We think of channeling -- talking with the dead -- as a New-Age phenomenon, but it was even more popular in Europe hundreds of years ago. French poet and novelist Victor Hugo (1802-1885), perhaps best known for Les Miserables, was something of a channeler in his day. He didn't want folks to think he was whacked, so he kept the channeling thing hush-hush. He did a good job: Transcripts of his seances didn't surface until the early 20th Century, and they have just recently been translated into English by Palm Beach County author John Chambers. In Conversations With Eternity: The Forgotten Masterpiece of Victor Hugo, Chambers has compiled Hugo's extensive notes about talks with the dead and added background commentary on some of the famous spirits in question. For example, Chambers provides historical context on Hannibal, the Carthaginian general who attacked the Roman Empire; the general supposedly described to Hugo what Carthage looked like before the Romans leveled it. Chambers will sign copies of the book tonight at 7:30 at Borders, 12171 W. Sunrise Blvd., Plantation. Admission is free. Call 954-723-9595 for more information.
To call Cuban painter Dagoberto Jaquinet young is just plain wrong. The guy is 57 years old. Still, he's listed among the "young" artists in the show "Cuban Masters & Young Artists Living in Cuba Today." He's mislabeled, perhaps, because although he has name recognition throughout Cuba and Europe for his vividly colored, representational canvases, his work has only recently been shown in the United States. "Emerging" might be a better term for Jaquinet and the other unknowns in the show, which comprises some 50 works by five other "young" artists and four established masters, including Nelson Dominguez and Ever Fonseca. Jaquinet's acrylic-on-canvas painting Gallo Cosmicos features a gargantuan, bright-red rooster with a billowing, multicolored tail and depicts the creature either stomping or picking up a human form with one of its clawed feet. Now that ought to get him noticed. The exhibition runs through August 30 at the Cornell Museum, 51 N. Swinton Ave., Delray Beach. Admission is $3. Call 561-243-7922.