Donna Leon

Death in a Strange Country


Second story in the series. Brunetti and his wife are nice people; Venice seems such a charming city to see in his company. However, during this second story we are carried most of the time outside Venice, to a military base in Vicenza. The US Army enters the scene. Also, we have a closer look at Guido's father-in-law, and not a pretty one by the end of the book. All in all this one story is about social ranks and geopolitics zoomed into Venice. Social ranks: we are made aware of the aristocrats, this set represented by the count, Guido's father-in-law; the VIPs, which are the rich/corrupt/business people and their lackeys; the middle-class, Guido, wife and family and everyone else. The author seems to be very intent on making clear all humanity belong to one or the other classes. The end is really pessimistic, contrary to how the first installment ended. So, in a broader sense, nations like Germany and -of course- the USA have to play the bad guy role; the poor countries of the world are mentioned as the dumping grounds of the developed nations; Italy? Italy is a poor sucker who has to dance when the big guys tell her to.

A very, very, simplistic view of politics and society, from what we can gather by this reading. Donna Leon states it clearly early in the book: Guido is a Socialist; his wife is a communist. Oh, well. I wished I hadn't known it. But once the author has put it out so bluntly, and in so uncalled for a manner, I haven't the courage to continue reading her stories. I can forsee all the opinions that can come out of this never-the-less "simpatico" couple.

Chiao Guido. You don't deserve to be a Socialist, but have it your own way.

"Es cierto que el Romano es libre de hacer todo lo que quiera. Pero también lo es que tiene que soportar las consecuencias de sus actos. No importa que se haya equivocado, que le hayan engañado o incluso forzado: un hombre no se deja forzar: etiamsi coactus, attamen voluit. Es libre; pero si distraído, imprudente o atontado, prometió pagar una determinada cantidad y no puede pagarla, se convierte en esclavo de su acreedor."

Rudolph von Ihering

“Slavery, protection, and monopoly find defenders, not only in those who profit by them, but in those who suffer by them.”

Frédéric Bastiat

On the true nature of the Castro Revolution in Cuba: "The revolution was a cover for committing atrocities without the slightest vestige of guilt ... we were young and irresponsible. We were pirates. We formed our own caste ... we belonged to and believed in nothing -no religion, no flag, no morality or principle. It's fortunate we didn't win, because if we had, we would have drowned the continent in barbarism."

Jorge Masetti -In the Pirate's Den

La anarquía, es decir, la ausencia de fuerza estatal, no es una forma de Estado, y cualquiera que acabe con ella por el medio que sea, el usurpador nacional o el conquistador extranjero, rinde un servicio a la sociedad. Es un salvador, un bienhechor, porque la forma más insoportable de Estado es la ausencia de Estado.

Rudolph von Ihering

"El envidioso está afligido no solo por sus males propios, sino por los bienes de los demás."  -Hipias

[la norma de conducta de los progres] "No hacer nada que alguien pueda envidiarme." -Hipasos




Seguimos a la espera de la reedición de este importante libro del gran escritor español José Pla

Historia de la Segunda República.


También a la espera de este importante libro del genial Rafael Abella.

Finales de enero, 1939, Barcelona cambia de piel


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