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Me and Sylvia on the canal in Qibao (April 2011)

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Understanding makes the mind lazy.

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A Year of Reading

The sky is clear! So I'm going to stay up and wait for the eclipse at 2 tomorrow morning, which will be the first total lunar eclipse to occur on the Winter Solistice since the 1600's... While I'm waiting seems like a good time to write my annual reading review post.

2009 was, as you may recall, a year of starting to pick up the Spanish language in my readings and getting acclimated to the literature of Latin America; that trend continued in the early part of this year with a whole lot of time and thought spent on Borges -- Collected Fictions in Hurley's translations and many of the fictions in Spanish as well, plus some essays, lectures, and forewords. In the last quarter of this year I have discovered and have been reading Hernán Rivera Letelier, specifically The Art of Resurrection (and am just starting Our Lady of the dark flowers which a friend on the west coast sent to me), and thinking more about Borges and about language. And in between, well, Bolaño, and some very interesting Saramago, Coetzee, Meredith Sue Willis, Joyce Hinnefeld, The Wettest County, Fred Exley, Jeffrey Eugenides; also have been for the first time really explicitly reading things with translation in mind, like the Rivera Letelier books, like the Poets of Nicaragua collection and Slavko Zupcic.

I have probably been blogging less about reading this year (particularly towards the end of the year) than in the last couple of years; that does not strike me as a terrible thing. I might shift the focus of the blog slightly away from reading and toward translation and the craft of writing -- of course there is a lot of room for overlap there...

I believe instead of creating a reading list post for 2011 I will just use the list from last year as a scratch pad -- I've been updating it over the course of the year anyway.

posted evening of Monday, December 20th, 2010
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