Madrid, the town I have chosen to call home for the last ten years, has a multitude of libraries that might well have fallen straight from the pages of a fantasy or science fiction novel. Despite drastic cuts carried out in the name of austerity, most of the libraries included here are open to the general public and I encourage the Madrileños to support their local with a visit.
For Sci-Fi we should start with my local, Pedro Salinas, in Puerta de Toledo, constructed in 1992 by Juan Navarro Baldeweg, zapped out of Terry Eagleton´s discworld.
The Rafael Alberti Library by Andrés Perea Ortega with its magnificent Mies van der Rohe facade:
Casa de Fieras:
Support your local library to avoid situations like this one (Bilblioteca Publica Joaquin Vilumbrales, Alcorcon) where local protest was necessary to restore their access to something like approaching a good library service.
I always think of the yellow county council vans of England when someone mentions Mobile Library Services.
Thanks to http://www.thepolisblog.org for the wonderful post from which much of this information has been cribbed.
Dear Archibald Lib and Ignatius Rary,
Thank you for taking the time to find me an appropriate alibi in recent weeks*. I sincerely appreciate the time you spent reviewing my predicament with me and recommending strategies for reaching a satisfactory outcome. Your advice was of great assistance and gave me a new perspective on available opportunities.
I especially appreciate your offer to connect myself with others working in your network. I plan on following up the contacts you furnished me with right away. I also hope to use the networking resources you recommended to avoid future complications.
Any additional suggestions you may have would be welcome. I’ll update you as to my progress.
Again, thank you so much for your help. I greatly appreciate the assistance you have provided me.
I am very much in your debt.
Rt Honorable XXXXXX XXXXX MP
Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland*
* The date and the name of the correspondent have been withheld for reasons of privacy, but should be noted that they do not refer to the present incumbent of this post or indeed to any recent events.
Henry: Forget about an alibi. What you need is a whole new freaking alias.
Thomas: What do you mean, a new alias?
Henry: Don´t worry. I wasn´t trying to be serious or anything.
Archibald: He means like a new name, a new presence and a new personality.
Ignatius: We do those too you know.
Kim: No. No. that´s not it. What he needs is more an absence than a presence.
From Lie is Worth Living the sequel to The Alibi Library
Every book you read. Every story. Every time you switch on the TV and you’re not starring in some drama or other. Our lives are a constant escape from ourselves. We seek refuge from the hurly burly of our own existence in the crisis and comedy elsewhere available. We sit back and let our imagination (or someone else’s) show us a different set of lives and choices, just for a short while. Just for a bit. Just for kicks. Isn’t that a little alibi too?
The word alibi, which in Latin means ‘elsewhere’, has been used since the 18th century to mean ‘an assertion by a person that he or she was elsewhere’. In the 20th century a new sense arose (originally in the US) with the meaning ‘an excuse’. This use is a fairly common and natural extension of the core meaning, but is still regarded as incorrect by some traditionalists.
noun (plural alibis)
- a claim or piece of evidence that one was elsewhere when an act, typically a criminal one, is alleged to have taken place:she has an alibi for the whole of yesterday evening
- informal an excuse or pretext:a catch-all alibi for failure and inadequacy
verb (alibis, alibiing, alibied)
late 17th century (as an adverb in the sense ‘elsewhere’): from Latin, ‘elsewhere’. The noun use dates from the late 18th century
from the Oxford and Merriam Webster online dictionaries.
I’ve been trying to fit in for years. Yes. Yes. We’ve all been in the wrong place at the wrong time. For some it’s that deliciously blurred moment somewhere after midnight and before work or school the next day. On the other hand, some of us seem to spend most of our days there. And others appear to have been simply born there. Of course we can dissimulate. We can pretend we suddenly fit in though it’s as awkward as a suit with no arms and ten pockets when there’s a bill to be paid. But now I seem to conflating being in the wrong place with a sort of being-out-of-place faux pas. And even then, when we’re busy pretending that we’re not as out of place as a mathematical equation scrawled on a urinal wall, that’s when we need the alibi most. To fit in. Who am I. Where have I come from. As if I was ever going to tell you any of that stuff. Yes. Yes. I’ll come up with something to be sure,
better than the truth, or at least more believable.