If Spanish film is overwhelmingly dominated by Pedro Almodóvar who likes tell strange stories about strange people who are strangely Spanish, Spanish tv is completely different, which is full of creativity and beauty.
From the most elegant series Gran Hotel, to the most romantic like Velvet, the most poetical La Señora, the most exotic El tiempo entre costuras, the most tragic La sonata del silencio, to the most intriguing and addictive El Internado. Some of the best tv series like Gran Hotel, Cuéntame cómo pasó are so popular that other countries have purchased the story and made their own version.
For someone who loves Spanish culture and language, the Spanish tv series are like a big treasure box that will never disappoint. And now, some of the best Spanish TV series can be watched on Amazon Prime.
1905, Northern Spain.
A young boy of humble background Julio Olmedo came to the luxurious Grand Hotel to look for his sister Cristina, who worked there as a maid and had not written to him for too long. Although he was told Cristina was fired for theft, Julio thought something has happened to her and was determined to find her.
He mader himself a waiter under the name Julio Espinosa to investigate his sister's disappearance, thus met Alicia Alarcón, the younger daughter of the hotel's owner Doña Teresa who decided to help him.
And they fell in love.
Watch on Amazon prime video
Set in an academy for young ladies in Seville in the 1920s, it shows a teaching center clinging to an unwavering way of doing things and conditioned by the traditions of the city and those years. All this universe and its pillars wobble with the arrival of a new teacher Terresa, who has a very different way of seeing things and who has a secret objective directly related to the academy. The search for their own voice of a group of adult and young women will be the destiny of the protagonists.
1920s, in Asturias, northern Spain where the difference between the middle class and working class was huge, Victoria Márquez, daughter of a mine's owner fell in love with Angel, son of a worker in her father's minery who was forced to become a priest to help his family and be away from Victoria. But the two never stopped loving each other, even after Victoria had to marry Gonzalo, marqués de Castro, the business partner and also murder of her father.
It was a tragic but powerful love story.
After the end of the serie, the production company made a spin-off called 14 de abril. La República in which some of the characters in La Señora, including Gonzalo and Angel will make occasional appearance.
14 de abril. La República is Spanish tv series produced by Diagonal TV, it is the spin-off of another wonderful Spanish tv series La Señora. Although it keeps some of the personages from La Señora, the story is basically a new story of new time, about the family la Torre, a family of privilege living in Madrid, who lives in the times of chaos and great change, and the impossible love of their son Fernando de la Torre (Félix Gómez), with two women Alejandra (Verónica Sánchez) and Mercedes (Mariona Ribas).
La sonata del silencio is a Spanish TV series produced by RTVE, Spanish Nationl Channel 1, adapted by Spanish writer Paloma Sánchez-Garnica's novel of same title. It contains only 1 season, 9 episodes, with each episode starting its narration from the angle of one personage(mostly woman) living in the building, so each episode has different theme and tone, like that of a Sonata.
Episode 1: Marta
Episode 2: Elena
Episode 3: Roberta
Episode 4: Virtuditas
Episode 5: Fermina
Episode 6: Julita
Episode 7: Rafael
Episode 8: Antonio
Episode 9: Marta y Elena
The story of transformation of a woman, not of cinderella to princess, but rather the transformation of an ordinary costurera (Spanish: seamstress), Sira Quiroga from a humble family background into a woman of class and courage , a woman who decides to save her country from the war.
Lo que escondían sus ojos tells the love story of Ramón Serrano Suñer, the brother-in-law of Spanish dictator Francisco Franco and Sonsoles de Icaza, la Marquesa consorte de Llanzol, which became a scandal in the most exclusive circle of high society.
The main storyline of the show is the love story of Alberto Márquez (played by Miguel Ángel Silvestre), heir of Galerías Velvet, one of the most prestigious fashion houses in the Spain of the late 1950s, and Ana Rivera (Paula Echevarría), who works as a seamstress there.
Marcos and Paula, the Galician brother and sister who have just lost their parents in an accident in Greek sea, are sent to the Black Lagoon boarding school, a boarding school where wealthy parents in Spain sent their children.
Soon, however, strange things start to happen including mysterious murders, and it seems everything is connected somehow to Paula, a girl of 5 years old, and her brother decides to investigate with the help of the friends he makes in the boarding school.
The series tells the story of Charles I or Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, one of the most powerful men Europe has met, the ruler of an empire as great in size as in diversity.
