jueves, 24 de mayo de 2012

Spanish Lit Month: July 2012


A while back, Stu from Winstonsdad's Blog--one of my ideological comrades-in-arms on account of his particular enthusiasm for literature produced outside the U.S. and the U.K. and the fact that he's not, to my knowledge, a card-carrying member of either the paranormal romance or the Austen/Brontë sisters/Dickens mafias so prevalent elsewhere in the vampiric back alleys and Victorian mean streets of the English language blogosphere--asked me if I'd be interested in helping him put on a Spanish language literature month modeled on Iris' Dutch Lit Month and the German Lit Month hosted by Caroline and Lizzy last year.  How could I say no to such a great idea and dedicated champion of international fiction?  To this end, Stu and I will be offering a Spanish Language Lit Month (or Spanish Lit Month for short) in July to help celebrate any/all Spanish language works of your choice ever written.  How do you participate?  Easy!  Read and write-up one or more poems, short stories, nonfiction works, novellas or novels originally written in Spanish, and then tell me and/or Stu about it so we can mention it on our blogs--naturally, you may read the works in Spanish or in translation as suits your language skills and interests.  For those looking for a little more interactive experience in July, we also have the following program of events planned during the month:

Friday, July 6th, thru Sunday, July 8th
(on participating blogs)
A "watchalong" of Spanish filmmaker Carlos Saura's 1976 Cría cuervos, a drama that looks at the end of the Franco era from troubled eight year old Ana's perspective and then from the adult Ana's perspective some 20 years later.  A classic of Spanish cinema and one of my personal all-time movie faves in any language.

Friday, July 13th, thru Sunday, July 15th
(on participating blogs)
A group read of Uruguayan Juan Carlos Onetti's 1950 A Brief Life [La vida breve], widely considered to be one of the canonical novels in 20th century Latin American fiction.

Friday, July 20th, thru Sunday, July 22nd
(on participating blogs)
A group read of Spaniard Enrique Vila-Matas' 2001 Bartleby & Co. [Bartleby y compañia], a witty anti-novel composed by one of contemporary Spain's most cutting-edge writers.

Stu and I have a wrap-up week planned for the last weekend of the month to assemble link round-ups of whatever posts people contribute to the event, so we hope that you'll consider reading along with us on your own and/or for the Saura, Onetti, and Vila-Matas fiestas.  Until then, please let us know if you have any questions--and hope to see many of you back here during Spanish Lit Month in July.  ¡Hasta pronto!

Probable Participants
Amateur Reader (Tom), Wuthering Expectations
Bettina, Liburuak
Frances, Nonsuch Book
Jenny, Shelf Love
Jeremy, READIN
lizzysiddal, Lizzy's Literary Life
Scott, seraillon
Séamus, Vapour Trails
Susanna, SusieBookworm

57 comentarios:

  1. Muy bueno! Count me in. (Incidentally, I learn more Spanish from attempting to read your Spanish-language blog posts than from any other source).

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    1. Scott, your Spanish is doomed if you're going to try to pick it up from me! (I'm a pretty pathetic role model in that and all other regards, ha ha.) However, I'm glad to hear that you're in and I'm curious to see what you'll have on tap for us that month. Any hints? Cheers!

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  2. Just the push I need to place La Regenta on top of the TBR pile--count me in. This is turning into The Year of the Doorstop for how many 600+ page books I've read and will read. Not that that's a bad thing.

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    1. Dwight, excellent! A warm-up doorstopper for the Galdós in October, eh? Just so you know, while I'm not sure what free choices I'll be reading in July just yet, one of the leading candidates at the moment is that The Truth about the Savolta Case novel by Eduardo Mendoza that you and Ignacio Echevarría both recommended so strongly. Sounds like a winner.

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  3. Hi Richard, I am sure I'll be participating as I have a bunch of Spanish-language books on my to read pile. Not sure which one or ones I will be getting to in July. Currently I am reading and loving "La culpa" by Antonio Dal Masetto (Italian immigrant to Argentina).

