August favourites #20: 20th century novel

August 20, 2018

51Kz09gvDWL._AC_US218_I’ve been learning Spanish for the last few years, a retirement project I took on to keep my brain active and challenged, and I’ve been really lucky to have an excellent teacher and a very small class. I’d like to be able to read my choice of best twentieth century novel in the original; I have got so far as acquiring a copy, and because of my familiarity with the text, can make a stab at decoding a fair bit of the Spanish, but I think I’m still a long way before being able to enjoy Gabriel Garcia MarquezCien Años de Soledad – One Hundred Years of Solitude– in the original. Many years ago, when I was a teacher at Harrogate Grammar School, we had one year a Spanish language assistant who came from Colombia; it was shortly after Marquez had won the Nobel Prize for Literature and he was so rightly proud of his fellow-countryman that he translated the author’s acceptance speech for us and I still have my copy somewhere. It is a lovely book – I choose that word advisedly – magically carrying me through the story from start to finish, holding me utterly enthralled. I can’t recall how many times I’ve read it; I’ve worn out one copy and am on my second.

I’m doing something different for the holiday month of August, writing about some of my favourites: poems, plays, music, art and other things, a short piece on a different topic each day. The categories are random, as are the choices within them, meaning that’s my favourite that day, and is subject to change… And I will try and explain why each choice is special for me. As always, I look forward to your comments.

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