Ejercicios de estilo.


Una mañana a mediodía, junto al parque Monceau, en la plataforma trasera de un autobús casi completo de la línea S (en la actualidad el 84), observé a un personaje con el cuello bastante largo que llevaba un sombrero de fieltro rodeado de un cordón trenzado en lugar de cinta. Este individuo interpeló, de golpe y porrazo, a su vecino, pretendiendo que le pisoteaba adrede cada vez que subían o bajaban viajeros. Pero abandonó rápidamente la discusión para lanzarse sobre un sitio que había quedado libre.
Dos horas más tarde, volví a verlo delante de la estación de Saint-Lazare, conversando con un amigo que le aconsejaba disminuir el escote del abrigo haciéndose subir el botón superior por algún sastre competente.




¡Ostras! ¡Las doce! ¡Hora de coger el autobús] ¡Cuánta gente! ¡Cuánta gente! ¡Qué apreturas! ¡Qué gracia! ¡Ese pollo! ¡Qué jeta! ¡Y qué cuello! ¡Setenta y cinco centímetros! ¡Por lo menos! ¡Y el cordón! ¡Vaya cordón! ¡No lo había visto! ¡El cordón! ¡Es lo más gracioso! ¡Sí, eso! ¡El cordón! ¡En el sombrero! ¡Un cordón! ¡Gracioso! ¡Muy gracioso! ¡Y mira cómo se cabrea! ¡El del cordón! ¡Con un vecino! ¡Lo que le larga!
¡Mira el otro! ¡Que le ha pisoteado! ¡Se van a dar de tortas! ¡Seguro! ¡A que no! ¡A que sí! ¡Dale! ¡Dale! ¡Párte le la cara! ¡Venga! ¡Atízale! ¡Mecachis en la mar! ¡No!
¡Se arruga! ¡El tío! ¡Y qué cuello! ¡Y qué cordón! ¡Mira cómo vuela al asiento! ¡Allá va! ¡El tío!
¡Mira! ¡Anda! ¡No! ¡No me equivoco! ¡Es él! ¡Seguro! ¡Allí! ¡Allí mismo! ¡En la plaza de Roma! ¡Delante de la estación de Saint-Lazare! ¡Paseándose de arriba abajo! ¡Y con otro tipo!¡Y las tontadas que le está diciendo el otro! ¡Que se añada un botón! ¡En el abrigo! ¡Sí! ¡Sí! ¡En el abrigo!


No era ni un barco, ni un avión, sino un medio de transporte terrestre. No era por la mañana, ni por la tarde, sino a mediodía. No era ni un bebé, ni un anciano, sino un joven. No era ni una cinta, ni un bramante, sino un cordón trenzado. No era ni una procesión, ni una trifulca, sino un atropellamiento. No era ni un amable, ni un malvado, sino un colérico. No era ni una verdad, ni una mentira, sino un pretexto. No era ni uno derecho, ni uno yacente, sino uno que quería estar sentado.
No era ni la víspera, ni el día siguiente, sino el mismo día. No era la estación del Norte, ni la estación de Lión, sino la estación de Saint-Lazare. No era ni un pariente, ni un desconocido, sino un amigo. No era ni un insulto, ni una burla, sino un consejo sobre indumentaria.


A las 12 h. 17 m. en un autobús de la línea S, de 10 metros de largo, 2,10 de ancho y 3,50 de altura, a 3 km. 600 m. de su punto de partida, cargado con 48 personas, un individuo de sexo masculino, de 27 años, 3 meses y 8 días de edad, 1 m. 72 cm. de talla y 65 kg. de peso, que llevaba en la cabeza un sombrero de 17 cm. de alto cuya copa estaba rodeada por un cordón de 35 cm. de largo, interpela a un hombre de 48 años, 4 meses y 3 días de edad, 1 m. 68 cm. de talla y 77 kg. de peso, por medio de 14 palabras, cuya enunciación duró 5 segundos, alusivas a desplazamientos involuntarios de 15 a 20mm. Va enseguida a sentarse a unos 2 m. 10 cm. de allí.
118 minutos más tarde, se encontraba a 10 metros de la estación de Saint-Lazare, en la entrada de cercanías, y se paseaba de arriba abajo sobre un trayecto de 30 metros, con un compañero de 28 años de edad, 1 m. 70 cm. de talla y 71 kg. de peso, quien le aconsejó con 15 palabras desplazar 5 cm., en dirección al cenit, un botón de 3 cm. de diámetro.


