A postscript; also, books!

Here is, as promised, the mime photo from our trip to Colonia last Friday:

Back: yours truly, Suz, Farrah. Front: Lauren, our good friend the mime. Susan Banashak owns this photo, I do not.

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!

My finds from the bookstore this afternoon!

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 😉


3 thoughts on “A postscript; also, books!

  1. Holly Morris says:

    El Coronel no tiene quien le escriba es super-corta, PERO está llena de todo. Lo leí y usé como proyecto en la universidad – es increíble todo lo que hay dentro de esas pocas páginas :0)
    Fue en esos momentos de “inglés, por favor” que leí la serie de Narnia entera por primera vez, así que te entiendo el querer de meterte en algo del inglés de vez en cuando.
    Suerte con los exámenes, aunque ¡yo sé que no la necesites!

  2. Charles Taylor says:

    I’m surprised that you read Raymond Carver for pleasure! Haha. Have you seen the Robert Altman movie, from about 20 years ago, based on his stories? It’s call “Short Cuts” and it’s very good. One of the stories isn’t Culver at all, and there’s a very sharp irony at the end – there is no irony in Culver’s writing at all, as you know – so perhaps it’s not for purists, but I had to mention it. I hope you enjoyed the books you found. I can spend a whole day in a good bookstore.

    • Kim says:

      I’ve never heard of that movie, I’ll have to look it up! Flash Gordon has been good so far, haven’t gotten around to Márquez yet.

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