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Bakvända världen : en lektion i illusioner (1998)

av Eduardo Galeano

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461838,861 (4.25)1
From the winner of the first Lannan Prize for Cultural Freedom, a bitingly funny, kaleidoscopic vision of the first world through the eyes of the third Eduardo Galeano, author of the incomparable Memory of Fire Trilogy, combines a novelist's intensity, a poet's lyricism, a journalist's fearlessness, and the strong judgments of an engaged historian. Now his talents are richly displayed in Upside Down, an eloquent, passionate, sometimes hilarious exposé of our first-world privileges and assumptions. In a series of lesson plans and a "program of study" about our beleaguered planet, Galeano takes the reader on a wild trip through the global looking glass. From a master class in "The Impunity of Power" to a seminar on "The Sacred Car"--with tips along the way on "How to Resist Useless Vices" and a declaration of "The Right to Rave"--he surveys a world unevenly divided between abundance and deprivation, carnival and torture, power and helplessness. We have accepted a reality we should reject, Galeano teaches us, one where machines are more precious than humans, people are hungry, poverty kills, and children toil from dark to dark. A work of fire and charm, Upside Down makes us see the world anew and even glimpse how it might be set right. "Galeano's outrage is tempered by intelligence, an ineradicable sense of humor, and hope." -Los Angeles Times, front page… (mer)
  1. 01
    And the Earth Did Not Devour Him av Tomas Rivera (weener)
    weener: If you enjoy Eduardo Galeano and are looking for a great Chicano fiction book, try this one!
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A ironic bitter-angry voice picturing the human condition in this world as it was 22 years ago. Has anything fundamentally changed since its first publication? Of course not!

It is well researched with sources listed and an index. Of much I was aware. What he does not explicitly mention - if I remember correctly - is the ongoing corruption of language. Two examples:
In Britain at least, “passengers” are confined to private cars; those who travel on buses, trains, airplanes have all become “customers”: travelling is reduced to a money-transaction. The same fate suffer library users- former ‘readers’ -, visitors to museums, …
A second example from this year of the virus pandemic: The government advises to keep a 2-meter “social distance” as if ‘social distance’ and ‘physical distance’ (or simply distance) are the same. Do they want to fool us to believe that - once the pandemic passed - all the inhabitants of this ‘United Kingdom’ are equal? That classes and social distance do not exist in this class-ridden society? - [That can be said of all so called ‘democracies’ or are there any exceptions known?]

Altogether it makes an easy and „enjoyable“ read - if that can be said when confronted with this thoroughly depressing subject - just as you can enjoy the lively figures of skeletons and devils that populate the pages provided you can be sure they stay on the pages! (VIII-20)

Work by José Guadalupe Posada: https://artsandculture.google.com/entity/m02vw34 ( )
  MeisterPfriem | Aug 28, 2020 |
Hace ciento treinta años, después de visitar el país de las maravillas, Alicia se metió en un espejo para descubrir el mundo al revés. Si Alicia renaciera en nuestros días, no necesitaría atravesar ningún espejo: le bastaría con asomarse a la ventana. Al fin del milenio, el mundo al revés está a la vista: es el mundo tal cual es, con la izquierda a la derecha, el ombligo en la espalda y la cabeza en los pies.
1 rösta MaEugenia | Aug 19, 2020 |
La escuela del mundo al revés
  Chule | Mar 23, 2020 |



Eduardo Galeano’s Open Veins of Latin America, describing 500 years of brutalization and exploitation of the peoples, lands and resources of Latin America by Europeans and North Americans makes for tough reading. Upside Down, A Primer for the Looking-Glass World, on the other hand, takes hard-to-swallow subjects such as racism, sexism, corporate manipulation, government betrayal, workplace dehumanization, brainwashing of children, environmental poisoning, systematic jailing, torture and murder and treats these subjects alternately with laugh-out-loud black humor, out-and-out sarcasm, and sharp steely needles of cynicism. Tell us what you really think, Eduardo! Modern culture and society as a bushel basket of rotten apples. Here’s a sample of some of those most rotten –- and, I’ve linked a few words of my own experience tasting these unfresh fruit.