En el paralelepípedo rectangular que se desplaza a lo largo de una línea recta de ecuación 84 x+S=y, un homoide A que presenta un casquete esférico rodeado por dos sinusoides, sobre una parte cilíndrica de longitud 1 >n, presenta un punto de intersección con un homoide trivial B. Demostrar que este punto de intersección es un punto de inflexión.
Si el homoide A encuentra un homoide homólogo C, entonces el punto de intersección es un disco de radio r


There’s a period between four and six in the evening when the day seems to hang, motionles and idle in the air. The work day is gone, and your mind needs the kind of rest that reading won’t provide; the evening news hasn’t yet come on TV, it is too early to start thinking about what to have for dinner. The sun has lowered, its rays are reclining, the light is long, inviting. This is the perfect time for a nap, and I’ve taken one almost every day of my adult life. Here are the rules I’ve discovered.

It’s important, if possible, not to nap in bed, since you can’t always stop yourself from falling into a too-deep sleep and waking an hour or two later. Long naps are a disaster; you never quite wake up from them, and you’ll never get back to sleep that night, either, so you’ll spend the rest of the evening in torpid dread. Stay out of bed: napping on the couch is much better, or even on the floor, or in the passenger seat of a car while someone else is driving. A blanket may be used, but not beed sheets; and you must wear more clothing than you do at night: if you sleep naked, some form of underwear is obligatory for napping; if you sleep topless, a shirt; and if you sleep in pyjamas, I suppose you have to nap with your shoes on. You may drool on the pillow, or on your sleeve if that’s where your head’s resting. For some reason, napping with the radio on is less satisfying then napping with the television on. If you own a dog, he should be in the same room as you: dogs are experts in the art of dozing, and man and beast nod off twice as well together as either does alone. You may freely snore in your own living room, but if you nap in public, be prepared to bolt awake with dazed and foolish expression, and find other people staring at you.

Why are long naps so much more disorienting than a full night’s sleep? Your senses are so slow to come and get you. They dawdle and arrive at different times. Your hearing is the first to come alive again: the sound of someone entering the room, the murmur of conversation outside the door, a police siren passing below. Then you see where you are, you’re on the couch, you’re in your living room, but your body is still asleep, you’re still breathing like a patient under gas, and there’s a very brief moment of panic-paralysed!- but no, this arm’s working, the other arm, you oull your knees up and groan softly, blink your eyes, smack your lips, sigh. Everything worldly is as you left it; only the clock has turned forward, and you have changed exactly that much.

Men tend to nap more often than women- or so it seems from the surveys I’ve conducted among my friends and acquaintances. If it’s true for the population as a whole, I can’t explain it. Maybe it’s a matter of metabolism, maybe of conditioning, maybe simply of opportunity. Whatever it is, I suspect it’s the same cause that makes men fall asleep inmediately after sex, while women lie awake; but I don’t know. Like most differences between men and women, it may be inherent, or it may be contingent, or it may not be real at all, so I’ll just mention it and move on.

Jim Lewis, “Notes from the Land of Nod”. GRANTA 88.

Frases de madres anglosajonas.

Someday your face will freeze like that!

What if everyone jumped off a cliff…Would you do it, too?

You’re going to put your eye out with that thing!

Don’t put that in your mouth…you don’t know where it’s been.

Did you flush?

I hope someday you have children just like you.

If I have to get out of this chair!

