By hand

I recently came across this interview with Mircea Cărtărescu, the author of my most recent favorite book: Blinding. And I was stunned to find that his elaborate, beautiful, overwhelmingly stunning masterwork of prose was written by hand, in a journal, and barely changed from its original state: When we had those very pleasant talks in …

The Blind Owl, by Sadegh Hedayat

Certain stories really stick in my head and haunt/influence me for years. This could be one of them. The story of how this book was translated, told in the preface to the book, was an interesting read in itself. Apparently the story was banned in Iran for many years, and there were several censored and …

Oops I read a bunch of books and didn’t blog about them again

Wow, it's been a while! Here are some more books I read and some thoughts on them to close out the year Agamemnon's Daughter by Ismail Kadare I blazed through this one in two sittings, extremely engaging and also strange and upsetting. I picked this originally because I decided I wanted to read books from …

The poetry of Jorge Luis Borges

I've read his many stories off and on throughout my life, but never his poetry until this year. From reading his memorable stories, certain words and ideas have come to carry a lot of 'Borgesness' with them: Labyrinth, hexameter, tigers, algebra, chess, libraries, mirrors, coins--and this carries through to his poetry as well. This could …

Mi primer libro en español

I have been (very) slowly teaching myself Spanish over the past few years, mostly by using Duolingo for just 20 minutes or so each day. But recently I felt comfortable enough to seek out more content to read. Because how better to learn a language than by just jumping right in? This week I reached …