Thursday, August 20, 2009

A 180˚ Turn: Summer Reading, Now I Love It!

Throughout my Summer, which comprised of biking around Cape Cod and relaxing around Boston, I have read a number of books, including: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, by Junot Díaz; Running With Scissors, by Augusten Burroughs; The City of Your Final Destination, by Peter Cameron; Before the Knife: Memories of An African Childhood, by Carolyn Slaughter; Memories of My Melancholy Whores, by Gabriel García Márquez; and One Hundred Years of Solitude, also by Márquez. Because of its incredibly imaginative plot and lovely, juicy description, the latter was likely my favorite. Here is a chunk for you to savor; it stuck out because it was near the end of the novel, not because it is my favorite passage:

"Álvaro was the first to take the advice to abandon Macondo. He sold everything, even the tame jaguar that teased passersby from the courtyard of his house, and he bought an eternal ticket on a train that never stopped traveling. In the postcards that he sent from the way stations he would describe with shouts the instantaneous images that he had seen from the window of his coach, and it was as if he were tearing up and throwing into oblivion some long, evanescent poem: the chimerical Negroes in the cotton fields of Louisiana, the winged horses in the bluegrass of Kentucky, the Greek lovers in the infernal sunsets of Arizona, the girl in the red sweater painting watercolors by a lake in Michigan who waved at him with her brushes, not to say farewell but out of hope, because she did not know that she was watching a train with no return passing by." - From One Hundred Years of Solitude (an English version published by Harper with no indicated translator), by Gabriel García Márquez.

I wish that I were able to read the novel in Spanish once I reach the necessary fluency to feel the beauty of Marquez's words. This semester I'm taking a Spanish-American literature course, so I'll be practicing. I can't wait to improve my skills, but am a little heartbroken that I won't be in Hispanic America (Latin and South Americas) to really get better at all things related to Spanish. But at least I get Challston, and that's something special.


Lauren Frances Moore said...

i greatly enjoyed this book last summer. looks like you got to read lots of good ones. can't wait to see you!!!

Kristen Gehrman said...

I'll post more pictures and be more descriptive if you'll post something more than once a month!

I'm glad you're reading A Commonplace Thing, but I'm looking for something too!!! I always appreciate your descriptions. I loved 100 Years.. too, and of course Running with Scissors. I'm working on Thomas Wolfe, the best describer of beauty I have found.

Love and miss,