Sunday, October 14, 2012

Printing! And other stuff!

Today I visited Querétaro's Museo Nacional de Artes Graficas, aka MUNAG. I would translate that for you, except that if you speak English and you can't reasonably figure out what that translates to, then I don't really have a lot of sympathy for you, to be honest. Anyway, the coolest thing about this museum is that it contains the oldest printing press of the American continent(s). It's from 1539 ish. I couldn't believe I got to just stand there looking at it and I could even touch it. It is made of wood and has a giant screw in the middle (I mean, really big) that twisted to press the plates. It was cool. I like printing presses. So revolutionary!

In fact, this museum had lots of information about the history of printing in Mexico, both pre-Hispanic and during the colonial terrorist period and during the independence century and the revolution and so forth. There were stone and wood (I think) and maybe clay stamps and other tools that were used centuries ago by the indigenous peoples, and there were lots of old things and lots of information about the various printers who did their thing during the 1500s or 1600s, sometimes infuriating the Catholic powers that be. There was a list of which kind of books were unacceptable to the Church and which were acceptable. The acceptable list was about a fifth as long as the other list.

All in all it was a nice museum visit, and it's located in a beautiful old courtyardy colonial architecturey house in the Historic Centro. It was a gorgeous Sunday afternoon in downtown Querétaro, as usual.

The rest of my day has consisted of a lot of reading (newspapers, my new Borges book) (in Spanish, btw!) and catching up and watching the Yankees lose (always a good time) and so on.

Seven more weeks in Querétaro! I might have to start a serious countdown of things that remain, Like, only three more annoying Friday evening shift/Saturday morning shifts...only 42 more car rides that have the potential to make me want to stab myself in the eyeballs with a toothpick ...definitely fewer than 50 possible days on which I will have to deal with cockroaches...and so on. But then my countdown is also a little sad, considered from the other perspective: only six more weekends to galavant...and fewer than 50 days on which to eat all this delicious cheap delicious delicious cheap delicious food.  I kind of want to eat enchiladas queretanas every day for the next seven weeks. And also everything else.


Anonymous said...

Wow. I just cannot imagine a printing press from the 1500's. Stuff like that is fabulous to see and even more intriguing to contemplate.

Kim Diaz said...

Which Borges? And are they flying cockroaches or the regular-sized we-just-want-to-live-in-your-house cockroaches?

linda said...

I'm reading El Aleph, a collection of short stories (including The Immortals, etc.) There are the giant crackly-shelled winged cockroaches that I have so far only seen outside/near front door/on city sidewalks (knock on wood they don't come inside) and then 3 different sizes of we-want-to-live-in-your-house roaches.