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  4. (And, well, just about every month is Spanish-language literature month at READIN.)

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    1. Jeremy, wonderful to have you joining us and I look forward to finding out what you'll have in store for us in July. What you say in your second comment would make a fine soundbite, by the way! Are you by any chance reading that Dal Masetto book in the edition put out by Tusquets Editores? They make such attractive, lovely books. ¡Saludos!

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    2. Consider it done. I just finished Trilce and Ficciones. They were brilliant.

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    3. Extremely delighted, Rise--it wouldn't have been a real Spanish Lit Month without you. Way looking forward to what you have to say about Trilce, by the way--all I can remember about it from several years back is that it was difficult going in spots!

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  5. I am up for the Bartleby & Co readalong - I've owned that book for several years thinking I must get around to it and it is exactly right for a group read. Just don't expect me to contribute to the Spanish language fun. I did two years of Spanish while studying French and German at advanced level and never picked it up properly. In fact, I have a distinct memory of breaking into French during the oral exam. Oops.

    Your comment about paramornal romance and Austen/Bronte mafias did make me laugh. I like Austen but belong to no networks of power - does that mean I'm acceptable?

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    1. Litlove, wonderful to have you join us! I loved Bartleby & Co. when I read it a few years ago, but it's exactly the sort of book I look forward to hearing your opinion on--heady stuff. Austen fans are totally welcome to participate, of course--it's just that card-carrying thing (and the "networks of power," ha ha) that bothers me, you know? :D P.S. That Spanish/French story is a crack-up, and one that tops my own similar language gaffe: I was hustling to finish off a French essay for a test once, and I apparently melted down and inserted one or two words in Catalan in the middle of my impeccably mediocre, otherwise all-French sentences. My teacher circled the words in red with a question marked attached, but she was fairly amused when I explained what had happened. She was a fantastic teacher, so I'm sorry my French skills have declined so precipitously since their "heyday." À bientôt!

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    2. Oh wonderful! Meltdown is SO easy under those circumstances and hooray for excellent teachers. My Spanish teacher was a wonderful woman (if not perhaps a truly great teacher) called Oriel Radford. She used to get terrific head colds back in the UK and claimed that snot was the last great untapped resource of the planet. She was fun. Very much looking forward to the readalong!

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    3. "Hooray for excellent teachers" and/or Oriel R., indeed--what a funny story! Glad you're looking forward to the readalong. Cheers!

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  6. I have put all my books for this into a neat pile. I will be reading along with A Brief Life.

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    1. Obooki, super-delighted to have you along for the Onetti group read since it syncs up so well with your own Lat Am readalong--as well as the other 12 or 13 books in the pile you've mentioned elsewhere. You are a reading beast! Any hints as to what books can be found in the pile or will that be top secret info until July? Cheers!

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    2. It's all top secret. Although hopefully 7 of those books will be from Ignacio Echevarría's list which you published before (2 already begun, which I'll try to finish - both long ones).

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    3. Although I'm not a big fan of list reading, Echevarría's has so many proven winners on it that I've been tempted to read them all anyway. There are worse guides out there, you know? Anyway, look forward to the unveiling of your secret choices in July!

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  7. I'm trying to come up with a little list but as usual I will end up reading something else. I don't think I'll be able to join the readalongs but I will read one or two books, that's for sure. I just recently bought a couple of short story collections French/Spanish, the look very promising. I'll post about it soon and spread the word...

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    1. Caroline, glad to have another Kleist-like rock star joining the bill--esp. since you and Lizzy and Iris were responsible for paving the way in the first place as it were! Will be interested in seeing what you eventually decide on, of course, but I know exactly what you mean about coming up with a list and then reading something else entirely (I don't even like posting pictures of the "books in progress" that I'm reading anymore since my interest levels in them fluctuate so widely--and rapidly--at times). Anyway, glad you'll be joining us and do check out the movie if you get a chance (I think you'd like it).