Don’t eat that, you’ll get worms!

A little soap and water never killed anyone!

You could have been dead in a ditch for all I knew!

Don’t use that tone with me!

You won’t be happy until you break that, will you!

You’d lose your head if it wasn’t attached to your shoulders!

You’d better wipe that smile off your face before I come and do it for you!

What part of the word no don’t you understand?

Why? Because I said so, that’s why?

Now come back downstairs and go back up again without stamping your feet!

I’ve told you a million times, don’t exaggerate!

Go tidy your room-and be ruthless with it!

Your eyes are bigger than your belly!

It’ll end in tears!

Allison Vale and Alison Rattle, Mothers’ Wit.

¿Por qué se culpa al número 13?


In many cultures the presence of thirteen at a dinner table is considered unlucky. In part this is due to the general superstitions which surrounded the number, yet it is clear that dining with thirteen is a special concern. The French used to hire an additional dinner (or Quartorzienne) to make up the fourteenth place. At the Savoy Hotel, London, a wooden cat named Kaspar (carved by Basil Ionides, 1926) is set a place at table when a party of 13 sits down to eat. The most obvious source of these concerns must be the Last Supper when Jesus broke bread with his Apostles the night before his death. in ancient Norse mythology thirteen was considered unlucky after the events at a banquet in Valhalla where Baldur was slain after Loki had intruded, thus becoming the thirteenth diner.

Ben Schott, Schott’s Food & Drink Miscellany.

Antes de Penélope.

Supuesta última fotografía de James Dean días antes de su muerte. La que se ríe tanto es Saritísima.

«Llevo fumando puros toda mi vida. Y de hombre no tengo nada, ni una uña. Maricona sí, pero hombre no. Lo que ocurre es que tengo carácter y una forma de ser… muy amplia».

«Después de mis estrenos, me iba a la Dirección General de Seguridad a sacar de allí a todos los gays que habían sido detenidos por ir vestidos y peinados como yo. Me daba pena que fueran a la cárcel por querer ser yo».


The British Beehive.

But the problem was obvious. In the middle of the nineteenth century, only married students at the Royal Academy were allowed to draw from the female nude. And it was alleged, not entirely plausibly, that the reason John Ruskin, the century’s greatest artistic authority, had been unable to consummate his marriage to Effie Gray was his weeding-night discovery that- unlike classical models- his new wife had pubic hair. (The present theory is that it may have been that Ruskin was ignorant of, and disgusted by, menstruation. Pubic hair is, of course, a much better story for making the point about the malign influence of classical art.)

Jeremy Paxman, The Victorians.

Por cierto, ¿qué le pasa al hombre del vídeo? Echa espumarajos por la boca. No conozco la polémica que desató tan vehemente comportamiento aunque sí la buena educación.

Monarquía de Tavolara.


GIUSEPPE BARTOLEONI (1780?-1848?), King of Tavolara.

One day in 1833, Carlo Alberto (1798-1848), King of Sardinia, instructed the captain of his ship to leave him on the island of Tavolara-located off the coast of Sardinia- for a few hours of solitary hunting. After a short time, the king was approached by a huge man more than 7 ft tall. The man was the sole inhabitant of the island, and the king was so impressed with his harmonious lifestyle that he declared him King of Tavolara. The hermit identified himself as Giuseppe Bartoleoni, a shepherd from Maddalena- an island north of Sardinia. Carlo Alberto found this hard to believe. Most people of the time- especially peasants- were illiterate, but Giuseppe was fluent in several languages and extremely well-educated. He was also the head of two families; one wife and children lived on another island while a second wife and children lived on yet a third island. He sent for both to live with him in his new kingdom and, because he was sovereign, the Italian government failed in its attempt to prosecute him for bigamy. Paolo, his eldest son, was named his successor upon his father’s death in the late 1840s. When Paolo died 50 years later, the inhabitants of Tavolara proclaimed a republic.

The Book of Lists.