Henryk Sienkiewicz

Quo Vadis


It takes a lot of daring -if not arrogance- for a serious writer to put together in the same page (260 in my edition) the persons of Peter and Paul, the two apostles, in the same room talking. Even more, the author has Paul say that Peter is his "superior", which quite denotes a Catholic slant. But anyhow, I excuse him for these escesses of imagination because, overall, this is a good historical novel. Not accurate, and not only for the facts mentioned but in a general sense too.

The tone swings from sarcastic and humorous to melodramatic romance. Thus its ups and downs. It tried my patience in the latter cases, but I guess I got over it. I would say it is a very interesting novel because of the scope of its subject, which interests me greatly, the Roman Empire, the beginning of Christianity in Rome, the lives of the first martyrs, the persecutions, the contrast of visions: pagan and Christian. Luckily the author was able to hold all these ingredients in one single story pretty well, despite the deficiencies noted.

I would have expected to see in these pages the names of historical figures mentioned, like those of Peter, Paul or Nero, but not with these familiarity -though to a different reader it might be an incentive instead of an annoyance-, because I would have preferred that the author would limit himself to aknowledged facts and not make them up when historical characters are involved in the plot. The consequence is -to me- that they look less real, as part of a soap-opera, and this is bad taste or, at least, cheap art.

Anyhow, since there's not much out there about this time and subject, I recommend this book gladly. It's a worth read.

"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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