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For Moscow Officials, Even Book Fairs Are Too Dangerous

A book fair planned for this weekend was supposed to liven up Moscow’s Taganski neighborhood with a bit of poetry and music. City authorities saw a threat to public order.

They just want to read! (kurmanka)
They just want to read! (kurmanka)

MOSCOW – After several weeks of meetings with neighborhood authorities in Moscow, the Independent Publishers' Guild has had to cancel a planned book fair after its permit was unexpectedly denied. Organizers say politics are behind the cancelation, even though the event – which was supposed to take place this weekend – had no political aspirations whatsoever.

The book fair, planned to coincide with Slavic Literature and Culture Day, was to be held in Moscow's southeastern Taganski neighborhood and include stands with booksellers, concerts and poetry readings. And yet as benign as the program was, local authorities apparently deemed the event too dangerous. Organizers say they were told that in light of recent protests, no street events of any kind would be allowed.

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Ideas

García Márquez And Truth: How Journalism Fed The Novelist's Fantasy

In his early journalistic writings, the Colombian novelist Gabriel García Márquez showed he had an eye for factual details, in which he found the absurdity and 'magic' that would in time be the stuff and style of his fiction.

Colombian novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez reads his book

J. D. Torres Duarte

BOGOTÁ — In short stories written in the 1940s and early 50s and later compiled in Eyes of a Blue Dog, the late Gabriel García Márquez, Colombia's Nobel Prize-winning novelist, shows he is as yet a young writer, with a style and subjects that can be atypical.

Stylistically, García Márquez came into his own in the celebrated One Hundred Years of Solitude. Until then both his style and substance took an erratic course: touching the brevity of film scripts in Nobody Writes to the Colonel, technical experimentation in Leaf Storm, the anecdotal short novel in In Evil Hour or exploring politics in Big Mama's Funeral. Throughout, the skills he displayed were rather of a precocious juggler.

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