The first chapter deals with education, which makes abundant sense since that is how we begin our human odyssey, as children imbibing our culture’s values. Galeano writes, “The looking glass world trains us to view our neighbor as a threat, not a promise. It condemns us to solitude and consoles us with chemical drugs and cybernetic friends. We are sentenced to die of hunger, fear, or boredom – that is, if a stray bullet doesn’t do the job first.” Fortunately, I grew up in a shore town where I spent many hours at the beach swimming and diving and at the ocean surfing. One thing I could never figure out: why were all the kids I knew armed to the teeth with cap guns, water guns, pop guns and even BB guns. When many of those same kids grew up and were sent to Vietnam, I started figuring it out.

In Eduardo’s chapter: Racism and Sexism 101, we read, “In the Americas and Europe the police hunt stereotypes guilty of wearing an unconcealed face. Every nonwhite suspect confirms the rule written in invisible ink in the depths of our collective conscience: crime is black or brown, or at least yellow.” I witnessed a white mass exodus fleeing North New Jersey for Central New Jersey after the 1967 Newark race riots. If you live in the US, there isn’t a hotter hot potato than race, both back then and now When it comes to race, all you have to do is rub people the wrong way ever so slightly and an avalanche of anger and rage can pour out.

One of personal favorite chapters: The Sacred Car. Eduardo begins by saying, “Human rights pale beside the rights of machines. Automobiles usurp human space, poison the air, and frequently murder the interlopers who invade their conquered territory – and no one lifts a finger to stop them.” Ain’t that the truth! Being a walker myself as a kid and adult, I’ve had an entire lifetime of playing dodgeball with cars. But I must admit one good thing: other than the occasional dog-owner walking doggie, I have the sidewalks pretty much to myself. Men and women in the US taking on the role of ‘the inside people’; in other words, padding from home to car to work to car to shopping mall to car back to home. An entire population of ass-ploppers, plopping posterior cheeks in front of the TV, at the computer, at the dinner table, at one’s desk at work, and, of course, behind the wheel of one’s car. The automobile as the noisy, dirty glue fitting all the pieces together. And, God forbid, if anybody has any doubts, check out the flood of TV commercials: an unending stream of handsome, happy men and beautiful, sexy women driving sleek, shiny new automobiles. Good times in the land of plenty.

On commercialization and brainwashing, we read, “Hours spent in front of the television easily surpass those spent in the classroom, when hours are spent in the classroom at all. It is a universal truth that, with our without school, TV programs are children’s primary source of formation, information, and deformation, as well as their principal source of topics for conversation.” As a boy I lived in a small house where the TV was king. My only escape was going off to college. As an adult I’ve never been a TV watcher. I suspect a good measure of my modest success in creative endeavors results from freeing myself from the boob tube. Come to think of it, why do I no longer hear people calling that silly thing the boob tube or the idiot box?

“The number of unemployment keeps on growing. The world has more and more surplus people. What will the owners of the planet do with so much useless humanity? Send them to the moon? . . . In Mexico, work is the only commodity whose price goes down every month. Over the past twenty years, a good part of the middle class has fallen into poverty the poor have fallen into misery, and the miserable have fallen off the charts.” If anybody reading this has a steady job with good pay and adequate benefits, count your blessings. But, as you are counting, reflect: is your job empowering you to express the full flower of your creative energies, or is it just a tad deadening?

I’ll let Eduardo have the last word here. He writes toward the end of his book, “Every day, the ruling system places our worst characteristics at center stage, condemning our best to languish behind the backdrop. The system of power is not in the least eternal. We may be badly made, but we’re not finished, and it’s the adventure of changing reality and changing ourselves that makes our blip in the history of the universe worthwhile, this fleeting warmth between two glaciers that is us.”

