"Rest in peace Maria"

Rexburg, Idaho
January 10, 2011

"Known... around here."

A few days ago, while talking about some of the books I enjoyed reading, I mentioned to my friend Renato, how much amazes me how extremely gifted some writers really are.

Perhaps I fell in love with ‘reading’ a little later than most, so I might not be qualified to- or give an accurate and educated- critique of books or writers, but it’s mind-blowing to me how a book, meant to be read by children in the 1800s, can today still take me away, and make the ride really enjoyable.

"My cocaine."
From all books I’ve read, Chronicles of Narnia, by C. S. Lewis, still leads any personal ranking of mine.

However, ‘The Complete Fairy Tales and Stories by Hans Christian Andersen is the book that I don’t read often so the day I read its last page is prolonged a little longer.

Most of the sweet tales of my childhood came out from this guy, and this guys only. Hans Christian Andersen’s collection of tales includes Little Mermaid, Thumbelina, The Emperor's New Clothes, and my personal favorite, Ugly Duckling, among many, many others.

And yes, I do enjoy, greatly, reading these tales. It’s my way to fly away, like Peter Pan; it’s my escape, my refuge. It’s my cocaine.

Something that intrigued me though, about these authors, is, how is it that a person can come up with stories like Narnia or Andersen’s tales? What kind of individual they must have been? What was happening in their lives while writing those stories? Is there any connection between their reality and their inspiration? Is there, in their writings, any figurative representation of their own lives?

That would be a fun project… read a biography and the book they wrote by date.

I’m sure somebody already did that.

Currently, I am about to finish the Second Book of the ‘Hunger Games,’ Catching Fire, by Suzanne Collins. I devoured the fist book in a few days. I know that these books were written for teenagers; in fact it was a teenager the one who recommended me to read The Hunger Games in the first place.

Maybe my level of reading is improving, or, possibly, who knows, the fact that I am enjoying teen literature it’s because I am finally maturing.

You can. If you like, judge me for reading these kind a books. Again, I don’t think I am in any position to critique a book, or a writer. But I do know what I like, and I like these books. A lot.

"I mentioned: Maria Elena Walsh"
While talking about Books and authors, I mentioned "Maria Elena Walsh". The first book I remember reading... for fun... was María Elena Walsh's "El Reino del Revés" (The Upside-Down Kingdom).

Renato, who is from Brazil, and raised mostly in the US, didn’t know who she was.

I was not surprised.

Maria Elena Walsh was mostly an Icon of Children’s literature in Latin America, and a prideful jewel for all Argentines. (A Walt Disney of Argentinians, I dare to say)

After Renato told me that he didn't know who she was I said, "She is great"

I told him how fun I remember her books to be. And how pitiful was that she wasn’t… 'known' around here.

A few days later, today, I find out that she just passed away.

"Among the greatest authors"
Anyway… This whole post was an introduction to make it known, on record, that I did have her, (Maria Elena Walsh) in my mind.

To make it known, on record, that, to me, a humble Argentine that refuses to grow up and who feels inadequate to speak about books and authors... to me, she was among the greatest authors of children literature in the world.

I heard many times that authors become most prestigious and loved when dead, but she was celebrated while alive, since she was 13 years old! So. She did well.

Rest in peace Maria.

And thank you.
María Elena Walsh
1 de febrero de 1930 - 10 de enero de 2011

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