Book List

I've posted my English versions of the opening cantos of Vicente Gerbasi's 1945 poem "Mi padre, el inmigrante" at my Antología blog. I've made various changes since I first posted those versions here 2 years ago.


Got to swim in Buzzards Bay twice last weekend, the water turning colder by the week. Out in Cape Cod, I finally finished Ednodio Quintero's fine first novel La danza del jaguar (Monte Ávila Editores, 1991). The novel is structured in five distinct books, ranging from the protagonist's childhood in the mountains of Mérida, to Paris, Nancy and the Ivory Coast, ending in the Amazonian jungles of southern Venezuela.


Now reading the Argentine novelist César Aira's book, El congreso de literatura (Tusquets Editores, 1999), in which a writer and scientist recounts his visit to the Bienal de Literatura Mariano Picón Salas at the Universidad de los Andes in Mérida, where he tries to make clones of Carlos Fuentes.


I've ordered copies of two novels:

Antonio López Ortega, Ajena (Alfaguara, 2001)
Heriberto Yépez, A.B.U.R.T.O. (Sudamericana, 2005)

I don't know if the bookstore in Cambridge will be able to find them. Each chosen text a crucial aspect of a reading life. Talismanic qualities alongside the practical benefits of reading as sustenance.

Sergio Téllez-Pon discussed Yépez's latest novel at his blog last month. I'm increasingly drawn to the novel form, even though I don't think I can write one at the moment. But as a reader, the novel has everything I look for in poetry.


We'll be going to see Zadie Smith read from her new novel, On Beauty (Penguin), later this month in Brookline. The novel takes place here in Boston.


I am adjusting to the brutal fact that Venezuela will have to endure its present misery and disgrace for many years. May my words serve as a form of resistance to ignorance, violence and fear.

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