Thursday, 5 August 2010

Buena Vista (or not, as the case may be)!

I've been listening a lot this week to the Buena Vista Social Club. I'm enjoying it, too. I'm sure it's wrong to lump together the cultures of all the American countries South of Texas, but I have to say that whenever I encounter them I am left wanting more. It keeps happening.



Still reading Che's Motorcycle Diaries. From the introduction, by his daughter, Aleida Guevara March:

When I read these notes for the first time, they were not yet in book form and I did not know the person who had written them. I was much younger then and I immediately identified with this man who had narrated his adventures in such a spontaneous manner. Of course, as I continued reading, I began to see more clearly who this person was and I was very happy to be his daughter.
...
To tell you the truth, I should say that the more I read, the more in love I was with the boy my father had been. I do not know if you will share these sentiments with me, but while I was reading, I got to know the young Ernesto better: the Ernesto who left Argentina with his yearning for adventure and his dreams of the great deeds he would perform, ... grew increasingly aware of the pain of many others and he allowed it to become part of himself.



Trying to find out more about the man, I came across his last words. For anyone who doesn't know, he was captured with a group of guerrillas in Bolivia and executed. There is some confusion as to what he actually said. The odd-sounding "I am Che Guevara and I have failed" sounds like the spur-of-the moment creation of a propagandist. More convincingly, the official report into his death quotes: "I knew you were going to shoot me; I should never have been taken alive. Tell Fidel that this failure does not mean the end of the revolution, that it will triumph elsewhere. Tell Aleida [his wife - his daughter was also given the name] to forget this, remarry and be happy, and keep the children studying. Ask the soldiers to aim well."

And finally, a picture of Gibbon Hill (see yesterday's post). These heather-covered, broadbacked hills are hard to photograph effectively. When you take a few you just end up with a pile of brown mounds. Some things are better remembered than captured on film. I remember going off on a Munro-bagging expedition years ago to the Loch Tay area. I walked over all the hills in the Ben Lawers group, assiduously photographing them. I felt very pleased with myself - always a bad sign. It would make quite a slideshow, I thought, and it did. Whenever I suggested getting the projector out subsequently, I was told I could so long as I wasn't showing "the boring Bens" again. It became something of a catchphrase. Anyway, having written about Gibbon Hill, I thought I ought at least to provide a photo of it, taken close to the top, from a high road that runs over a col close by:

9 comments:

the watercats said...

That book sounds pretty cool, he's always a character that comes up, but one which I don't know that much about.. might have to look for these on good ole ebay :-)
The video is pretty cool :-D

Dominic Rivron said...

It is (ie the book) - so's the film.

George said...

Haven't read the book, but loved the film. Che was a fascinating character.

Barren terrain is always difficult to capture in a photo. As you say, however, you had the experience, and that's the important thing. The images in the head and heart never fade.

Dominic Rivron said...

George: Interesting, isn't it? I'm a lot more pleased to have the picture of the lichen which I posted yesterday. There are many ways of capturing lanscape. I thought yours of the coast-to-coast were very successful, by the way. The secret, perhaps, is human interest (like the line of people walking up to Nine Standards Rigg) and foreground detail.

Long time since I visited the nine standards (and the tenth collapsed one). It's a great place - I'll have to go back.

Argent said...

My hubs is a past master of 'boring' landscapes. In more recent times, he's come to realise that a hill is just a hill unless there's a bit of something to drawn the eye in. It needn't be people necessarily - an interesting tree will it for me. Che is sounding more interesting by the day, must follow Watercats' example I think.

Judith Mercado said...

I love the Buena Vista music, especially Chan Chan. And Che has to be one of the most fascinating personalities in recent history.

tony said...

CUBA LIBRE!
Can i throw into the mix this photo i took in Habana in 1997.

Rachel Fenton said...

I'm reading The Lacun at the mo, so I think your book would tie in nicely thematically - bunging the whole South America thing in on bag type theme....

Ben Lawers is stunning - I was speechless when I was there - would have moved to just West of there if I hadn't come to NZ...photos never capture the whole picture...

Dominic Rivron said...

Thanks for these comments, everybody.