Saturday, March 17, 2012
Purchased at an event during the 2008 PEN World Voices Festival.
I went to New York as a guest blogger for the festival and also to check out potential speakers for the then-brand-new Babel series. I believe this event took place at the Instituto Cervantes. It was a celebration of the publisher of this book, Anagrama, which functions in the Spanish-speaking word in much the same way as New Directions does in the English. That is, they publish high quality literature from around the world instead of pumping out bestsellers.
The panel consisted of Daniel Sada, Enrique Vila-Matas, Siri Hustvedt, another woman I can't remember, another male writer, possibly Ernesto Grossman, and the publisher, whose name I can't recall. Paul Auster was sitting in the front row.
My most vivid memory is that the translator was terrible. I understood all the Spanish, which was fine, but the translations were so bad that people in the audience started shouting out, "No, no," because she kept missing the meaning. Eventually, they yanked her off the stage and brought someone else out.
Anyhow, Daniel Sada talked about how he writes all of his sentences using classical Greek meters, which I found intriguing, so I bought this book, which I have yet to read. It's quite dense and requires more concentration than I have been able to give it.