( )
  Glenn_Russell | Nov 13, 2018 |


Eduardo Galeano’s “Open Veins of Latin America,” describing 500 years of brutalization and exploitation of the peoples, lands and resources of Latin America by Europeans and North Americans makes for tough reading. “Upside Down, A Primer for the Looking-Glass World,” on the other hand, takes hard-to-swallow subjects such as racism, sexism, corporate manipulation, government betrayal, workplace dehumanization, brainwashing of children, environmental poisoning, systematic jailing, torture and murder and treats these subjects alternately with laugh-out-loud black humor, out-and-out sarcasm, and sharp steely needles of cynicism. Tell us what you really think, Eduardo! Modern culture and society as a bushel basket of rotten apples. Here’s a sample of some of those most rotten –- and, I’ve linked a few words of my own experience tasting these unfresh fruit.

The first chapter deals with education, which makes abundant sense since that is how we begin our human odyssey, as children imbibing our culture’s values. Galeano writes, “The looking glass world trains us to view our neighbor as a threat, not a promise. It condemns us to solitude and consoles us with chemical drugs and cybernetic friends. We are sentenced to die of hunger, fear, or boredom – that is, if a stray bullet doesn’t do the job first.” Fortunately, I grew up in a shore town where I spent many hours at the beach swimming and diving and at the ocean surfing. One thing I could never figure out: why were all the kids I knew armed to the teeth with cap guns, water guns, pop guns and even BB guns. When many of those same kids grew up and were sent to Vietnam, I started figuring it out.

In Eduardo’s chapter: Racism and Sexism 101, we read, “In the Americas and Europe the police hunt stereotypes guilty of wearing an unconcealed face. Every nonwhite suspect confirms the rule written in invisible ink in the depths of our collective conscience: crime is black or brown, or at least yellow.” I witnessed a white mass exodus fleeing North New Jersey for Central New Jersey after the 1967 Newark race riots. If you live in the US, there isn’t a hotter hot potato than race, both back then and now When it comes to race, all you have to do is rub people the wrong way ever so slightly and an avalanche of anger and rage can pour out.

One of personal favorite chapters: The Sacred Car. Eduardo begins by saying, “Human rights pale beside the rights of machines. Automobiles usurp human space, poison the air, and frequently murder the interlopers who invade their conquered territory – and no one lifts a finger to stop them.” Ain’t that the truth! Being a walker myself as a kid and adult, I’ve had an entire lifetime of playing dodgeball with cars. But I must admit one good thing: other than the occasional dog-owner walking doggie, I have the sidewalks pretty much to myself. Men and women in the US taking on the role of ‘the inside people’; in other words, padding from home to car to work to car to shopping mall to car back to home. An entire population of ass-ploppers, plopping posterior cheeks in front of the TV, at the computer, at the dinner table, at one’s desk at work, and, of course, behind the wheel of one’s car. The automobile as the noisy, dirty glue fitting all the pieces together. And, God forbid, if anybody has any doubts, check out the flood of TV commercials: an unending stream of handsome, happy men and beautiful, sexy women driving sleek, shiny new automobiles. Good times in the land of plenty.

On commercialization and brainwashing, we read, “Hours spent in front of the television easily surpass those spent in the classroom, when hours are spent in the classroom at all. It is a universal truth that, with our without school, TV programs are children’s primary source of formation, information, and deformation, as well as their principal source of topics for conversation.” As a boy I lived in a small house where the TV was king. My only escape was going off to college. As an adult I’ve never been a TV watcher. I suspect a good measure of my modest success in creative endeavors results from freeing myself from the boob tube. Come to think of it, why do I no longer hear people calling that silly thing the boob tube or the idiot box?

“The number of unemployment keeps on growing. The world has more and more surplus people. What will the owners of the planet do with so much useless humanity? Send them to the moon? . . . In Mexico, work is the only commodity whose price goes down every month. Over the past twenty years, a good part of the middle class has fallen into poverty the poor have fallen into misery, and the miserable have fallen off the charts.” If anybody reading this has a steady job with good pay and adequate benefits, count your blessings. But, as you are counting, reflect: is your job empowering you to express the full flower of your creative energies, or is it just a tad deadening?

