Woman Abuse in the time of Facebook

Who You Think I Am by Camille Laurens

Woman Abuse in the time of Facebook

Who You Think I Am”, the novel from the award winning French author, Camille Laurens, presents the reader with the troubling repercussions produced in personal lives by social media and the virtual world, particularly in relationships by those obsessive love-hungry individuals that fill their lives with distant little known or unknown persons.

Narrated by several characters in the first person style, reading the novel is like listening to someone directly talking to us. First, Clair, the central character is a 46 year old divorced woman who is desperate to love and to be loved. She narrated to her psychotherapist her painful relationships, including the tragic emotional Facebook virtual connection with Chris, a man twelve years younger who she never met in person. The novel also includes a notebook about this relationship written by Claire and read by her physiotherapist. Among the character the author adds a novelist who wrote and intends to publish Clair dreadful story. Each one presents a different perspective of Claire complex life, making the book a thriller which could be read as a plot made for cinema, plot, that I don’t intend to reveal.

Notwithstanding the complexity of the story, it is relatively easy to follow for the consistency and the connections of the characters, timeframes, and sequences, which, with some attention, are easy to follow.

Claire, the central character is unable to communicate with Joe, her abusive previous boyfriend with who she had a real physical painful failed relationship. She continues to be obsessively in love with him and incapable to accept the fact the relation ended badly. Looking at Joe’s Facebook page, Clair discovers that Joe is sharing his home in the countryside with Chris, a frustrated photographer. To follow Joe’s and keep some form of connection with him, she creates a fake personality on Facebook in the form of a seductive, attractive and intelligent twenty four years old woman, a girl passionate about photography. who starts to following Chis. In Clair’s own account, “It wasn’t Chris I was trying to get to at all, at first. I didn’t know him, I wasn’t interested in him. I asked him to be my friend on Facebook just to have news of Joe—Joel. I was going out.., with Joe, at the time.”

After sharing profiles, both engage in daily virtual chats and electronic intimate exchanges, making Chris to fall in love with Clair’s virtual character, Also named Clair but she change the family name to Antunes, a name taken from the famous Portuguese novelist António Lobo Antunes.

To make the virtual character more realistic, Clare uses the manners and life style of her niece Katia who is approximately the same age as the fake persona. Katia’s parents died in a car accident when she was very young and Clair adopted her as a daughter.

The intensity of these distant virtual conversations makes Clair forget Joe and obsessively became emotionally virtually engaged with Chris disregarding the fact she was an impostor and aware that a real relationship was impossible. She used photos of a pretty young women in the Internet and chose a brunette who looks like Katia. With multiple excuses Clair refuses Chris constant requests to meet the fake Claire, who is aware of the disappointment Chris will have meeting the real Clair.

The story shows the sordid world of virtual distant human connections, like those described by Camille Laurens, the author. For many, in today’s world, ”far is near and near is far.” It is relatively common to find in restaurants couples obsessively looking at their phones, reading what others are doing far away, ignoring his or her companion and the real world that surround them.

The book give relevant descriptions about the fake personalities that populate the social media sites and the illusion they create. In Clair own words, ”for people like me, the Internet is the shipwreck as well as the life raft: you drown in the tracking game, in the expectation, you can’t grieve for a relationship, however dead it may be, and at the same time you’re hovering above it in a virtual world, clinging to fake information”

It is so common and prevalent situations like those describe in the novel that there are paying sites or Apps that help to profesionaly create these kind of Avatars or invented virtual phantoms.

To enrich the vivid description of the distortions and outright lies the social media facilities, the author uses the failed and abusive relationship with Joe and the fake relation with Chris produced by Clair virtual Facebook Frankenstein, the author quotes examples of the dreadful conditions and abuses woman have to endure in the hands of predators males like Joe, who knows how to exploit the weaknesses of recently divorced victims.

According to the numbers released by Facebook, various serious studies estimate that, ”as many as 270 million of the platform’s 2.1-billion-strong user base could be fraudulent or duplicated — a population verging on the size of the United States.” (https://mashable.com/2017/11/02/facebook-phony-accounts-admission/)

As an added value to the story, the conversations are full of relevant examples of classic books and authors Clair quotes in her discussions about abusive relationships. In the final note Camille Laurens acknowledges that the “novel contains reminiscences or quotations (some of them unfaithful) from A. Artaud, H. Melville, L. Aragon, J-F. Lyotard, N. Arcan, J. Racine, D. Winnicott, J. Didion, G. Flaubert, P. Lejeune, O. Steiner, J. Joyce, W. Shakespeare, J. Renard, M. Duras, P. Quignard, J. Lacan, W. B. Yeats, H. de Balzac, H. Cixous, R. M. Rilke, L-F. Céline, R. Juarroz, M. Leiris.”