As the life of Charles of Habsburg is told since his arrival to Spain, it can be seen how the heir to the crowns of Germany, Burgundy, the Netherlands, the Free County, Artois, Nevers and Rethel, of the territories of the Crown of Aragon and its related Italian territories, and of the territories of the Catholic Monarchs in Castile, North Africa and the Americas, matures as a statesman and gets strong
11. Cuéntame cómo pasó
Cuéntame cómo pasó (English:Tell me how it happened), usually shortened to Cuéntame and also known in English as Remember When, is a Spanish prime-time television drama series which has been broadcast on La 1 of Televisión Española since 2001. It recounts the experiences of a middle-class family, the Alcántaras (Spanish: Los Alcántara),
The story reflects the changes in Spain beginning from 1968, one of the last years of the rule of Francisco Franco to the early years of Spanish democracy. Through situations, characters, and attitudes of the era, the series evokes a wistful reminiscence of those times. It paints a very realistic Spain of that times and intelligently integrate some of the historical happenings into the story line.
With 20 seasons, 369 episodes and 5 unnumbered special episodes it is also the longest running prime-time television series in Spain.
This series is a biography about the Queen of Castile, Isabella the Catholic.
The first season chronicles the period between 1461 and 1474: from the end of her childhood to her marriage with Ferdinand II of Aragon and her difficult arrival to the Crown.
The second season chronicles the period between 1474 and 1492: from her crowning to the conquest of Granada and the beginning of the journey of Christopher Columbus.
The third season covers the marriages of Joanna and Philip and Juan and Margaret, the subsequent deaths of Juan, Isabel (Queen of Portugal) and after Juan´s death, Princess of Asturias, and Isabel's son, Miguel as well as the death of Isabel, Queen of Castile herself.
A peek view of these wonderful series
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After two months of lockdown in one way or another, we can have limited freedom now in our own city or province or even country, but not yet other countries. Most of us can not yet travel across the border. But for those who love to travel for culture and art, they can at least visit some of the best museums around world without leaving their homes. Other than Metropolitan Museum of Art, all other museums are in Europe, with one in United Kingdom, one in France, one in Italy, one in Vatican, one in Holland, and two in Spain.
1. British Museum, London, United Kindom
The British Museum, in the Bloomsbury area of London, United Kingdom, is a public institution dedicated to human history, art and culture. Its permanent collection of some eight million works is among the largest and most comprehensive in existence, having been widely sourced during the era of the British Empire. It documents the story of human culture from its beginnings to the present. It was the first public national museum in the world.
The British Museum was established in 1753, largely based on the collections of the Irish physician and scientist Sir Hans Sloane. It first opened to the public in 1759, in Montagu House, on the site of the current building. Its expansion over the following 250 years was largely a result of expanding British colonisation and has resulted in the creation of several branch institutions, the first being the Natural History Museum in 1881.
And now there are 11 ways for you to stay curious, keep learning, and experience over two million years of human history – all without stepping out your front door.
2. Musée du Louvre, Paris, France
Une préfiguration en est imaginée en 1775-1776 par le comte d'Angivillier, directeur général des Bâtiments du roi, comme lieu de présentation des chefs-d'œuvre de la collection de la Couronne. Ce musée n'a été inauguré qu'en 1793 sous l'appellation de Muséum central des arts de la République dans le palais du Louvre, ancienne résidence royale située au centre de Paris, est aujourd'hui le plus grand musée d'art et d'antiquités au monde. Sa surface d'exposition est de 72 735 m
The Louvre (or the Louvre Museum (French: Musée du Louvre , is the world's largest art museum and a historic monument in Paris, France. A central landmark of the city, it is located on the Right Bank of the Seine in the city's 1st arrondissement (district or ward).
Approximately 38,000 objects from prehistory to the 21st century are exhibited over an area of 72,735 square meters (782,910 square feet). In 2019, the Louvre received 9.6 million visitors, making it the most visited museum in the world.
The museum is housed in the Louvre Palace, originally built as the Louvre castle in the late 12th to 13th century under Philip II. Remnants of the fortress are visible in the basement of the museum. Due to urban expansion, the fortress eventually lost its defensive function, and in 1546 Francis I converted it into the primary residence of the French Kings. The building was extended many times to form the present Louvre Palace. In 1682, Louis XIV chose the Palace of Versailles for his household, leaving the Louvre primarily as a place to display the royal collection, including, from 1692, a collection of ancient Greek and Roman sculpture. In 1692, the building was occupied by the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres and the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture, which in 1699 held the first of a series of salons. The Académie remained at the Louvre for 100 years. During the French Revolution, the National Assembly decreed that the Louvre should be used as a museum to display the nation's masterpieces.
