Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Book 26

  1. Meredith, Martin — The State of Africa: A History of Fifty Years of Independence (736 pages)
  2. Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o — Wizard of the Crow (766 pages)
  3. Coetzee, J.M. — Life & Times of Michael K (182 pages)
  4. Saint-Exupery, Antoine de — The Little Prince (101 pages)
  5. Brunner, John — Stand on Zanzibar (661 pages)
  6. Dahl, Roald — Fantastic Mr Fox (79 pages)
  7. Walker, Barbara — TEENY-TINY and the Witch-Woman (29 pages)
  8. Shakespeare, William — A Midsummer Night's Dream (23 pages)
  9. Powers, Richard — The Time of Our Singing (631 pages)
  10. McEwan, Ian — In Between the Sheets (134 pages)
  11. Ishiguro, Kazuo — A Pale View of Hills (182 pages)
  12. Niven, Larry — Ringworld (284 pages)
  13. Anderson, Poul — Tau Zero (184 pages)
  14. Eisenberg, Bryan & Jeffrey, with Lisa T. Davis — Call to Action: Secret Formulas to Improve Online Results (273 pages)
  15. Andrews, Stephen E. and Nick Rennison — 100 Must-Read Science Fiction Novels (205 pages)
  16. Andrews, Stephen E. and Nick Rennison — 100 Must-Read Fantasy Novels (197 pages)
  17. Niles, Steve and Ben Templesmith — 30 Days of Night (103 pages)
  18. Terkel, Studs — And They All Sang: Great Musicians Talk about Their Music (321 pages)
  19. Andrews, Stephen E. and Duncan Bowis — 100 Must-Read Books for Men (200 pages)
  20. Dahl, Roald — The Witches (202 pages)
  21. Millar, Mark and J.G. Jones and Paul Mounts — Wanted (192 pages)
  22. Hoban, Russell — Riddley Walker (240 pages)
  23. Perkins, E.J. — American English English American (47 pages)
  24. Stevenson, Robert Louis — A Child's Garden of Verses (109 pages)
  25. Hart, Johnny — B.C. Strikes Back (156 pages)
  26. Neruda, Pablo — Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair (62 pages)

Page count: 6296.

I have been reading through Neruda's Veinte Poemas all year. (I gave the English title above, as that is what this edition uses, but I will refer to the poems by their Spanish title, Veinte Poemas de Amor y una Canción Desesperada, from here on out.) I have read each of the English translations at least once and each of the original poems no less than three times. Indeed, I chose to recite two of them in my recital at the Pushkin House earlier this year and read those countless times while memorizing them.

I am not particularly well read in poetry, but of what I know Neruda stands alongside Shakespeare as one of my two favorite poets. (It would perhaps be more precise to say that Shakespeare's Sonnets and Neruda's Veinte Poemas de Amor y una Canción Desesperada are my two favorite collections of poetry, but I do not know poetry well enough to make that distinction.)

What strikes me most about Neruda is the evocativeness of his language — the sensuality, the emptiness, the longing, the melancholy, the nostalgia, the raw emotion and fragile tenderness, the pain and the joy.

I don't think there's much I can say that wouldn't diminish the impression I wish to convey. Rather than let me tell you about them, go read these poems. If you can, read them in the original Spanish.

But if you can't read Spanish, then please don't read the translations by W.S. Merwyn. They are awful! He attempts a literal word-for-word translation: the result is horribly unpoetic, with the occasionally mistranslated word or an idea. (And the editing in both languages is sloppy as well.) I don't have a clue whose translations I could recommend, but I do feel Merwyn's translations do Neruda a disservice.

Latest Month

December 2016
Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Lilia Ahner