Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, by Benjamin Alire Saénz
Oh. My. God. Oh my God, this book. I came into this with high expectations, and Benjamin Alire Saénz completely surpassed them. ‘Aristotle and Dante discover the secrets of the universe’ is the purest, most beautiful book I have ever read. If you like a well-thought, masterfully written book, look no further.
The story is set in El paso, Texas,1987. Aristotle is a lonely fifteen year old who carries the weight of the universe on his shoulders, and a desire to understand it. Dante is a talkative and sociable boy, even if also lonely, who values honesty above all else. They become best friends one summer, and together they embark on a journey to understand the mystery of their bodies and the world around them.
The book is in first person, Aristotle’s point of view, and it really struck me what a good literary device that can be. The character has a low self-esteem, considers himself to have been born in the shadow of his older brother – who is in prison – and is in denial about his feelings, even if his body and instincts speak for themselves. Aristotle’s words and thoughts immerse you completely in the story, making it impossible to stop reading and – in many parts – to stop crying.
The romance is so pure, so heartbreakingly honest… I caught myself thinking about it days after reading (and often grabbing the book to read a few chapters again). If you are LGBT, please…. just…. please read this book. It will cleanse your skin, water your plants and pet your dog on its way out.
Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.
meet the silhouettes! name: amanda covey age: 22 from: el paso, texas bio: queen of naps and being petty, you say? amanda is that gal for you. she’s a student at san myshuno university and a member of delta delta chi, one of the uni’s sororities. when she’s not found sleeping through her classes, she can be found picking at her nails as someone talks to her because she just doesn’t care about what others have to say about her. at least that’s what others think, at least that’s what she’s trying to say to herself.
HERE ARE SOME LITTLE KNOWN, BUT VERY INTERESTING, TEXAS TIDBITS:
1.Port Arthur to El Paso: 889 miles. Port Arthur to Chicago: 770 miles
2.Brownsville to Texline (north of Amarillo ): 956 miles. Texline to Canada : 960 miles
3. El Paso is closer to California than to Dallas
4. World’s first rodeo was in Pecos , Tx July 4, 1883.
5. The Flagship Hotel in Galveston is the only hotel in North America built over water. Destroyed by Hurricane Ike - 2008!
6. The Heisman Trophy was named after John William Heisman who was the first full-time coach at Rice University in Houston, Texas .
7. Brazoria County has more species of birds than any other area in North America.
8. Aransas Wildlife Refuge is the winter home of North America’s only remaining flock of whooping cranes.
9. Jalapeno jelly originated in Lake Jackson in 1978.
10. The worst natural disaster US history was in 1900, caused by a hurricane in which over 8,000 lives were lost on Galveston Island.
11. The first word spoken from the moon, July 20, 1969, was “ Houston ” but the Space Center was actually in Clear Lake City at the time.
12. The King Ranch in South Texas is larger than Rhode Island.
13. Tropical Storm Claudette brought a US rainfall record of 43" in 24 hours in and around Alvin in July of 1979.
14. Texas is the only state to enter the US by TREATY, (known as the Constitution of 1845 by the Republic of Texas to enter the Union)instead of by annexation. This allows the Texas Flag to fly at the same height as the US Flag, and Texas may choose to divide into 5 states.
15. A Live Oak tree near Fulton is estimated to be 1500 years old.
16. Caddo Lake is the only natural lake in the state.
17. Dr Pepper was invented in Waco in 1885. There is no period in Dr Pepper.
18. Texas has had six capital cities: Washington-on-the Brazos, Harrisburg , Galveston, Velasco, West Columbia and Austin
19. The Capitol Dome in Austin is the only dome in the US which is taller than the Capitol Building in Washington, DC (by 7 feet).
20. The San Jacinto Monument is the tallest free standing monument in the world and it is taller than the Washington Monument.
21. The name ‘Texas’ comes from the Hasini Indian word â€˜tejas’ meaning “friends”. Tejas is NOT Spanish for Texas.
22. The State Mascot is the Armadillo. An interesting bit of trivia about the armadillo is they always have four babies. They have one egg, which splits into four, and they either have four males or four females.
23. The first domed stadium in the US was the Astrodome in Houston
24. The Beck family ranch land grant is one days ride by horse (25 miles) in each direction from the headquarters.
25. The name of the XIT ranch in Dalhart Texas stands for “ten in texas”. That means 10 counties in Texas!
“My parents were 18 years old in this photo and it was taken just after they eloped across the border in Juarez, Mexico. My mother still lived at home in El Paso, Texas and went off to the University that day with her wedding dress stuffed into her backpack. My father followed his older brother to the University from San Antonio, Texas, and through their civil rights work, my folks met and fell in love. My grandparents wouldn’t have approved of nor supported the union, as my grandparents were Mexican American and Native American and disapproved of my mother dating outside of those races, let alone marrying outside. Knowing this, my parents made up their young minds and decided to elope and forgo the typical pomp and circumstance that generally accompanies a wedding. My grandparents’ best friends from their time in the Army had gotten wind of what was happening and my parents feared they would tell my grandparents and the whole thing would be called off. Instead, they opened up their home and hosted a reception for my parents and never mentioned what they did to my grandparents. My folks got to have wedding cake and celebrate among their friends and a progressive Irish American couple proudly hosted everyone. This was 1968 and a year after the Loving v Virginia decision had finally been reversed and people across the country were now legally allowed to marry people of different races.”