The museum opened on 10 August 1793 with an exhibition of 537 paintings, the majority of the works being royal and confiscated church property. Because of structural problems with the building, the museum was closed in 1796 until 1801. The collection was increased under Napoleon and the museum was renamed Musée Napoléon, but after Napoleon's abdication, many works seized by his armies were returned to their original owners. The collection was further increased during the reigns of Louis XVIII and Charles X, and during the Second French Empire the museum gained 20,000 pieces. Holdings have grown steadily through donations and bequests since the Third Republic. The collection is divided among eight curatorial departments: Egyptian Antiquities; Near Eastern Antiquities; Greek, Etruscan and Roman Antiquities; Islamic Art; Sculpture; Decorative Arts; Paintings; Prints and Drawings.
3. Gallerie Uffizi, Florence, Italy
La Galleria degli Uffizi, attualmente denominata Galleria delle Statue e delle Pitture (ex Palazzo degli Uffizi), fa parte del complesso museale fiorentino denominato Le Gallerie degli Uffizi e comprendente, oltre alla suddetta galleria, il Corridoio Vasariano, le collezioni di Palazzo Pitti e il Giardino dei Boboli.
Le quattro realtà museali unificate costituiscono per quantità e qualità delle opere raccolte uno dei più importanti musei del mondo. Vi si trovano la più cospicua collezione esistente di Raffaello e Botticelli, oltre a nuclei fondamentali di opere di Giotto, Tiziano, Pontormo, Bronzino, Andrea del Sarto, Caravaggio, Dürer, Rubens ed altri ancora.
Mentre a Palazzo Pitti si concentrano le opere pittoriche del Cinquecento e del Barocco (spaziando da Giorgione a Tiziano, da Ribera a Van Dyck), ma anche dell'Ottocento e Novecento italiano, il corridoio Vasariano ospitava fino al 2018 parte della Collezione di Autoritratti (oltre 1.700), che prossimamente sarà ospitata nella Galleria delle Statue e delle Pitture.
Il museo ospita una raccolta di opere d'arte inestimabili, derivanti, come nucleo fondamentale, dalle collezioni dei Medici, arricchite nei secoli da lasciti, scambi e donazioni, tra cui spicca un fondamentale gruppo di opere religiose derivate dalle soppressioni di monasteri e conventi tra il XVIII e il XIX secolo.
Divisa in varie sale allestite per scuole e stili in ordine cronologico, l'esposizione mostra opere dal XII al XVIII secolo, con la migliore collezione al mondo di opere del Rinascimento fiorentino. Di grande pregio sono anche la collezione di statuaria antica e soprattutto quella dei disegni e delle stampe che, conservata nel Gabinetto omonimo, è una delle più cospicue ed importanti al mondo.
The Uffizi Gallery is a prominent art museum located adjacent to the Piazza della Signoria in the Historic Centre of Florence in the region of Tuscany, Italy. One of the most important Italian museums and the most visited, it is also one of the largest and best known in the world and holds a collection of priceless works, particularly from the period of the Italian Renaissance.
After the ruling house of Medici died out, their art collections were gifted to the city of Florence under the famous Patto di famiglia negotiated by Anna Maria Luisa, the last Medici heiress. The Uffizi is one of the first modern museums. The gallery had been open to visitors by request since the sixteenth century, and in 1765 it was officially opened to the public, formally becoming a museum in 1865.
Today, the Uffizi is one of the most popular tourist attractions of Florence and one of the most visited art museums in the world.
4. Musei Vaticani, Vatican city state
I Musei Vaticani sono il polo museale della Città del Vaticano.Fondati da papa Giulio II nel XVI secolo, occupano gran parte del vasto cortile del Belvedere e sono una delle raccolte d'arte più grandi del mondo, dal momento che espongono l'enorme collezione di opere d'arte accumulata nei secoli dai papi: la Cappella Sistina e gli appartamenti papali affrescati da Michelangelo e Raffaello sono parte delle opere che i visitatori possono ammirare nel loro percorso. Benché i musei si trovino interamente in territorio vaticano, il loro ingresso si trova in territorio italiano, in viale Vaticano 6 a Roma.
The Vatican Museums (Italian: Musei Vaticani; Latin: Musea Vaticana) are the public art and sculpture museums in the Vatican City. They display works from the immense collection amassed by the Roman Catholic Church and the Papacy throughout the centuries including several of the most renowned Roman sculptures and most important masterpieces of Renaissance art in the world. The museums contain roughly 70,000 works, of which 20,000 are on display, and currently employ 640 people who work in 40 different administrative, scholarly, and restoration departments.
