Thursday, December 20, 2018

Christine Brooke-Rose, Amalgamemnon (1984)

Brooke-Rose never ceases to astonish. I mean, maybe she should; honestly, this isn't that unlike Such. It's not a break in the same way Subscript was. But still: it's amazing. To me. Anyway.
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Monday, December 10, 2018

Manuel Mujica Lainez, Bomarzo (1962)

So here's one you won't have heard of.  I discovered it via this list of "books you didn't even known existed in translation," which seems like a bit of an odd way to title that: if I knew about any of these books, period, I probably would've idly checked to see if there were English translations.  As it happens, however, I didn't know about them, in any language, and indeed I was only aware of one of the authors (Nikos Kazantzakis).  Some of them looked more interesting to me than others, but for whatever reason, I chose this one to read.  Well, I say "whatever reason," but there are perfectly straightforward reasons: I was still sort of on an incipient Latin-American-Boom kick, for one, and the fact that this was translated by none other than Gregory Rabassa certainly didn't hurt.  But then there were also economic reasons, which probably don't say good things about how capitalism makes us act: so I looked the book up on the usual sites, and I saw that, for whatever reason, the gods of the free market had decided that the minimum price for used copies should be seventy dollars.  Now...I wasn't likely to pay that kind of money for a book completely on spec.  But when I idly looked on ebay and found a copy available for only twenty-five...well, comparatively it just seemed like such a deal that I couldn't resist it (it had been there for a while, and the fact that it hadn't been snapped up indicated to me that the odds of those seventy-dollar copies selling is somewhat slim).  Blah.
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