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  8. I will certainly join in in some fashion. I have In Search of Klingsor and Shadow of the Wind on my 2012 TBR shelf, which is looking pretty unloved at this stage of the year. Maybe this can inspire some sort of rally in my reading in the second half of the year. If I find cheap copy I like the look of one or both of your novel choices as well.
    The Carlos Saura also sounds intriguing and I will try and get my hands on a copy in time to join the 'watch along'.

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    1. Séamus, wonderful news--esp. if you'll be able to join us for the Carlos Saura film or one of the book group reads! (Netflix carries the movie in the States at least, but I'm not sure how different their catalog is in Europe.) I read The Shadow of the Wind several years ago and enjoyed it for its page-turning, summer read qualities, and I bought the Volpi book probably about the same time but have never gotten around to it yet. My interest level in it has since dropped, but I hear mostly good things about it from people who've read it.

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    2. Whatever about the rest of Europe, Netflix in Ireland is extremely limited. I have kept up the subscription for my daughter but if it doesn't improve soon I'll have to call time on it. I'm making a rare trip to Dublin next week, all going well, so may try to pick up a DVD there. I'll also watch out for the Onetti and Vila-Matas.

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    3. I have very mixed feelings about Netflix in general, so I can understand your frustrations if Netflix Ireland is so extremely limited in its selections. That's no way to treat the country that produced Stiff Little Fingers and the Undertones, I tell you! Anyway, good luck finding something hard to find or otherwise special on your trip to Dublin next week.

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    4. Of course the part of the country that produced The Undertones and Stiff Little Fngers will have Netflix UK.
      Maybe it's revenge on us for producing U2?

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    5. I somehow managed to forget about that Ireland/Northern Ireland geographical divide, Séamus, but ha ha, revenge for producing U2 sounds like as good an explanation as any! Although to be historically accurate, I did like the first U2 album OK when I was younger and more "tolerant" (i.e. before Bono decided he wanted to become Sinatra and U2 decided they wanted to become famous as "that band from the Batman soundtracks"). Cheers!

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    6. I have the Saura movie on order from Netflix, looking forward to it -- I loved his "dance" movies Tango and Fados but do not think I've seen any of the rest of his catalog. Looking like my July Spanish Lit Month reading selection will be Antigua vida mía by Marcela Serrano, which also has a movie made of it, wondering if I will be able to get my hands on that...

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    7. I've had mixed experiences with Saura's feature films, Jeremy, but Cría cuervos more than makes up for it (La caza, from the mid-60s, is also really good but more ragged and hard to find in the U.S. the last I checked). Glad you've got a copy on the way because I think it's exceptional. Haven't seen Fados yet for some reason, but I enjoyed Tango and his flamenco doc for the dancing and the music in both. By the way, just about anything you share about the Serrano book will be news to me--all I know I learned from looking it up online a moment or two ago. From my biased point of view, that makes it a wonderful choice for Spanish Lit Month. Cheers!

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  9. Ah, I see you've listed me already; you must have seen my comment over at Stu's. But yes, I'm very excited for this! I'm thinking I'll have to read some Borges—I seem to keep bumping up against him in my other reading this year, so it's time I finally met his works. I also have some Latin American short story collections that were complied in the 1960s (I think), so I rather imagine they have some interesting selections—and would challenge my dwindling memory from Spanish class!

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    1. Yes, I did see your comment over at Stu's blog, Amanda, but it's still great for me to be able to personally welcome you over here! Glad you're excited about the event, and Borges and Lat Am short stories in general should provide some wonderful choices (of course, beaucoup bonus points to you for whatever you decide to take on in Spanish). ¡Saludos!

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  10. I just decided I'm in for the Onetti readalong. I've read him before and liked him a lot.
    I will post about the event on Sunday or Tuesday.

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    1. Excellent news, Caroline, esp. since I kind of stopped reading the Onetti earlier in the year in the hopes that we could link up a group read with the one Obooki's been hosting! Anyway, thanks in advance for any publicity about the event you're able to provide. The more, the merrier and all that. Cheers!