Who You Think I Am by Camille Laurens is undoubtedly a book that addresses the disturbing adverse effects of social media, amplifying the potential of abusive emotional relationships and other forms of suffering and abuse women continues to endure.



Los malos consejos del pueblo por Ian Mcewan

AntiBrexitEl famoso novelista inglés en un artículo publicado en EL País, destaca el carácter anti democrático del referendum que conduce a la salida del Reino Unido de la Unión Europea, lesionando los intereses de millones de ciudadanos de ese país. Las mismas ideas son aplicables a los referéndum no calificados cómo fue el celebrado hace unos años en Cataluña.

Refiriéndose a Brexit se pregunta:

“.?Cómo es que un asunto de consecuencias constitucionales, económicas y culturales de tal envergadura se ha zanjado con una mayoría simple y no con una supermayoría?

¿Cómo se transmutó “consultivo” en “vinculante”? Gracias a los polvos cegadores que nos lanzaron a los ojos las manos populistas desde la derecha y la izquierda.”

El artículo presenta también otras ideas que trascienden el Brexit, particularmente los riesgo de la “democracia directa o de la calle,” el populismo y el surgimiento de movimientos políticos contrarios al mundo interdependiente de hoy. “El nacionalismo rara vez es un proyecto de paz. Tampoco le importa la lucha contra el cambio climático”.

Sin duda un artículo que contribuye a entender lo que está ocurriendo.


Tribuna | Los malos consejos del pueblo

Author: Ian Mcewan

Source: https://elpais.com/elpais/2020/01/31/opinion/1580487788_326877.html

Ya no hay vuelta atrás. La negociación tozuda hasta decir basta de Theresa May, y después de Boris Johnson durante un breve periodo, ha logrado que se cumpla la ambición más masoquista y sin sentido jamás soñada en la historia de las islas. El resto del mundo, exceptuando a los presidentes Putin y Trump, han asistido al proceso con asombro y consternación. En diciembre, una mayoría votó a favor de los partidos que propugnaban un segundo referéndum, pero estos fueron, lamentablemente, incapaces de hacer causa común. Ahora nos toca recoger las tiendas, tal vez al son de las campanas de la iglesia,…

INICIA SESIÓN PARA SEGUIR LEYENDO https://elpais.com/elpais/2020/01/31/opinion/1580487788_326877.html


Copyright © Ian McEwan 2020


Celebrating Peter Handke Nobel Prize

I am surprised to see so many articles criticizing the Nobel Foundation for awarding 2019 Literature Prize to Peter Handke, the Austrian Novelist, Movies and Theater writer, and producer. 

Without getting on the merits of the critical comments made by the press about Peter Handke’s ideas about the war in Serbia and the massacres committed, the Prize is not about Mr. Handke’s ideology nor of his past political actions or speeches. The Literature Nobel Prize is about Literature, the published work, which is independent of the author or the artist.

Most of the critics recognize the merits of Handke’s work, which implicitly validates the jury’s decision to award Peter Handke with this year’s Nobel Prize.

I don’t remember where I read the wise proposition about the difference between art and artist, which should be separated and independent one from the other. Nobody can deny the value, quality, and enormous contribution of Picassos’ work independently if he was or not a womanizer. Following this principle, it is essential to celebrate Handke’s Nobel Prize.   

Book Review:
The Left Handed Woman” by Peter Handke. On Women’s Freedom from the Bondage of Undesirable Marriage

Una Historia Negra. La Violencia Machista, una Epidemia.

CoverSiguiendo el enorme éxito de las novelas de Elena Ferrante, Antonella Lattanzi.presenta en España su tercera novela, Una Historia Negra, (traducción de César Palma). La novela fue originalmente publicada en Italia por Mondadori en 2017 y reeditada en 2018, Actualmente esta disponible en español /1, portugués, en alemán y próximamente en 7 idiomas más. 

Se trata de una extraordinaria novela sobre el terrible problema de la violencia domestica y sus destructivos efectos en las mujeres que la padecen, en sus hijos y familias y finalmente en la sociedad. No obstante la publicidad que se le ha dado a este lacerarte problema, las políticas para combatirlo han tenido hasta ahora muy pocos resultados. 

