is this outsized reality, and not just its literary expression, that has deserved the attention of the Swedish Academy of Letters. A reality not of paper, but one that lives within us and determines each instant of our countless daily deaths, and that nourishes a source of insatiable creativity, full of sorrow and beauty, of which this roving and nostalgic Colombian is but one cipher more, singled out by fortune. Poets and beggars, musicians and prophets, warriors and scoundrels, all creatures of that unbridled reality, we have had to ask but little of imagination, for our crucial problem has been a lack of conventional means to render our lives believable. This, my friends, is the crux of our solitude.

Isabel Allende was Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez’s guest for the show. She offered a different perspective on the magical realism Marquez made popular:

I would say that magic realism begins with the conquistadors that came to Latin America, and they were writing these letters to the king or to Spain in which they talk about a continent that had fountains of youth, that you could pick up the gold and the diamonds from the floor, that people had unicorns or had one foot so big that at siesta time they would raise it like a parasol to have shade. I mean, this is—I’m not making this up. This is in the conquistadors’ letters.

Marquez had recently been hospitalized. He died at home in Mexico, where he had lived for the past 30 years.

New Name, New Business Model for Shakespeare Festival

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From past 2010 performance of 'The Lion in Winter' with Kandis Chappell, Mairin Lee and Marco Barricelli. Barricelli will continue as the Artistic Director of the new company, joined by Mike Ryan. Photo: Courtesy of http://shakespearesantacruz.org

From past 2010 performance of ‘The Lion in Winter’ with Kandis Chappell, Mairin Lee and Marco Barricelli. Barricelli will continue as the Artistic Director of the new company, joined by Mike Ryan. Photo: Courtesy of http://shakespearesantacruz.org

By J.D. Hillard | KUSP News

Supporters of Santa Cruz’s annual Shakespeare festival snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in the last days of January when they brought a campaign to independently fund the next festival season to a successful completion.

It’s uncertain whether there will ever be a ‘Shakespeare Santa Cruz’ again. The successor company aiming to carry on the festival doesn’t own the name. Instead it seems Shakespeare plays will return to Santa Cruz performed by a company calling itself ‘Santa Cruz Shakespeare’.

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David Sedaris – How His Book Tours Influenced his Latest Collection

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David Sedaris talks with Rick Kleffel about how his book tours influenced his latest collection of essays and short stories – Let Explore Diabetes with Owls.

  
About the interview, Rick Kleffel wrote:

It will come as no surprise that David Sedaris is easy to talk to. When we sat down to discuss ‘Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls,’ we were both quickly to our comfort zones; being crabby old men complaining about stuff and gawky kids talking about weird things.

Reviving Radio Theatre

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Shakespeare Santa Cruz aims to immerse it's audience in a theater form that is rarely performed anymore. Photo courtesy Shakespeare Santa Cruz

Shakespeare Santa Cruz aims to immerse it’s audience in a theater form that is rarely performed anymore. Photo courtesy Shakespeare Santa Cruz

Despite UCSC’s announcement last summer of its closure, Shakespeare Santa Cruz still has at least one more show. It’s A Wonderful Life: a Live Radio Play recreates a form of theatre rarely heard anymore. J.D. Hillard has this report.

Master Series II at the R. Blitzer Gallery – Howard Ikemoto & Ron Milhoan

'Reservoir' by Howard Ikemoto. Courtesy of the artist.

‘Reservoir’ by Howard Ikemoto. Courtesy of the artist.

'winter Poplars' by Ron Milhoan. Courtesy of the artist.

‘Winter Poplars’ by Ron Milhoan. Courtesy of the artist.

(Text provided by the R. Blitzer Gallery)

Two of the area’s most revered artists and educators are together at an exclusive exhibit at the R. Blitzer Gallery. Both artists, now retired, have inspired thousands of students as art instructors at Cabrillo College.

Howard Ikemoto taught at Cabrillo College for 34 years before retiring in 2000. Though he bristles, at the notion that he enjoyed legendary status at Cabrillo College, he nonetheless, was an extraordinary teacher and mentor. Foremost was his deep respect towards his students. He engaged his students to think past the obvious and mundane. His recent works examine landscapes through the process of painting. They are often abstract and sometimes non-objective. Howard’s work has been exhibited throughout California in museums and galleries. Today, Ikemoto at 74, continues his visual explorations and invite us all, the viewer, to welcome risk.

Ron Milhoan’s current oil paintings, “The Dusty Trail Series” are inspired by the landscape and a tribute to his home of 20 years in Corralitos,. His interest in the patterns of light through trees transforms the landscape as if illuminated from within. Ron was an influential painting and drawing teacher at Cabrillo College for 29 years and six years prior at 3 other universities in the United States. Milhoan exhibited his work at The Monterey Museum of Art, The Triton Museum of Art and The Museum of Art and History. Milhoan was awarded two NEA Painting Grants and the Distinguished Artist Award in Santa Cruz and continues to exhibited nationally.

Exhibit runs through December 28th. First Friday reception December 6, 5 – 9 pm. rblitzergallery.com

In 1913, A New York Armory Filled With Art Stunned The Nation

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By Susan Stamberg | NPR News

One hundred years ago in New York City, nearly 90,000 people came to see the future of art. The 1913 Armory Show gave America its first look at what avant-garde artists in Europe were doing. Today these artists are in major museums around the world, but in 1913, they were mostly unknown in America.

The 69th Regiment Armory on East 25th Street may have seemed like an odd venue, but it was big enough to hold the 1,400-work exhibition. “There were lots of comparisons in 1913 of the Armory Show being a bomb from the blue, so the Armory is not inappropriate,” says curator Kimberly Orcutt. Courtesy: Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution

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Downtown – Halloween 2013

 
‘Faces in the Crowd’
Pacific Avenue, Santa Cruz. October 31. 2013. Photos: Stephen Laufer
 

De Young Museum’s Largest Show Ever

Image: Courtesy of the Artist.

Image: Courtesy of the Artist.

David Hockney: A Bigger Exhibition features the artist’s work from 2002 to present.

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7th Avenue Project:
Henry Jaglom on Orson Welles

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Orson and Henry

This episode of  the 7th Avenue Project w/ Robert Pollie was broadcast on Aug 25, 2013. Listen to the full program above. 

It’s tempting, if you’re tempted by clichés, to call Orson Welles “larger than life.” But he was after all an ordinary mortal, however prodigious his gifts and imposing his persona. He was also, among other things, a struggling artist, and his travails should be familiar to anyone who’s sought creative fulfillment in a practical world.

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Shakespeare SC’s Artistic Director On Announcement 2013 is Final Season

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Photo: Courtesy of Shakespeare Santa Cruz

Photo: Courtesy of Shakespeare Santa Cruz

By J.D. Hillard | KUSP News

Marco Barricelli says he felt that Shakespeare Santa Cruz had got its business figured out in the 2013 season. He noted that the company has a history of falling back on support from U.C. Santa Cruz, which was the stated reason for the troupe’s cancellation. But he says this season, revenue had come to 98 of what had been budgeted.

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