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  11. Count me in for Bartleby y compañía - your and Stu's idea is coming just at the right time for me as I just got that book. I'm very excited to read it.

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    1. Great to hear that, Bettina! I hope you enjoy the Vila-Matas as much as I did the first time around, but the timing sounds just about perfect for now at least. ¡Nos vemos!

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  12. I will join in. I will at least read a short story or two.

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    1. Mel, nice to have you join us--looking forward to seeing what short stories you have in store!

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  13. I'll join! Might be a bit slow starting, as my family's moving in early July and I'll have to pack/unpack everything. I used German lit month to catch up on all the German novels I had purchased and never read, so I'll do the same with Spanish lit month. I have several books by Marquez, one by Allende, Tales from the Town of Widows, and several picaresque novels...

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  14. Susanna, delighted to meet you and to have you join us! The event's running all month long, so no worries about a slow start or anything like that. Anyway, look forward to seeing what works you end up reading (the picaresque novels in particular intrigue me being as I'm a big fan of both Lazarillo de Tormes and Quevedo's Buscón) and will have to see what you read for German Lit Month--a fond memory that month was, to be sure. Cheers!

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  15. I'm in but I have no idea what I'll pick.

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    1. Glad to have you join us, Guy! Other than the readalong choices, I haven't decided on any particular works yet either. Plenty of time...

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  16. Will be following with great interest, not sure if I'll have time for much more but if I do may slip a poem or two in. Thanks to you & stu in anticipation of an increased bookpile.

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    1. Gary, it'd be a pleasure to have you join us for a poem or two should you have the time. Until then, though, thanks for letting us know that you'll be following along from the sidelines--it's nice to hear that people are interested even if they might be too busy to participate. Cheers!

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  17. It's a great idea.

    I'm moving my Bolano, my Vargas Llosa and my Sepulveda on higher on the TBR. I'll see what I can do, July is a very busy month at work for me.

    Emma

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    1. It would be great if you could join us, Emma, but we'll understand if you're just too busy in July. With any luck, the month will at least provide some good future book recommendations for people whether they're able to participate or not. À bientôt!

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  18. Hello Richard, I have never knowingly read a paranormal romance and would love to participate in Spanish Lit Month. Hurrah!

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    1. Helen, excellent news...on both counts, ha ha! Really glad to have you join us. I thought I was mostly paranormal romance-free myself at one point, but somebody reminded me a couple of years ago that Dante's Divine Comedy kind of fit the bill. Cheers!

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  19. Looking forward to our month Richard sorry for delay in reply I ve a number of books read ready now need to start writing post slowly of next few weeks to get content ready ,all the best stu

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    1. Stu, you've already read a number of books for the event? Isn't that cheating since it's not even July yet? LOL! Anyway, I'm looking forward to the month, too, and am about ready to start stocking up on snacks and beverages so I can read all month long without any unnecessary interruptions. Cheers!

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  20. I am reading Don Quixote, but in *June*. Dang. Okay, though, I am officially in for the Vila-Matas group read, and I might move up my plans for some Borges to July as well. Depends how fast my other reading goes.

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    1. Jenny, delighted to have you join us for the Vila-Matas and whatever else you have time for! And just so you know, I think DQ's a special enough book that we could fudge the rules and count a June read of it for a July read. It's all summer after all, right? :D

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  21. Respuestas
    1. A couple of undeveloped observations here.

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    2. Jeremy, will be by soon to leave a comment on your post. Cheers!

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  22. I don't think I'll be joining in any of your events, but I have a feeling that I will have a few reviews of Spanish-language lit. during July :)

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    1. Tony, glad to have you join us in any way, shape or form--will look forward to your reviews!

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  23. Count me in. Here's my post:

    http://inkquilletc.blogspot.in/2012/06/last-year-one-of-events-that-i-enjoyed.html

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    1. Neer, glad to have you join us! Look forward to seeing what you choose to read for the event. Cheers!

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