Tony McKibbin writes for magazines and journals worldwide.

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Modern Times

Thoughtful Laughter

Modern Times is an urban film about characters who might finally be better suited to a rural environment. Is that how we should view the ending to this film which shows the characters walking off into the sunset, suggesting the next one they see won’t be from the city? Though made during the midst of the depression and frequently alluding to the poverty and misery of the period, the idea for…


Reinaldo Arenas

An Auteur Maudit

For many writers in Latin America, the political dimension that sits behind their fiction is a deliberate but finally relatively insignificant aspect of their work. Gabriel Garcia Marquez has long been associated with left-wing politics in Latin American and for admiring Fidel Castro. Borges more unfairly has been associated with the Junta while his abiding dislike was for Peronism rather than an …




1 Five years ago, when seeing someone from Paris, I visited her at Christmas. She was between flats and staying for a few months at her parents’ place while looking for another apartment. Her friend was in Barcelona for the festivities, knew I was visiting, and suggested to Marianne that we take her apartment for the ten days of my stay. The flat was near Belleville, on the third floor. On t…


Saul Bellow


Of course, US literature is rich, a pun playing on the idea that the country is prosperous and the literature is manifold. But we offer it not only as a pun but as a causal relation. The literature is rich partly because the country happens to be also. Few would be likely to claim that 19th century American literature could be seen as so significant as English, French or Russian fiction, but in th…

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