Saturday, January 12, 2008

Something about books

As I have mentioned some times before, I do not want this blog to become a blog only about travelling... and the last posts are pretty much about that though. Therefore, now I will talk a bit about miscellaneous things.

The first one is about reading. Rikel has talked several times in his blog about the 50 books in a year challenge. That means reading a book every week (more or less), which is quite ambitious! However, since mid August I have been reading at that rhythm. I have read many books recently. Therefore, I have decided I am going to keep a record of the books I have been reading from the beginning of the year. For the moment, I have already read 2 books, even though I was travelling until 4th January. The books I have read are:
- "South of the Border, West of the Sun" by Haruki Murakami (in Spanish)
- "The trial" by Franz Kafka (in Spanish)

The first of the two books was superb. I read my first book by Murakami last year (it was "Tokyo Blues. Norwegian Wood") and I got completely hypnothized by it until I finished it. Really good! His language is fluent and not too complex, but some sentences and reflexions are simply so good, so clever. It makes your feelings arise and your wits be alert for the next big statement!

The second book is a classic among classics I had been wanting to read for a very long time. It is one of Kafka's most famous books. It is a posthumous novel and therefore, unfinished. It looks like a collection of chapters not properly linked. And the final chapter is too short, like if it had been written on a rush. It is necessary to know Kafka's biography to understand it properly. The book is fantastic. It is about a man who is arrested and who has a process started against him. However, he is not aware of anything he has done wrongly... and nobody can tell him why he is being processed! The whole situation is so absurd. Besides, the precision in his language makes the situations are grotesque at some point. It reminded me of the "esperpento" by the Spanish writer Valle-Inclan (in "Luces de Bohemia" for instance). The whole situation seems strange but the poor man cannot do anything to stop the on-going process. Finally, he ends up giving up. It is a really strong critism about bureaucracy and law. Fantastic. It is a pitty this guy died so soon. When I was at high school, I read "Methamorphosis", and it looked to me as a very strange book. I should read it again soon to compare what is my feeling towards it at the moment. It is interesting to check how the meaning and significance of a book can change when read at different points of your life.

The next book I will read is "Kafka on the Shore" by Haruki Murakami again (in English). I will keep you informed. Good night out there!

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