Wassup Rockers

On Books and On Time.

I’ve been absent from here.  I’m sure you don’t care.  But I do want to spend a few minutes writing about this absence.

When I graduated from school a few months ago, one of things that excited me most was the prospect of finally being able to read whatever the fuck I pleased for whatever fucking reason I wanted.  No more assigned reading?  Hurrah!

So here I’ve been, these past few months, and I have all this time in my hands, but I’m not sure how to divide it properly.  Most of my time is spent at work, or asleep, or eating a meal, and then finally there’s some sort of leisure time.  It’s bad enough I haven’t been keeping in contact with people, but then there’s the constant “Should I be reading or should I be writing?” issue.  It’s the kind of reading too.  I have all this fiction on my shelves waiting to be read, and then there’s all these blogs that matter a lot to me and have so much of substance to say that must be read NOW because in the blog world timeliness is next to godliness, right?

And then in terms of writing I have to decide whether I want to blog, or write in my real journal, or if I want to work on little poems and cuentos and such–all of this writing is basically worthless but somehow fulfilling.

On top of that I’m such a fiend with pop culture that I have a fierce desire to keep up with television and such not just because I love it but because it’s a great way to connect with people.

Anyway, my priorities have been as such: work, food, sleep, reading, and writing.

Work is going great, I spend most of my money on food, I sleep as fitfully as I have done for most of my life.  I’ve been reading some awesome shit.  Like at McNally Jackson, I magically found (multiple!) copies of Etiqueta Negra which blew my mind.  Y’know, that magazine that Daniel Alarcón is affiliated with.  I spent ten sweet dollars on it, which was a shitload of money but I still hope that my purchase will signal to them that people are interested in those sorts of magazines.

I finally got these Sandman volumes from the library that I’d been awaiting for a couple of months.  I finished The Doll’s House and it was almost as exciting as the first time I read it.  Neil Gaiman is untouchable.  He was around last night at some event for his new book, which I’d had a chance to go.

The other great thing I’ve been reading tonight is this blog called Three Percent, which focuses on literature in translation.  I’ve spent a few hours checking out their older posts and I just want to weep with excitement because sometimes you feel so alone…  After graduation I’ve been gravitating more and more towards authors who don’t publish in English, so this sort of blog (that leads to even more blogs!!) is heavenly, just because I can see that my interest isn’t unique and because it means there’s a chance to participate in continuing dialogues about literature around the world.

Speaking of translations, I noticed that Oscar Wao has finally been translated into Spanish.  I was curious as to how they would pull that off, so I glanced at a copy and I was like, “OH.  MY.  GOD.”  You know what they did?  There is an extra set of footnotes.  If you’ve read the novel, you know that Díaz uses extensive footnotes, except the novel in general makes so many references to all sorts of shit (not just sci-fi namecheckin’) that the Spanish translators had to add their own footnotes to give context.  Yikes!  That must be a bitch to read!  I can’t even understand how they handled the whole Spanglish issue.

Sigh…  The suckiest thing for me right now is knowing that certain books exist and not being able to buy them because having them shipped from far away is just too expensive.  (Oh, hello Ville Ranta… I hope to own Papa est un peu fatigué someday…)  This is the sort of shit that makes me regret that I went to a private university.  What with the shitty economy, I fear I’ll never pay off my loans.  What about the public library, you say?  They don’t even carry Andrés Caicedo!  How am I supposed to learn what Fuguet is fucking fussing about if I can’t get a copy of Caicedo’s works?  Bah!


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