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Monday, April 16th, 2012

Writing about sex

Sex, as an apt pretext for breaking the monotony; motor-sex; anxiety-sex; the habit of sex, as any glut that can well become a burden; colossal, headlong, frenzied, ambiguous sex, as a game that baffles then enlightens then baffles again; pretense-sex, see-through sex.
I found the last fifty or so pages of Almost Never -- and especially the last couple of pages! -- gorgeous, brilliant writing; and at the same time a bit disappointing. All this beautiful prose, you think as you're reading it, and all just in the service of how horny Demetrio is. The final scene -- and it feels very much like what the whole book has been building towards -- is the deflowering of his blushing bride. Which, great -- Sada's descriptions of sex and of horniness are excellent descriptions, his language moving; but where is it moving you to? It just didn't seem to go anywhere in particular, for me. There was plenty that I would have liked to know more about, plot-wise; but the loss of Renata's virginity just doesn't strike me as a plausible destination for the book. Nice writing though.

posted evening of April 16th, 2012: Respond
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Friday, April 13th, 2012

The gorgeous sound of Sada's sentences

Check it out, from:

He'd made a strategic gain, small but accompanied by the happy thought that an appointment is an appointment. Even so, Demetrio still had to invent a decent pretext for departing from the orchard long before five in the afternoon.
to
Then Demetrio's preamble: he stammered; he simply couldn't find the words for his request, considering his dedication to his work, only to drift, let us say gently, to the great responsibilities the management of...No, not that, no! More stammering.
to
No! Such vulgarity...Indolence. Inanity... Nonetheless, try, try, try again...
in the space of a few pages.

posted evening of April 13th, 2012: Respond

Almost Never/Casi nunca

I'm finding that Sada's book (which takes a pretty sleazy guy as its protagonist!) is giving me an unnerving sense of identification with Demetrio, for all the amoral douchebag that he is. This book is bringing to mind some of my very favorite novels.

I'm finding the beauty of Saba's syntax -- the rush of phrases and colons and chanting authorial voice -- intoxicating and exciting, finding it is rubbing off on my own stream of consciousness. In certain ways the book reminds me of Bolaño, of his situations and characters. The flow of Sada's cant pulls me into the action like the opening of Snow. Absolutely want to seek this out in Spanish as well; I think Katherine Silver's translation is brilliant and that I could learn something from it if I could figure out how she brought this insane rhythm across.

posted evening of April 13th, 2012: Respond
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Quick Note: Two Books

I started reading two books on Monday, both translations from Spanish -- The Planets by Sergio Chejfec/tr. Heather Cleary, and Almost Never by Daniel Sada/tr. Katherine Silver. Two extremely different novels. Both authors have very strong voices -- Sada's voice is grabbing me, pulling me in; Chejfec's voice is pushing me away.

posted morning of April 13th, 2012: Respond
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