Pope Julius II founded the museums in the early 16th century.The Sistine Chapel with its ceiling decorated by Michelangelo and the Stanze di Raffaello decorated by Raphael are on the visitor route through the Vatican Museums.They are one of the largest museums in the world and one of the most visited.
There are 54 galleries, or sale, in total with the Sistine Chapel, notably, being the very last sala within the Museum.
Virtual tour of The Vatican Museums
5. El Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain
El Museo Nacional del Prado, en Madrid, España, es uno de los más importantes del mundo, singularmente rico en cuadros de maestros europeos de los siglos XVI al XIX, según el historiador del arte e hispanista Jonathan Brown «pocos se atreverían a poner en duda que es el museo más importante del mundo en pintura europea».
Su principal atractivo radica en la amplia presencia de Velázquez, el Greco, Goya (el artista más extensamente representado en el museo),Tiziano, Rubens y el Bosco, de los que posee las mejores y más extensas colecciones que existen a nivel mundial, a lo que hay que sumar destacados conjuntos de autores tan importantes como Murillo, Ribera, Zurbarán, Fra Angelico, Rafael, Veronese, Tintoretto, Patinir, Antonio Moro, Van Dyck o Poussin, por citar solo algunos de los más relevantes.
El inventario de bienes artísticos comprendía, a febrero de 2017, más de 35 000 objetos, desglosados en 8045 pinturas, 9561 dibujos, 5973 estampas y 34 matrices de estampación, 971 esculturas (además de 154 fragmentos), 1189 piezas de artes decorativas, 38 armas y armaduras, 2155 medallas y monedas, por encima de 15 000 fotografías, 4 libros y 155 mapas.
Por endémicas limitaciones de espacio, el museo exhibía una selección de obras de máxima calidad (unas 900), por lo que era definido como «la mayor concentración de obras maestras por metro cuadrado».
Al igual que otros grandes museos europeos, como el Louvre de París y los Uffizi de Florencia, el Prado debe su origen a la afición coleccionista de las dinastías gobernantes a lo largo de varios siglos. Refleja los gustos personales de los reyes españoles y su red de alianzas y sus enemistades políticas, por lo que es una colección asimétrica, insuperable en determinados artistas y estilos, y limitada en otros. Solo desde el siglo XX se procura, con resultados desiguales, solventar las ausencias más notorias.
El Prado no es un museo enciclopédico al estilo del Museo del Louvre, el Hermitage, el Metropolitan, la National Gallery de Londres, o incluso el vecino Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, que tienen obras de prácticamente todas las escuelas y épocas. Por el contrario, es una colección intensa y distinguida, formada esencialmente por unos pocos reyes aficionados al arte, donde muchas obras fueron creadas por encargo. El fondo procedente de la Colección Real se ha ido complementando con aportaciones posteriores, que apenas han modificado su perfil inicial, puesto que, a diferencia de lo habitual en las pinacotecas nacionales de otros países, los esfuerzos, más que a completar las faltas, han ido dirigidos a reforzar el núcleo esencial.
Muchos expertos la consideran una colección «de pintores admirados por pintores», enseñanza inagotable para nuevas generaciones de artistas, desde Manet, Mary Cassatt, Renoir, Toulouse-Lautrec y Degas, que visitaron el museo en el siglo XIX, hasta Picasso, Matisse, Dalí, Francis Bacon y Antonio Saura, quien decía: «Este museo no es el más extenso, pero sí el más intenso».
Las escuelas pictóricas de España, Flandes e Italia (sobre todo Venecia) ostentan el protagonismo en el Prado, seguidas por el fondo francés, más limitado si bien con buenos ejemplos de Nicolas Poussin y Claudio de Lorena. La pintura alemana cuenta con un repertorio discontinuo, con cuatro obras maestras de Durero y múltiples retratos de Mengs como principales tesoros. Junto al breve repertorio de pintura británica, circunscrito casi al género del retrato, hay que mencionar la pintura holandesa, una sección no demasiado amplia pero que incluye a Rembrandt.
Aunque sean aspectos menos conocidos, el museo cuenta también con una importante sección de Artes decorativas (que incluye el Tesoro del Delfín) y con una colección de esculturas, en la que destacan las greco-romanas.
Junto con el Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza y el Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, el Museo Nacional del Prado forma el llamado Triángulo del Arte, meca de numerosos turistas de todo el mundo. Esta área se enriquece con otras instituciones cercanas: el Museo Arqueológico Nacional, el Museo Nacional de Artes Decorativas, la Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando y otros pequeños museos.
