22 October 2007

An embarrassment of riches

On Saturday, I turned 30. Of course, I still feel like a provincial, naïve 19--but there you have it. A. and I celebrated by traveling to Barranquilla (or as Johnny Cash called it, "bear-uhn-KILL-uh") and buying books--so many books! (We also caught Neil Gaiman's Stardust--dubbed, but as it has yet to arrive to Santa Marta, we happily took what we got--and ate at my beloved Crepes & Waffles.)

To wit:

La lengua ladina de García Márquez...Margret S. de Oliveira Castro
Don Quijote de la Mancha en Medellín...Jorge Franco
La vida breve...Juan Carlos Onetti
La invención de Morel...Adolfo Bioy Casares
La suma de los días...Isabel Allende
Canción de cuna y otros poemas...W.H. Auden
Matadero cinco...Kurt Vonnegut
La importancia de llamarse Ernesto y El abanico de Lady Windermere...Oscar Wilde

The Vonnegut was for A. (he's in the middle of the Spanish translation of Powers' Galatea 2.2) and the Wilde for his sister (a lover of Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, the Brontës, Dumas, Eco, and even Margaret Mitchell). I nearly bought some translated Auster, but those were quite pricey. (Alas, no Nabokov in sight.) The Auden is a parallel translation, and I read him a couple of my favorites the next day. (All of these books are such beautiful editions!) And the García Márquez dictionary will come in handy when I finally tackle El otoño del partriarca.

In addition to all this, a fellow teacher recently arrived back from a trip to the U.S. and brought back (eagerly requested) copies of Richard Powers' The Echo Maker and Jesse Ball's Samedi the Deafness.

In my few days off, I plowed through Shantaram, Lolita, and recently finished Azar Nafisi's memoir. There are so many things to write about...but I realize that I'm unable to write unless I've flooded my mind with reading. I have to reach that "too full" feeling before I can write anything. And once I've done that, I can only head straight back into the reading again.

There is a post on César Aira's El mago in the works. I need to finish Saramago's childhood memoir so I can pick up Jorge Franco's Paraíso Travel. Pynchon is still patiently waiting (he is very good at it, I've found).

And now, back to the books.


Brook said...

Happy Birthday!!
30?!? that means I'm... 19! like you!
(oh dear...)

Enjoy the new books and the new decade ahead.

amcorrea said...

Thanks, Brook! All the best to you as well.

jamin said...

Happy Belated Birthday! I turn 30 in January so I'm not that far behind you...

amcorrea said...

Thank you! It's a funny time of life, isn't it? I still feel like I'm just getting started.