sábado, 17 de diciembre de 2016

Adulthood Is a Myth (Sarah's Scribbles, #1) - Sarah Andersen


Is adulthood an exciting new challenge for which you feel fully prepared? 

Ugh. Please go away.

I was writing down some thoughts for two reviews, one of a Mishima book and the other of The Bell Jar, but at the moment, I don’t feel like dedicating so much time to that kind of introspection, since in my case, reviewing a book is almost never writing a simple summary. So I will deal with all those books next year, while focusing on other works which are also existentially complex but from a different perspective.


A very different perspective.

In the spirit of the preceding paragraph, I have a shocking revelation to share. I can never participate in the GR Awards. Scandalous, right? I mean, after the Best Poetry debacle, it’s still nice to be able to cast some votes considering that, in general, the most recently published book I have read might have been in the bookshop for twenty years.

Another delightful fact I can find in this little adventure regarding the Best Books of 2016 that I Adulthood is a Myth. The irony makes me chuckle. In any case, and in my opinion since not everyone shares my peculiar sense of humor, it was a fun read. The most hilarious, ridiculous, absurd and to some extent, pathetic aspects of life are depicted through comedy and simple, adorable drawings. Andersen's keen ability to perceive different feelings and situations pertaining to the issue of being human and to portray them with such humorous simplicity… it is certainly remarkable. I’m completely enamored with her work and Allie Brosh and her Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened now share the podium with lovely Andersen.
almost never pay special attention to: the only book to which I could give my precious and humble vote was

Classics, poetry, extremely dark and heart-rending books that may or may not have a happy ending are not enough. Books brimful of humor, wit, ludicrous yet common situations and reactions and with silly covers that I don't dare to show in public are also a part of me. They mend what other things have broken. They make reality taste like fiction for a while. This year I spent time on situations that, in the end, didn’t deserve my attention and a million chances. I can search for my lost time but will never get it back. Still, despite giving too much and receiving über-nothing at times, I would like to end this year with a smile. Perhaps, what I consider a flaw is precisely why I should be smiling.

This charming book won Best Graphic Novels & Comics. I thought of giving a little speech but, you know.


Besides, giving speeches usually precedes a simple meal or large quantities of food and...


...let’s just not tempt fate. So I wrote this nonsense instead, as I also tell you this: Sarah and I will be back in a few days. For now, I’ll keep reading my books and enjoying one of my valid hobbies.



* Credit: Book cover via Goodreads.
All pictures from Adulthood Is a Myth (Sarah's Scribbles, #1) by Sarah Andersen.

domingo, 11 de diciembre de 2016

Poems Under Saturn: Poèmes saturniens (Lockert Library of Poetry in Translation) - Paul Verlaine, Karl Kirchwey (Translator)


Sentimental Stroll

The setting sun cast its final rays
And the breeze rocked the pale water lilies;
Among the reeds, the huge water
Lilies shone sadly on the calm water.
Me, I wandered alone, walking my wound
Through the willow grove, the length of the pond
Where the vague mist conjured up some vast
Despairing milky ghost
With the voice of teals crying
As they called to each other, beating their wings
Through the willow grove where I alone wandered
Walking my wound; and the thick shroud
Of shadows came to drown the final rays
Of the setting sun in their pale waves
And, among the reeds, the water
Lilies, the huge water lilies on the calm water.


Promenade sentimentale

Le couchant dardait ses rayons suprêmes
Et le vent berçait les nénuphars blêmes;
Les grands nénuphars entre les roseaux,
Tristement luisaient sur les calmes eaux.
Moi, j’errais tout seul, promenant ma plaie
Au long de l’étang, parmi la saulaie
Où la brume vague évoquait un grand
Fantôme laiteux se désespérant
Et pleurant avec la voix des sarcelles
Qui se rappelaient en battant des ailes
Parmi la saulaie où j’errais tout seul
Promenant ma plaie; et l’épais linceul
Des ténèbres vint noyer les suprêmes
Rayons du couchant dans ses ondes blêmes
Et des nénuphars, parmi les roseaux,
Des grands nénuphars sur les calmes eaux.

Verlaine, observer and blind, creator and destroyer; a poet made of light and shadows. A parallel between this author and Rimbaud's poetry is predictable but ineluctable. Undoubtedly, while I liked the young poet's sophisticated song of perpetual revolt and mystifying symbols, I was able to connect with Verlaine's art on a deeper level (also young when he wrote this collection), as he also unveiled all aspects of human nature—both sublime and decadent, depending on the eye of the beholder—with sheer beauty, sumptuous symbolism and a clear voice whose melody resonated with me several times, creating evocative images which may portray every emotion we are capable of feeling. 

 * Photo credit: Book cover via Goodreads.

viernes, 9 de diciembre de 2016

San Manuel Bueno, Martir - Miguel de Unamuno


I don’t know what is true and what is a lie, nor what I saw, or what I dreamed—or rather what I dreamed and what I only saw—nor what I knew, nor what I believed. I don’t know if I am transferring my consciousness to this paper as white as snow, and if it will remain there, leaving me without it. Why should I still keep it…? Do I know anything?; do I believe anything? Has what I am writing about here really happened, and did it happen like I am telling it? Can things like these really happen? Is this just a dream, within another dream?

A priest, a village, faith and doubts.
I could write many paragraphs about this short novel, but I would be repeating¹ myself

First time I read Unamuno's prose. Definitely not the last.
You can find this little gem online. Spanish - English


* Photo credit: Book cover via Goodreads.