The Prado Museum (Spanish: Museo del Prado ), officially known as Museo Nacional del Prado, is the main Spanish national art museum, located in central Madrid. It is widely considered to have one of the world's finest collections of European art, dating from the 12th century to the early 20th century, based on the former Spanish Royal Collection, and the single best collection of Spanish art. Founded as a museum of paintings and sculpture in 1819, it also contains important collections of other types of works. The Prado Museum is one of the most visited sites in the world, and it is considered one of the greatest art museums in the world. The numerous works by Francisco Goya, the single most extensively represented artist, as well as by Hieronymus Bosch, El Greco, Peter Paul Rubens, Titian, and Diego Velázquez, are some of the highlights of the collection.
The collection currently comprises around 8,200 drawings, 7,600 paintings, 4,800 prints, and 1,000 sculptures, in addition to many other works of art and historic documents. It is one of the largest museums in Spain.
The best-known work on display at the museum is Las Meninas by Velázquez. Velázquez and his keen eye and sensibility were also responsible for bringing much of the museum's fine collection of Italian masters to Spain, now the largest outside Italy.
Virtual tour of Museo del Prado
6. El Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza
El Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza es una pinacoteca de maestros antiguos y modernos ubicada en Madrid, España. Su existencia se debe al acuerdo de arrendamiento (1988) y a la posterior adquisición, por parte del Gobierno español (1993), del núcleo más valioso de la colección privada reunida a lo largo de siete décadas por la familia Thyssen-Bornemisza. Este fondo artístico aportó numerosos ejemplos de pintores extranjeros ausentes de los museos españoles, desde el gótico de los siglos XIV y XV (Duccio, Jan van Eyck) hasta el pop art y la pintura figurativa de los años 1980 (Lucian Freud, Richard Estes), por lo que vino a complementar el repertorio expuesto en los dos principales centros estatales, el Museo del Prado y el Reina Sofía. La apertura del Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza en 1992 dio lugar, al unirse a estos dos museos, al llamado Triángulo del Arte del paseo del Prado, área museística de Madrid que concentra el acervo pictórico más importante de España.
The Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum (Spanish, the Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza), or simply the Thyssen, is an art museum in Madrid, Spain, located near the Prado Museum on one of city's main boulevards. It is known as part of the "Golden Triangle of Art", which also includes the Prado and the Reina Sofia national galleries. The Thyssen-Bornemisza fills the historical gaps in its counterparts' collections: in the Prado's case this includes Italian primitives and works from the English, Dutch and German schools, while in the case of the Reina Sofia it concerns Impressionists, Expressionists, and European and American paintings from the 20th century.
With over 1,600 paintings, it was once the second largest private collection in the world after the British Royal Collection. A competition was held to house the core of the collection in 1987–88 after Baron Thyssen, having unsuccessfully sought permission to enlarge his Museum in Lugano (Villa Favorita), searched for a better-suited location elsewhere in Europe.
7. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, Holland
The Rijksmuseum (English: National Museum) is a Dutch national museum dedicated to arts and history in Amsterdam. The museum is located at the Museum Square in the borough Amsterdam South, close to the Van Gogh Museum, the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, and the Concertgebouw.
The Rijksmuseum was founded in The Hague on 19 November 1798 and moved to Amsterdam in 1808, where it was first located in the Royal Palace and later in the Trippenhuis. It was the most visited museum in the Netherlands and also the largest art museum in the country.
The museum has on display 8,000 objects of art and history, from their total collection of 1 million objects from the years 1200–2000, among which are some masterpieces by Rembrandt, Frans Hals, and Johannes Vermeer. The museum also has a small Asian collection, which is on display in the Asian pavilion.
Virtual tour of Rijksmuseum
8. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA
The Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York City, colloquially "the Met", is the largest art museum in the United States and one of the most visited art museums in the world. The Metropolitan Museum of Art was founded in 1870 for the purposes of opening a museum to bring art and art education to the American people.
Its permanent collection contains over two million works, divided among 17 curatorial departments.
The permanent collection consists of works of art from classical antiquity and ancient Egypt, paintings, and sculptures from nearly all the European masters, and an extensive collection of American and modern art. The Met maintains extensive holdings of African, Asian, Oceanian, Byzantine, and Islamic art. The museum is home to encyclopedic collections of musical instruments, costumes, and accessories, as well as antique weapons and armor from around the world. Several notable interiors, ranging from 1st-century Rome through modern American design, are installed in its galleries.
