“Writing is my way of being a cat and shedding fur, or phrases, onto the armchair.”
“My notebook is my guitar though its not always in tune.”
“My notebook is my waiting room.”
I have been keeping an eye out for interesting books for Spanish and Portuguese Lit month and this one sounded very interesting. I admit I had a few qualms about “stream of consciousness” though. It won an award called PEN Translates which aims to encourage UK publishers to bring out more books translated from other languages. (It is not the same as the Pen Translation Prize).
“Unlearning yourself is more important than knowing yourself.”
“Does this story contain all the stories I am?”
“Waiting. It never stars, never ends. We never arrive. We arrive somewhere like Lisbon, but never at a conclusion.”
“The foreign country of adult life.”
The narrator is recovering from some sort of accident. Her guy, Jonas, is away. This gives rise to her telling lots of interesting bon mots, some little stories, little notes, factoids, vignettes, a bit of narrative, a few paragraphs, facts or factoids populate most of this story–most with a good deal of reflection on life. All are written in the ideal notebook while she is recovering. Some repeat a bit on a sort of loop, but I have no idea if that is why the title was chosen.
Some favorite quotes:
“I remember there’s a point in Waiting for Godot when the characters swap hats again and again. A bit like politicians.” [see the bottom of this post]
“What would the ideal politician be like?…Instead we are stuck with cartoons. And they do too much harm.”
“Neurotic people who need positions of power. Stupid people who need someone even more stupid next to them. Insecure people need the approval of strangers. Loyal people surrounded by traitors.”
“Its almost like childhood is the origin of fiction: describing any past event over and over to see how far away you’re getting from reality.”
Having just endured that “surreal” mess translated from Spanish, I went into this one a bit leery, but was pleasantly surprised. Overall, I thought the premise worked very well. I was often able to relate to what the author was thinking or “saying” in that notebook of hers. I wish I’d bought this so I can keep all the quotes I highlighted in the e-text of this book. It was such fun.
The Loop by Brenda Lozano, translated by Annie McDermott
Sounds like a good one. Glad you liked it more than the previous fiasco.
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Lol this one was fun