Lit Review |90| Castro & Marquez


Have you ever bunked off work to go to head to the cinema, or play dice in an alleyway? It turns out you’re not alone. Fidel Castro liked to pass the time by pouring over the manuscripts of Colombian author Gabriel Garcia Marquez, to the point of neglecting his duty as Cuban premier. After striking up a friendship in the late 1970s, Castro put his keen eye for detail to good use correcting grammar and factual information in the manuscripts. At one time he even advised Marquez that there was an error in the way he had calculated boat speed in The Story of the Shipwrecked Sailor.

In September the new 50,000 peso bill, which bears Marquez’s likeness, went into circulation. As HeadStuff’s older readers may remember, James Joyce adorned the Irish ten punt note before the introduction of the euro in 2002.


The (UK) government’s newly established Libraries Taskforce has blogged it’s intent to undertake research into community driven, peer support based libraries. Library funding has been a contentious issue this year, particularly back in March when plans emerged to convert Carnegie and Minet libraries in Lambeth into gym/library hybrids with no librarians.

Though the addition of human beings back into the equation is a strong move on the Taskforce’s part, the plans have been heavily criticised by CILIP, the librarians’ association. Citing over reliance on unpaid volunteers, president of CILIP, Dawn Finch stated it was time to stop the “assault on social cohesion.”


The Department of Culture, Media and Sport, meanwhile has set aside four million pounds in its five year strategic plan designed to assist ailing public services. It has also called on libraries to be more “innovative.”

To Visit a Birthplace

Monroeville in Alabama, is plotting a major tourist attraction. A coalition of local businesses, headed by Lee’s lawyer, hope the Harper Lee Trail will draw hundreds of thousands of tourists to the notoriously reclusive author’s hometown. The attraction will centre on a bank building which once housed Lee’s father’s law offices. It was said father who provided inspiration for the character Atticus Finch.There are also plans to build replicas of the Finch household, along with that of Boo Radley.

Much like the contoversial publication of Lee’s second novel, Go Set a Watchman, it is unclea whether Lee would have given the project her blessing. Though not exactly a series of multi million dollar theme parks, it does represent a serious appropriation of intellectual property.

Anyone who thinks it’s a good idea would do well to spend an afternoon accidentally wandering up drive ways on Inis Mor looking for Liam O’Flaherty’s childhood home. In the rain.

See you next week!

Featured Image Source: Guardian