Virtual tour of The Met
Coronavirus has put half of the world in quarantine, leaving us time to think, doing things we have thought of doing but never seemed to find the time, like reading.
Death in Venice (German: Der Tod in Venedig), 1912
Death in Venice is a novella written by the German author Thomas Mann and was first published in 1912 as Der Tod in Venedig. The work presents a great writer suffering writer's block who visits Venice and is liberated, uplifted, and then increasingly obsessed, by the sight of a stunningly beautiful youth. Though he never speaks to the boy, much less touches him, the writer finds himself drawn deep into ruinous inward passion; meanwhile, Venice, and finally, the writer himself, succumb to a cholera plague.
The main character is Gustav von Aschenbach, a famous author in his early fifties who has recently been ennobled in honor of his artistic achievement (thus acquiring the aristocratic "von" in his name). He is a man dedicated to his art, disciplined and ascetic to the point of severity, who was widowed at a young age. As the story opens, he is strolling outside a cemetery and sees a coarse-looking red-haired foreigner who stares back at him belligerently. Aschenbach walks away, embarrassed but curiously stimulated. He has a vision of a primordial swamp-wilderness, fertile, exotic and full of lurking danger. Soon afterwards, he resolves to take a holiday.
After a false start in traveling to Pula on the Austro-Hungarian coast, Aschenbach realizes he was "meant" to go to Venice and takes a suite in the Grand Hôtel des Bains on the Lido island.
Aschenbach checks into his hotel, where at dinner he sees an aristocratic Polish family at a near-by table. Among them is an adolescent boy of about fourteen in a sailor suit. Aschenbach, startled, realizes that the boy is supremely beautiful, like a Greek sculpture. His older sisters, by contrast, are so severely dressed that they look like nuns. Later, after spying the boy and his family at a beach, Aschenbach overhears the lad's name, Tadzio, and conceives what he first interprets as an uplifting, artistic interest.(Tadzio, the boy in the story, is the nickname for the Polish name Tadeusz and based on a boy Mann had seen during his visit to Venice in 1911.)
Soon the hot, humid weather begins to affect Aschenbach's health, and he decides to leave early and move to a cooler location. On the morning of his planned departure, he sees Tadzio again, and a powerful feeling of regret sweeps over him. When he reaches the railway station and discovers his trunk has been misplaced, he pretends to be angry, but is really overjoyed; he decides to remain in Venice and wait for his lost luggage. He happily returns to the hotel and thinks no more of leaving.
Over the next days and weeks, Aschenbach's interest in the beautiful boy develops into an obsession.
Aschenbach next takes a trip into the city of Venice, where he sees a few discreetly worded notices from the Health Department warning of an unspecified contagion and advising people to avoid eating shellfish. He smells an unfamiliar strong odour everywhere, later realising it is disinfectant. However, the authorities adamantly deny that the contagion is serious and tourists continue to wander round the city, oblivious. Aschenbach at first ignores the danger because it somehow pleases him to think that the city's disease is akin to his own hidden, corrupting passion for the boy.
Next, Aschenbach rallies his self-respect and decides to discover the reason for the health notices posted in the city. After being repeatedly assured that the sirocco is the only health risk, he finds a British travel agent who reluctantly admits that there is a serious cholera epidemic in Venice. Aschenbach considers warning Tadzio's mother of the danger; however, he decides not to, knowing that if he does, Tadzio will leave the hotel and be lost to him.
Aschenbach begins to fret about his aging face and body. In an attempt to look more attractive, he visits the hotel's barber shop almost daily, where the barber eventually persuades him to have his hair dyed and his face painted to look more youthful. Freshly dyed and rouged, he again shadows Tadzio through Venice in the oppressive heat.
A few days later, Aschenbach goes to the lobby in his hotel, feeling ill and weak, and discovers that the Polish family plan to leave after lunch. He goes down to the beach to his usual deck chair. Tadzio is there, unsupervised for once, and accompanied by an older boy, Jasiu. A fight breaks out between the two boys, and Tadzio is quickly bested; afterward, he angrily leaves his companion and wades over to Aschenbach's part of the beach, where he stands for a moment looking out to sea; then turns halfway around to look at his admirer. To Aschenbach, it is as if the boy is beckoning to him: he tries to rise and follow, only to collapse sideways into his chair.
Aschenbach's body is discovered a few minutes later.
Read the book
In 1971, the novel is made into film directed Luchino Visconti, starring Dirk Bogarde.
