Thursday, October 7, 2010

habemus papam

There are three books by the newly elected king of literature on the shelf,
Mario Vargas Llosa, whom I'm never sure where to file under: V? L? , like Garcia Marquez, G? M?,
I wonder how long they are going to sit there for. Doris Lessing, last year's elected queen, hasn't moved once I must say, so, either people don't really follow Nobel Prizing stuff, or it is a not so popular title in the literature field as it sounds:"I won the nobel prize last year" " oh that? phiuh good luck with that".
Mrs Lessing 's reaction to the announcement of the prize by the journalist is memorable, she was coming back home from her rounds and they were waiting for her on her doorsteps and found her completely oblivious to the news.I recommend a search on youtube for it, she is pure class. I wonder how did Mr Llosa and Mr Varga respond. We'll see, maybe he shook his own hands.
In the meantime, some other kind of race happened you remember the gold digging adventures of book hunting in the jungle of the donated books set by the Seattle library?
yep, that one. I had to submit myself to the torture of looking for books without having fun again. This time around I managed to have a little fun,though cause I was in good company and left all my expectations outside the door.And this is what I found:

this is a first translated edition, 1934, by M.D. Herter Norton (what is with all these double names!) and when I found it, I made a little shrill that sounded more as if somebody had stepped on my toe rather than happiness. It was happiness, especially cause it reminded me of an exhibition I witnessed in Bologna ,Italy, during my college years, entirely dedicated to Rilke's love correspondence with Lou Andreas Salome, a Russian psychoanalyst of increadible charisma and who broke few hearts and was a very close friend of people like Freud and Nietzsche. The exchange of written words that those two,both of them married to other people, entertained is the most passionate thing I've ever read.

This little green book jumped at me because of its beautiful cover. The Mabinogion-Everyman's library- 11 Welsh stories drawn from the Celtic tradition of Medieval European literature, stories written between 1300 and 1400.

Ivan Goncharov -Oblomov , also a everyman's library edition #878, translated by Natalie Duddington,was another happy discovery that tossed me back in time again, when I went to see the theatrical representation of the book that notoriously starts the first 150 pages with the guy not getting out of his bed, and I remember wishing having a pillow there with me. I will read this classic of Russian literature, one day, without even skipping the first few pages ,because I think our times have a lot in common with the times the writer is describing: the aristocratic inertia of a decadent social class, the aristocracy, surrounded and completely oblivious of it, by the daily struggle of the rest of the world.

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