I’ll let Eduardo have the last word here. He writes toward the end of his book, “Every day, the ruling system places our worst characteristics at center stage, condemning our best to languish behind the backdrop. The system of power is not in the least eternal. We may be badly made, but we’re not finished, and it’s the adventure of changing reality and changing ourselves that makes our blip in the history of the universe worthwhile, this fleeting warmth between two glaciers that is us.”




( )
  GlennRussell | Feb 16, 2017 |
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Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Eduardo Galeanoprimär författarealla utgåvorberäknat
Fried, MarkÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Posada, José GuadalupeIllustratörmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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Ladies and Gentlemen, Come On In! 
Come on in! 
Step into the school of the upside-down world! 
Rub the magic lantern! 
Lights! Sound! The illusion of life! 
Offered free to one and all! 
Let it enlighten each of you and set a good example for future generations! 
Come see the river that burns! 
Lord Sun illuminating the night! 
Dame Moon in the middle of the day! 
Mam'selle Star tossed from the sky! 
The jester on the king's throne! 
Lucifer's breath clouding the universe! 
The dead walking about with mirrors in their hands! 
Witches! Acrobats! 
Dragons and vampires! 
The magic wand that turns a child into a coin! 
The world lost in a throw of the dice! 
Don't fall for cheap imitations! 
God bless those who see it! 
God forgive those who don't! 
Rated R: Sensitive persons and minors not admitted. 
 --Based on eighteenth century criers' pitch for magic lanterns
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For Helena, this book that I owed her
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The upside-down world rewards in reverse: it scorns honesty, punishes work, prizes lack of scruples, and feeds cannibalism.
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The Americas are sick with racism, blind in both eyes from North to South. Latin Americans of my generation were educated by Hollywood. Indians were guys with long faces wearing feathers and war paint, seasick from riding in circles. Of Africa all we knew was what we learned from Professor Tarzan, the invention of a novelist who never set foot on that continent. (page 56)
In the middle of 1998, Vice Admiral Eladio Moll, once chief of intelligence of the Uruguayan military regime, revealed that U.S. advisers had encouraged the regime to eliminate subversives after extracting whatever information it could from them. The vice admiral was arrested - for the crime of candor. (page 202)
Justice and memory are exotic luxuries in Latin America. The murderers of Uruguayan parliamentarians Zelmar Michelini and Héctor Gutiérrez Ruiz stroll calmly down the streets that bear the names of their victims.
(page 208)
Like death, old age is a sign of failure. The car is the one eternally youthful body you can buy. It eats gasoline and oil in its own restaurants, has its own pharmacies with its own medicine, and its own hospitals for diagnosis and treatment. It even has its own bedrooms and cemeteries. (page 234)
More than half a century ago, a writer named Felisberto Hernández published a prophetic tale. A man dressed in white and carrying a syringe boards streetcars in Montevideo and amiably injects the arms of all the passengers. Immediately they hear advertising jingles from the Canary furniture factory. To get the ads out of their veins, they have to go to the drugstore for Canary pills that suppress the effect of the shot. (page 265)
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From the winner of the first Lannan Prize for Cultural Freedom, a bitingly funny, kaleidoscopic vision of the first world through the eyes of the third Eduardo Galeano, author of the incomparable Memory of Fire Trilogy, combines a novelist's intensity, a poet's lyricism, a journalist's fearlessness, and the strong judgments of an engaged historian. Now his talents are richly displayed in Upside Down, an eloquent, passionate, sometimes hilarious exposé of our first-world privileges and assumptions. In a series of lesson plans and a "program of study" about our beleaguered planet, Galeano takes the reader on a wild trip through the global looking glass. From a master class in "The Impunity of Power" to a seminar on "The Sacred Car"--with tips along the way on "How to Resist Useless Vices" and a declaration of "The Right to Rave"--he surveys a world unevenly divided between abundance and deprivation, carnival and torture, power and helplessness. We have accepted a reality we should reject, Galeano teaches us, one where machines are more precious than humans, people are hungry, poverty kills, and children toil from dark to dark. A work of fire and charm, Upside Down makes us see the world anew and even glimpse how it might be set right. "Galeano's outrage is tempered by intelligence, an ineradicable sense of humor, and hope." -Los Angeles Times, front page

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