I always see lists of vegans going around on tumblr focused on “look how buff these vegans are!” or “Look how old these people got to be by being vegan!” and sometimes just “Did you know, your favourite celebrity is vegan? Wow!” But here are some lists I think we’re really missing out on:
Al-Maʿarri(973 CE–1058 CE) - blind Arabian philosopher, poet, and writer; controversial rationalist for his time, argued against religious dogma and animal cruelty.
Steven Best (b. 1955) - associate professor of philosophy at the University of Texas at El Paso, co-founder of the Institute for Critical Animal Studies (ICAS); poststructuralist views on revolution
David Pearce - British independent philosopher strongly concerned with transhumanism and biotechnology; argues for the ethical imperative to engineer a world with less suffering, co-founded Humanity+, (the World Transhumanist Association), and is a prominent figure in the transhumanism movement
Tom Regan (b. 1938) - professor emeritus of philosophy at North Carolina State University; author of numerous books on the philosophy of animal rights, including The Case for Animal Rights (1983), most arguably Kantian, and disagrees with the concept of speciesism on some good grounds
in case anyone was wondering what i have been doing yesterday and today, i’ve been reading and crying a lot overAristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. you should read it!! it has lgbt, including (or, at least, heavily referenced) an asexual main character, mexican-american characters (onLY ONE CHARACTER SEEMS TO BE WHITE HOW COOL IS THIS), it’s set in El Paso, Texas in the late 1980′s, it’s got good music, it’s got good, it’s got bad, you name it, it might have it. I definitely recommend it!
“And it seemed to me that Dante’s face was a map of the world. A world without any darkness. Wow, a world without darkness. How beautiful was that?” - Ari, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
Hola, me llamo Grace! I’m a first generation xicana born and raised in beautiful El Paso, Texas. I am also the first college educated woman in my family. I will be graduating from The University of Texas at El Paso in December with a BA in English and American Literature and a minor in Chicano Studies. I’ve always been uncomfortable wearing red lipstick because of my skin color but here I am pulling it the fuck off. 😘😉
Do you ever stop to think that as much as people would like to go vegan it's a bit expensive and some families cannot afford to do so? Like me, I've always wanted to and I did try a couple times it wasn't difficult I just couldn't afford it.
Thank you very much for reaching out. The following is an article by Gary Yourofsky:
In the grand scheme of things, veganism is the most inexpensive diet on this planet. Once animal products have been eliminated from the diet, virtually any chance of getting a disease has been eliminated as well. Our health is priceless. Yet meat, dairy and egg-eaters are rarely healthy and vibrant, especially in their golden years if they even make it that far. Add the cost of health care and insurance, prescription medicines, over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, doctor visits and hospital stays, and you can easily see how meat, dairy and egg-eating is the most expensive lifestyle around!
When eating at fast food restaurants or other establishments, veganism is the cheapest way to go or, at worst, the exact same price as meat. For instance, one of the cheapest items at Taco Bell is the bean burrito without cheese (at 99 cents this means the McDonald’s dollar menu folks have NO excuse not to switch to Taco Bell). The cheapest item at Subway is the veggie sub. When eating at Asian establishments, tofu and veggies are no more expensive than the meat dishes. When ordering a cheese-less pizza, it’s the exact same price as a pizza with cheese. Specialty vegan restaurants might be pricey, but eating at vegan restaurants is not a requirement, and all specialty establishments cost more. Meat, dairy and egg-eaters love to ignore the fact that specialty places that serve filet mignon, lobster and fish are more expensive than a hot dog stand or a hamburger joint.
Some of the packaged soy/wheat meats might cost 50 cents or a dollar more than their meat counterparts. But processed items (meat or vegan) always cost more. One does not have to eat soy/wheat meat to be vegan. Many vegans don’t even want a meat taste, so they choose as staples of their diet items like rice, millet, beans, lentils, potatoes, tomatoes, apples, carrots, tofu, peanut butter, pasta and noodles, which are always the cheapest items around. Buying frozen fruits and vegetables is another way to reduce your grocery bill. Make smoothies with the frozen fruit using a combination of mangos, strawberries, kiwis, pears, bananas, blueberries, cherries, pineapples, peaches or raspberries. And don’t forget to shop at your local farmer’s market or dollar store for great discounts. Eating five bananas for breakfast is cheap and healthy, too. Grocers never charge more than about $1.15 for five bananas. You can also buy inexpensive textured vegetable protein [TVP] in bulk and make soy meat yourself. Check out the Veg Recipes page of this site for plenty of free recipes. Or purchase Ellen Jaffe Jones’ book Eat Vegan on $4 a Day.
Ten times out of ten, poverty-stricken societies are vegetarian or vegan because rice, millet, beans, lentils, potatoes, tomatoes, apples, carrots, tofu, peanut butter and pasta/noodles are the cheapest items around. This is why the world’s two largest feed-the-hungry organizations—Plenty and Food for Life Global—feed millions of hungry people free vegetarian/vegan meals on a daily basis!
Finally, as I give hundreds of lectures each year to poor college students nationwide, thousands end up choosing veganism because it’s truly easy and inexpensive. In fact, in 2011 the University of Texas-El Paso chapter of ONE, an international group that fights extreme poverty and preventable disease (and has NO links to animal liberation), challenged 15 students to live on campus for one week on $1.50 per day! Guess what they ate?
More importantly, veganism is an ethical lifestyle decision. Just like people who have decided not to rape women, wantonly kill humans or molest children, vegans have expanded their circles of compassion and decided not to rape women, wantonly kill humans, molest children nor support the killing of animals. Once an ethical decision has been made, it will be done. Until you’ve made this decision, excuses will be plentiful. Once you choose veganism, all excuses fall by the wayside.