This Icelandic novel promises to be a challenging (and rewarding) book. I will try to resist the temptation to read too far ahead.
The first read is a short one (pp 1-31) and the podcast is an informative one with the translator, Lytton Smith, as Chad's guest.
Last week I fell behind on my “Deal Me In 2017!” short story challenge so I have two this week.
Last week's Story: The Facts Concerning the Recent Carnival of Crime in Connecticut by Mark Twain (on my Kindle)
A clever story about a man who comes face to face with his conscious, there is a verbal duel, the man wins, society loses.
Card: The Ace of Clubs from the Game of Authors.
This week's Story: Egyptian Puppet by Vicente Molina Foix, translated by Frank Wynne (in Lunatics, Lovers and Poets: Twelve Stories after Cervantes and Shakespeare, edited by Daniel Hahn and Margarita Valencia; introduction by Salman Rushdie)
This anthology was put together to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the deaths of Shakespeare and Cervantes. Six English speaking authors were asked to contribute original stories inspired by Cervantes. Six Spanish language authors contributed stories inspired by Shakespeare.
This story was inspired as much by Shakespeare's times as much as by his works. It is not a retelling of any work, it is a telling of what life might have been like for one of the theater goers who attended one of the plays. Margaret attends a performance Antony and Cleopatra with her husband, a prison guard. The next day the husband disappears and this is the story of Margaret after that. It involves a meeting with a performer and a look backstage at the Globe.
As with all such projects, the quality and appeal of the stories vary. I suspect that I didn't start with the best although I appreciate the approach the author took with it. I look forward to reading the other stories. The other authors are Ben Okri, Kamila Shamsie, Juan Gabriel Vasquez, Yuri Herrera, Nell Leyshon, Marcos Giralt Torrente, Hisham Matar, Soledad Puértolas, Deborah Levy, Rhidian Brook, and Valeria Luiselli.
The card was the Two of Spades: According to Rushdie in the introduction "We don't know if they [Shakespeare and Cervantes] were aware of each other...."
Perhaps they will meet in some future or alternate world and will be joined at the hip and collaborate on some wondrous, Spanglish, steampunk classic.
The card, appropriately, is from a sort of art anthology--the Collective Art Project (CAP) Deck: 52 Aces Playing Cards by Zeixs [2nd Edition] The 2♠ is by Argentine artist Diego Hernan Mazzeo
And while I am on the subject of anthologies, here is an ambitious project: the Global Anthology "an initiative that highlights a work of prose from every country on Earth, as well as many nations, states, sovereignties, territories, and flag-less regions." These are links to material in various online publications. Each piece is written in or translated into English and each writer is native to the country represented. Worth exploring.
And I finished this from my shelves...
Nowhere People by Paulo Scott, translated from the Portuguese by Daniel Hahn
Not much to say about this fine novel. The info on Goodreads says it all.