Un extraordinario ‘thriller’ de la autora italiana, Antonella Lattanzi quien presenta con descarnado realismo el estado de desamparo y la escasa protección con la que cuentan las mujeres víctimas del abuso físico, emocional y sexual. En México la violencia domestica alcanza niveles de epidemia/2 y sigue presente en las naciones más desarrolladas. El Diario de España publica una nota con datos que muestran la seriedad del problema: “De los 1.000 casos de asesinatos de mujeres por parte de sus parejas o exparejas registrados en los últimos dieciséis años, solo existía denuncia previa en 209. Solo una de cada cinco mujeres denunciaron. ¿Hay desconfianza en el sistema?”/3.

En la novela de Lattanzi, los personajes nos hablan en primera persona (la protagonista; los miembros mas próximos y los mas distantes de su familia; sus amigos y amantes; los policías; los abogados; el juez; los medios; etc.) y nos hacen partícipes de sus sentimientos y pensamientos, sus relaciones, sus miedos, así como los acontecimientos y situaciones a las que se enfrentan.

Las conversaciones entre los personajes hacen que el lector participe como testigo directo de los conflictos y problemas que los aquejan. El narrador interviene para dar el contexto social y cultural en el que se desarrolla la historia, principalmente Roma y Massafra en la region de Apulia al suroeste de Italia. Asimismo, se dan fechas y temporadas (la novela se desarrolla de manera cronológica, en algunos casos haciendo referencia a una fecha determinada o a la estación del año), 

 En su prestigiada pagina de critica literaria y reseña de libros de El País, Una Historia Negra es considera como una de las mejores novelas negras publicadas en España en 2018. La columna contiene la opinión de escritores, libreros, editores y periodistas quienes eligen su libro predilecto del año. La periodista y escritora Laura Fernández considera con razón que Una Historia Negra no es otra historia de violencia de género. Es mucho más. Es casi una experiencia, vivísima, de acoso, liberación, prejuicio y derribo.”/4

Antes de escribir su primera novela, Devozione en 2010, aun no traducida al español, Lattanzi, pasó cinco años entre drogadictos, haciéndose pasar por uno de ellos. La experiencia le dio material, no solo para esa novela, sino para el guion cinematográfico del film Fiore, dirigido en 2016 por Claudio Genovese.

Una Historia Negra, por su titulo es considerada “novela negra” sin embargo desde mi punto de vista puede ser también un “thriller” por el acelerado ritmo de una historia llena de situaciones inesperadas y en muchos casos indefinidas, mismas que el lector ira descubriendo no sin ansiedad y con anticipación imaginando los desenlaces.

Una extraordinaria novela sobre la violencia machista cuyas aterradoras secuelas también producen amores enfermos y generalmente obsesivos. 


Antonella Lattanzi. Nacida en Bari, Italia (1979)


  • Devozione, Torino, Einaudi, 2010
  • Prima che tu mi tradisca, Torino, Einaudi, 2013 
  • Una storia nera, Torino, Einaudi, 2017

Guiones Cjnematograficos

Traducciones al italiano


1. Antonella Lattanzi. Una Historia Negra. Penguin Random House, 2018.

2. En México, según datos de La Encuesta Nacional sobre Dinámica de las
Relaciones en los Hogares
del INEGI, realizada en 2016, el 66.1% de las mujeres mayores de 18 años han sufrido algún tipo de agresión física, psicológica o sexual solo el 9.45% realizó una denuncia al respecto. 

3. Ángeles Carmona: “Si hay que decir treinta mil veces que la violencia machista tiene unas raíces diferentes a la intrafamiliar, lo diremos” El Diario, 19 Junio, 2019, España.

4. Las mejores novelas negras de 2018. El País, Madrid, 31 de Diciembre 2018.

Arthur Schopenhauer:  On the Experience of Life. Selection and Editor’s Note by J P

Cover12Recently Published in iBooks. Link: https://books.apple.com/us/book/id1467292456

Arthur Schopenhauer (1788 – 1860) is an influential 19th Century philosopher whose works and ideas were followed by other important philosophers, particularly by Nietzsche, who viewed himself as  Schopenhauer’s successor. His work also influenced Freud’s ideas on psychoanalysis. 

Thomas Mann, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, in his long essay Schopenhauer the Living Thoughts of Schopenhauer, says the philosopher is a “psychologist of the will” and his works to run by way of the psychological radicalism of Nietzsche, straight to Freud and the men who built up his psychology of the unconscious and applied it to the mental sciences.