Watch the movie
The Plague (French: La Peste), 1947
The Plague (French: La Peste) is a novel by Albert Camus, published in 1947, that tells the story of a plague sweeping the French Algerian city of Oran. It asks a number of questions relating to the nature of destiny and the human condition. The characters in the book, ranging from doctors to vacationers to fugitives, all help to show the effects the plague has on a populace.
The novel is believed to be based on the cholera epidemic that killed a large proportion of Oran's population in 1849 following French colonization, but the novel is set in the 1940s.
The Plague is considered an existentialist classic despite Camus' objection to the label.The narrative tone is similar to Kafka's, especially in The Trial, whose individual sentences potentially have multiple meanings; the material often pointedly resonating as stark allegory of phenomenal consciousness and the human condition.
Read the book
Listen to the book on youtube
The Plague was made into a film in 1992, directed by Luis Puenzo, starring William Hurt, Sandrine Bonnaire, Robert Duvall, Raúl Juliá.
The Horseman on the Roof (French: Le Hussard sur le toit)
The Horseman on the Roof (French: Le Hussard sur le toit) is a 1951 adventure novel written by Jean Giono. It tells the story of Angelo Pardi, a young Italian carbonaro colonel of hussars, caught up in the 1832 cholera epidemic in Provence and fell in love with an aristocratic woman.
Perhaps no other of his novels better reveals Giono's perfect balance between lyricism and narrative, description and characterization, the epic and the particular, than The Horseman on the Roof. This novel, which Giono began writing in 1934 and which was published in 1951, expanded and solidified his reputation as one of Europe's most important writers.
This is a novel of adventure, a roman courtois, that tells the story of Angelo, a nobleman who has been forced to leave Italy because of a duel, and is returning to his homeland by way of Provence. But that region is in the grip of a cholera epidemic, travelers are being imprisoned behind barricades, and exposure to the disease is almost certain.
Angelo's escapades, adventures, and heroic self-sacrifice in this hot, hallucinatory landscape, among corpses, criminals and rioting townspeople, share this epic tale.
Le Hussard est d'abord un roman d'aventures : Angelo Pardi, jeune colonel de hussards exilé en France, est chargé d'une mission mystérieuse. Il veut retrouver Giuseppe, carbonaro comme lui, qui vit à Manosque. Mais le choléra sévit : les routes sont barrées, les villes barricadées, on met les voyageurs en quarantaine, on soupçonne Angelo d'avoir empoisonné les fontaines ! Seul refuge découvert par hasard, les toits de Manosque ! Entre ciel et terre, il observe les agitations funèbres des humains, contemple la splendeur des paysages et devient ami avec un chat. Une nuit, au cours d'une expédition, il rencontre une étonnante et merveilleuse jeune femme. Tous deux feront route ensemble, connaîtront l'amour et le renoncement.
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In 1995, it was made into a film of the same name directed by Jean-Paul Rappeneau and starring Juliette Binoche and Olivier Martinez.
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Love in the Time of Cholera (Spanish: El amor en los tiempos del cólera), 1985
Love in the Time of Cholera (Spanish: El amor en los tiempos del cólera) is a novel by Colombian Nobel prize winning author Gabriel García Márquez. The novel was first published in Spanish in 1985. Alfred A. Knopf published an English translation in 1988, and an English-language movie adaptation was released in 2007.
The main characters of the novel are Florentino Ariza and Fermina Daza. Florentino and Fermina fall in love in their youth. A secret relationship blossoms between the two with the help of Fermina's Aunt Escolástica. They exchange several love letters. However, once Fermina's father, Lorenzo Daza, finds out about the two, he forces his daughter to stop seeing Florentino immediately. When she refuses, he and his daughter move in with his deceased wife's family in another city. Regardless of the distance, Fermina and Florentino continue to communicate via telegraph. But upon her return, Fermina realizes that her relationship with Florentino was nothing but a dream since they are practically strangers; she breaks off her engagement to Florentino and returns all his letters.
A young and accomplished national hero, Dr. Juvenal Urbino, meets Fermina and begins to court her. Despite her initial dislike of Urbino, Fermina gives in to her father's persuasion and the security and wealth Urbino offers, and they wed. Urbino is a physician devoted to science, modernity, and "order and progress". He is committed to the eradication of cholera and to the promotion of public works. He is a rational man whose life is organized precisely and who greatly values his importance and reputation in society. He is a herald of progress and modernization.
