My favorite things of Argentina

1. Tango CD: Astor Piazzola’s Tango: Zero Hour.  If you are looking to download a single song, try Carlos Gardel’s El Dia Que Me Quieras.

2. Novel: Cortazar’s Hopscotch [Rayuela].  I read one chapter (almost) every day, which amounts to about three pages.  I expect to finish in July, and no I don’t understand it in English either.  It does hold my attention, and is rapidly becoming one of my favorite novels.  Looking elsewhere, Eduardo Berti is a much underrated author.

3. Short story: Tlon, Uqbar, Orbus Tertius, by Borges.  Could this be the best short story period?  Here is an excerpt.

4. Film: Nine Queens is the obvious choice, and yes it is implicit commentary on their economic crises.  Here is a longer list.  For "Film, Set In," you might try Kiss of the Spider Woman.

5. Pianist: Martha Argerich.  Try her Chopin, or perhaps her Prokofiev.  She is one of the sexiest women:


6. TV show: I only know one Argentinian TV show — Epitafios — but it is a blockbuster.  Noir about a serial killer in Buenos Aires; sometimes they show it on HBO. 

7. Social science: Domingo Sarmiento, Facundo: Civilization and Barbarism.  The Argentinian Tocqueville, you might say, and just translated into English last year.  If you relish the idea that rural areas are barbaric, you will find intellectual company in this book.

8. Painter: Guillermo Kuitca.  Try this one, or here is a classic Kuitca image.

The bottom line: This is one of the best places on earth, and yes I am here now.  Comments are open, if you would care to add to this.


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