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Adamastor, by Júlio Vaz Júnior


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To write is to translate. It will always be, even when we're writing in our own language.

José Saramago

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The White Castle
Orhan Pamuk

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Story within a story within...

...I knew that at any moment the book would be snatched from my hand, yet I wanted to think not of that but of what was written on its pages. It was as if the thoughts, the sentences, the equations within the book contained the whole of my past life which I dreaded to lose... I desperately wanted to engrave the entire volume on my memory so that when they did come, I would not think of them and what they would make me suffer, but would remember the colors of my past as if recalling the cherished worlds of a book I had memorized with pleasure.

Cool: the inner story of The White Castle begins, like the outer story and like The New Life, with the narrator frantically reading a book, seeking to alter his consciousness through reading. Also I like seeing "the colors of my past", that brings to mind much of Pamuk's other work.

This is the fourth novel of his I am reading, and the fourth markedly different narrative style. Which is cool, I guess, his voice rings clear in each of them. It is surprising, not what I expect -- reminds me a bit of Pynchon I guess, but I think offhand that the differences in style among Pamuk's books are greater than among Pynchon's.

posted afternoon of Saturday, January 19th, 2008
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