Following Thomas Mann’s interpretation of Schopenhauer’s ideas, it is not surprising to see Dr. Irvin D. Yalom, a well known psychotherapist and best selling author, choose Schopenhauer as a central character of one of his novels: The Schopenhauer Cure. As in his other two novels based on prominent philosophers, Nietzsche and Spinoza, (When Nietzsche Wept: A Novel Of Obsession and The Spinoza Problem: A Novel)

I decided to include “The Stages of Life”, of Schopenhauer’s Counsels and Maxims in this volume. In this essay he considers that in our childhood we are more given to using our intellect than our will. Following that golden age or magic years of learning about the external world, Schopenhauer warns us that then … comes the great period of disillusion, a period of very gradual growth; but once it has fairly begun, a man will tell you that he has got over all his false notions “l’âge des illusions est passé”. ..

Another essay included in this anthology with the evocative title On Thinking for Oneself is written in a didactic style. There, Schopenhauer expresses his strong opinions on the importance of discovering independently what is important for the creative mind. I consider this essay to be relevant in our political environment as well as in our personal and social lives, dominated by social media. In a time of excessive information and opinions that are shared and absorbed without thinking, the ideas contained in Schopenhauer’s essay could not be more compelling and current. 

Following the same ideas, On Books and Reading, another essay included in this book, Schopenhauer can be perceived as an educator and not so much as a philosopher. Here he criticizes those who read for entertainment, as a pastime or for relaxation, consuming books without discerning what is good and what is not or, even worse, reading without assimilating the content. To make the point he uses the following example: you can ruin the stomach and impair the whole body by taking too much nourishment, so you can overfill and choke the mind by feeding it too much.

Character is another Schopenhauer essay included in this book. He uses theater to show the contrast between the personality of a narcissistic individual that looks for honor and fame to those actors who only want to perform “great parts: “..  Using acting as a metaphor to discuss the concept of “individual character” he suggests that those actors who fail to see that the important thing is not ‘what’ or ‘how much’, but ‘how’ they act.”

Following this comparison, the philosopher argues against the idea that a character predeterminates a person’s life like a role in a play that has to be performed as it is written following a script. He affirms that real life is different, is not static, changes and ..character undergoes an alteration, as a result of self-knowledge.

In his essay Property, or What a Man Has, Schopenhauer presents the idea of happiness, one of the many topics we often find in his works. Here, the philosopher presents the link between money or wealth and a happy life.

Finally, in “The Metaphysics of Art”, also included in this anthology, Schopenhauer gives an effective path to fight the “Will”, which is one of the bases of his philosophy. The “Will”, which is in conflict with the intellect, constitutes a series of needs that are an unavoidable part of the human condition and the source of unhappiness, frustration and suffering, since what the “Will” commands can never be entirely satisfied. 

 The less the “Will” is exercised, the less suffering. To avoid it, Schopenhauer considers Art and Beauty to be the answer, Therefore, contemplation of beauty in any form, including nature, will help.



Para Conmemorar el Centenario del Nacimiento de Ingmar Bergman. “La Linterna Mágica” (una reseña)

CorrectedPara conmemorar el centenario del nacimiento del fabuloso director de cine y teatro, Ingmar Bergman publique una reseña de su auto-biografía, La Linterna Mágica, libro que nos da oportunidad de observar a Bergman explorando su propia vida para describir sus experiencias de forma tal que se parece a una sesión de sicoanálisis en la que el lector del libro se convierte en el terapeuta

Con el fin de enriquecer la reseña, en el libro se incluye una lista de las películas que dirigió y produjo Bergman durante su vida. Se incluyen ligas, que conducen a reseñas en español y ligas a la Fundación Bergman con notas sobre sus películas en inglés.

También, se enlistan las piezas de teatro que dirigió durante su activa vida profesional, misma que muestra la diversidad de su repertorio que comprende las mas famosas obras de autores que son universalmente reconocidos.

Asimismo se listan sus obras publicadas y una lista con las traducciones de sus libros en español.

Finalmente, se presenta una lista con los nombres de los personajes que Bergman menciona en su Linterna Mágica quienes están directamente relacionados con la prolífica vida profesional y personal del prestigioso artista sueco.

Nuestro agradecimiento a la Fundación Ingmar Bergman por la autorización expresa para utilizar las ligas de su rica pagina web.

Para iPad

Para Kindle

In a time of rising xenophobia, I. Bergman gets Mazart to show a bright side of the human condition.

The audience filmed by Bergman in the opening of The Magic Flute is composed of men and women of every age and race, addressing the universal goal of Mozart’s opera. Music crosses all boundaries