NYTBR April 15, 2007 (Fiction in Translation Issue)

It was a gorgeous day, dear blog readers! Self would call it the “13th Most Gorgeous Day So Far . . . ” but self is superstitious, does not want to use the number 13, so self will just reserve that title for some other post, later on, as self is sure there will be many many gorgeous days, from now on.

After brief lunch in City (self nearly fell asleep on the drive there, too much cough syrup has soporific effect, thankfully woke up each time felt car bumping over lane dividers — !!), self stayed inside the rest of the day, grading student papers and watching The Montel Williams Show. Today’s topic: “Ticking Time Bombs.”

Had asked students to explain following line from Richard Rodriguez‘s “Late Victorians”: Serendipity has an eschatological tang.

Received all kinds of colorful responses from students. Here’s a sample:

The fate of life lies with “faith.” The girl jumps off the Golden Gate Bridge into the sky, into the heavens and meets up serendipitously with the gods. There is a tang along with it, however — a pleasant shock — She meets the cement like a sweet and sour piece of candy greets the tongue. A certain facial expression. Always caught by surprise, a pinched face with an open mouth, a reaction that helps to withstand the bitter tang of the candy until its flavor wears out and sweet candy resides.

Eeeek! Self has no idea how to grade such.

Turn to venerable NY Times Book Review for relief. Without further ado, here are the books self is interested in reading (after perusing the April 15, 2007 issue of The New York Times Book Review — the Fiction in Translation Issue)

(1) After reading James Wood’s review of Chilean Roberto Bolaño‘s novel, The Savage Detectives, translated by Natasha Wimmer:

Roberto Bolaño’s short novels By Night in Chile; Distant Star; and Amulet
Roberto Bolaño’s short story collection, Last Evenings on Earth

(2) After reading Terence Rafferty’s review of Colombian writer Laura Restrepo’s novel, Delirium, translated by Natasha Wimmer:

Laura Restrepo’s Delirium

(3) After reading Joel Agee’s review of Nobel Prize winner Elfriede Jelinek’s most recent novel, Greed, translated by Martin Chalmers:

Elfriede Jelinek’s Greed

(4) After reading Elizabeth Schmidt’s review of Maryse Condé’s latest novel, The Story of the Cannibal Woman, translated by Richard Philcox:

Maryse Condé’s The Story of the Cannibal Woman

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