August 25, 2018
In the first part of the last century in Barcelona, Spain, there was a library called The Cemetery of Forgotten Books. It was big, designed like a maze, and not a few have found themselves lost. For those who respect memories long forgotten, it was hallowed ground.
There is a tradition known only to those with a deep reverence for books and what they represent. When you go there for the first time, you have to choose a book that will be yours forever, but you have to take care of it, for you also keep the memory of its author alive.
Daniel was nine when his father, the bookseller, Señor Sempere, took him there. The boy went around the labyrinthine corridors, and of all the literary treasures within those shelves reaching up to the ceiling, he found himself fascinated with an obscure novel titled "The Shadow of The Wind" by someone named Julian Carax.
He chose it, or perhaps it chose him, then strange things begin to happen.
With a good book I can disappear for a while, then come back with a renewed spirit. I think it is a privilege to enter a world created by other people, to meet characters given life through imagination.
When I read a novel, I see in my mind a movie, a spectacular pageant with only me in the theater. I remember when I found an old copy of Stephen King's "Christine" during the nineties. I "played" Arnie with my "leading lady," Winona Ryder, as Leigh.
I have been doing my "mental movie versions" since I was a teenager, and hundreds of books later, I'm still "directing." Last week, in Raymond Khoury's "The Sanctuary," I was almost killed in a sword fight against Antonio Banderas; and last night, in Daniel Easterman's "Spear of Destiny," I saw the mortals remains of Joseph of Arimathea.
I love "The Shadow of The Wind" by Carlos Ruiz Zafón, and it has become special to me since I read it almost two weeks ago. I feel a sense of comfort in the image of me working in an old-fashioned bookshop in the 1950s at Calle Santa Ana in Barcelona, of many a quiet afternoon with my beloved father and a mysterious and amazing friend named Fermin Romero de Torres. The characters are Spanish, so I had a Filipino "cast."
Naturally, I'm the narrator.
The Shadow of The Wind
Daniel Sempere – Huggybear
Señor Sempere – Robert Arevalo
Fermin Romero de Torres – Jaime Fabregas
Julián Carax – Christopher De Leon
Francisco Javier Fumero – John Arcilla
Beatriz Aguilar – Bea Alonzo
Penélope Aldaya – Chin-Chin Gutierrez
Nuria Monfort – Hilda Koronel
Jacinta Coronado – Anita Linda
Clara Barceló – Penelope Cruz
Bernarda Cherry – Pie Picache
Miquel Moliner – Joel Torre
Jorge Aldaya – Bembol Roco
Tomas Aguilar – Dingdong Dantes
Don Gustavo Barceló – Tommy Abuel
Don Ricardo Aldaya – Eddie Garcia
Sophie Carax – Lorna Tolentino
Don Federico Flavia – Noni Buencamino
Don Anacleto Olmo – Leo Martinez
Antoni Fortuny – Spanky Manikan
Padre Fernando Ramos – Subas Herrero
Isaac Monfort – Lou Veloso
Enrique Palacios – Cesar Montano
Merceditas – Eugene Domingo
Adrian Neri – Allan Paule
Pedro Sanmarti – Mon Confiado
Sister Hortensia – Gina Alajar
Doña Encarna – Lorli Villanueva
Doña Aurora – Caridad Sanchez
Professor Velasquez – Noel Trinidad
The Aldaya Caretaker – Ronnie Lazaro
Photo courtesy of ClearEyesFullshelves.com