Here is, as promised, the mime photo from our trip to Colonia last Friday:
I am almost done with the two books I’ve been reading! La casa de los espíritus (The House of Spirits) by Isabel Allende is what I’ve been chipping away at steadily since August. Starting it was incredibly frustrating—my Spanish was kind of rusty, so my progress was very slow—but since I’ve been in Buenos Aires it’s been getting easier and easier. The story is very similar to that of One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez; it traces the history of a family through several generations and details all the strange/wonderful/terrible/fantastical things that happen.
What We Talk About When We Talk About Love by Ramond Carver is the other book I’ve been reading. It’s a very short volume of very short, beautiful, minimalist stories that I’ve been trying to save for days when I just need to read English. English has a well-deserved bad reputation for being blocky and illogical and hard to learn, but—when you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the inescapable Spanish chatter in the streets and on the bus and in the next room—oh man, does it sing.
I’ve been sniffing around the house for things to read and have come up with a handful of self-help manuals, Romeo and Juliet, and a heavily edited Reader’s Digest edition of Gulliver’s Travels…none of which interest me at all. So after class today I walked down to a bookstore I’ve been wanting to visit and, lo and behold, I found myself some treasures!
Books seem to be frequently sold shrink-wrapped here. It’s good for the books—it keeps them free of dust, mold, and fingerprints from touchy-feely book-buyers like me—but it makes it hard to get a preview of exactly what it is you’re buying. So I went for the cheap stuff. The shabby little one is by Gabriel García Márquez, and appears to be half novella and half literary criticism by other people of said novella. I’m a little disappointed to have paid five dollars for one novella (because, let’s be honest, even I don’t read literary criticism for fun) but it’s Márquez, so it should be really good! The other one is a collection of Flash Gordon comic strips that have been translated into Spanish, which I’m really excited about because I only paid three dollars for it and it’s brand spanking new! The not-so-great thing is that it’s been translated into Spanish from Spain, so there are all kinds of weird verb forms that I don’t know, but that’s part of the fun, right?
All for now—the written portion of my final exam is tomorrow and I’ve got some studying to do. And then maybe some reading😉