Even after Fermina's engagement and marriage, Florentino swore to stay faithful and wait for her. However, his promiscuity gets the better of him. Even with all the women he is with, he makes sure that Fermina will never find out. Meanwhile, Fermina and Urbino grow old together, going through happy years and unhappy ones and experiencing all the reality of marriage. At an elderly age, Urbino attempts to get his pet parrot out of his mango tree, only to fall off the ladder he was standing on and die. After the funeral, Florentino proclaims his love for Fermina once again and tells her he has stayed faithful to her all these years. Hesitant at first because she is only recently widowed, and finding his advances untoward, Fermina eventually gives him a second chance. They attempt a life together, having lived two lives separately for over five decades.
Urbino proves in the end not to have been an entirely faithful husband, confessing one affair to Fermina many years into their marriage. Though the novel seems to suggest that Urbino's love for Fermina was never as spiritually chaste as Florentino's was, it also complicates Florentino's devotion by cataloging his many trysts as well as a few potentially genuine loves. By the end of the book, Fermina comes to recognize Florentino's wisdom and maturity, and their love is allowed to blossom during their old age.
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In 2007, Love in the Time of Cholera is made into a film directed by Mike Newell, starring Giovanna Mezzogiorno(Fermina Daza), Javier Bardem(Florentino Ariza ) and Benjamin Bratt(Doctor Juvenal Urbino).
Producer Scott Steindorff spent over three years courting Gabriel García Márquez for the rights to the book telling him that he was Florentino and would not give up until he got the rights.[
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Blindness (Portuguese: Ensaio sobre a cegueira)
Blindness (Portuguese: Ensaio sobre a cegueira, meaning Essay on Blindness) is a novel by Portuguese author José Saramago published in 1995.
It is one of his most famous novels, along with The Gospel According to Jesus Christ and Baltasar and Blimunda. In 1998, Saramago received the Nobel Prize for Literature, and Blindness was one of his works noted by the committee when announcing the award.
Blindness is the story of an unexplained mass epidemic of blindness afflicting nearly everyone in an unnamed city, and the social breakdown that swiftly follows. The novel follows the misfortunes of a handful of characters who are among the first to be stricken and centers on "the doctor's wife," her husband, several of his patients, and assorted others, who are thrown together by chance. After lengthy and traumatic quarantine in an asylum, the group bands together in a family-like unit to survive by their wits and by the unexplained good fortune that the doctor’s wife has escaped the blindness. The sudden onset and unexplained origin and nature of the blindness cause widespread panic, and the social order rapidly unravels as the government attempts to contain the apparent contagion and keep order via increasingly repressive and inept measures.
The first part of the novel follows the experiences of the central characters in the filthy, overcrowded asylum where they and other blind people have been quarantined. Hygiene, living conditions, and morale degrade horrifically in a very short period, mirroring the society outside.
Anxiety over the availability of food, caused by delivery irregularities, acts to undermine solidarity; and lack of organization prevents the internees from fairly distributing food or chores. Soldiers assigned to guard the asylum and look after the well-being of the internees become increasingly antipathetic as one soldier after another becomes infected. The military refuse to allow in basic medicines, so that a simple infection becomes deadly. Fearing a break out, soldiers shoot down a crowd of internees waiting upon food delivery.
Conditions degenerate further as an armed clique gains control over food deliveries, subjugating their fellow internees and exposing them to rape and deprivation. Faced with starvation, internees battle each other and burn down the asylum, only to discover that the army has abandoned the asylum, after which the protagonists join the throngs of nearly helpless blind people outside who wander the devastated city and fight one another to survive.
The story then follows the doctor's wife, her husband, and their impromptu “family” as they attempt to survive outside, cared for largely by the doctor’s wife, who can still see (though she must hide this fact at first). The breakdown of society is near total. Law and order, social services, government, schools, etc., no longer function. Families have been separated and cannot find each other. People squat in abandoned buildings and scrounge for food. Violence, disease, and despair threaten to overwhelm human coping. The doctor and his wife and their new “family” eventually make a permanent home in the doctor's house and are establishing a new order to their lives when the blindness lifts from the city en masse just as suddenly and inexplicably as it struck.
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In 2008, the novel was made into film directed by Fernando Meirelles, with Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo as the main characters. Saramago originally refused to sell the rights for a film adaptation, but the producers were able to acquire it with the condition that the film would be set in an unnamed and unrecognizable city.
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Except Love in the time of Cholera, all books are written by European authors, and also four of the five books are written by authors awarded by Nobel prize, so it seems these great writers are all obsessed with epidemic or think it is a powerful background for a good story.
And all five books have been made into movies so it will be a double visual feast to watch the movies after reading the books.