|"When I was a kid, my mom didn't take me to toy stores, she took me to bookstores (and museums). It all started with her, reciting poetry and song lyrics. When I began to read, it was mostly scary stories and fantasy; after a brief rebellious phase, I read almost all of Agatha Christie's novels, a few terrible romances, and Harry Potter and Tolkien. In High school I preached about Edgar Allan Poe and Horacio Quiroga - to the dismay of the nuns in my Catholic school-, before moving on to banned classics that described my reality, like 1984.
By the time I started University, I had read half of Borges' work and, instead of studying Physics and Chemical Elements, I hid in the Library to read about magic mirrors and impossible characters of the Latin American boom (Cortázar). When I started Comp. Lit, it was game over: Deleuze & Guatari, Barthes, Eagleton, Jung, Calvino, Rilke, Benjamin, Woolf, Ajmatova; I wanted to read it all. Once in the US, I reread some books in English and have since tried to read contemporary American authors, particularly women:Didion, Plath, Lahiri, Yanagihara, Moore, and so on.
My weakness, though, will forever be Venezuelan poetry (Cadenas, Montejo) and anything related to Greek mythology.
A few reviews of books that opened doors and worlds:"
Striking and ethereal, Rilke mourns poetry and beauty, the world, and himself with the delicacy and definitiveness of his mystical prose.
A seductive way to view writing, reading, and the beauty of text as a combination of words weaved together, their meaning, their rhythm, the way they feel when they’re spoken. A beautiful text about texts written in delicate prose that reveals Barthes’ immense wisdom.
Fear is the word that constantly comes to mind when reading 1984. Fiction copying reality at its best, Orwell's timeless novel describes the fear we might feel of a one power that sees and controls all.
Nonsensical and yet perfectly reasonable, this series tells the evolution of the universe through the eyes of an ever living character that sees all, feels all, and lives all. A perfect bedside book to be melancholic, ponder about life itself, or laugh at the silly ideas we make of ourselves.
With his particular economy of words, Baricco weaves a love story with the weight of far off lands and birdcages, and the lightness of silk and feathers.
Crude and piercing, a description of separation, divorce, and single motherhood has never been so accurate. As with all her work, Ferrante displays a side of women rarely exposed: their raw suffering and their raw sexuality, proving how human and flawed they are, even at their best.
Who knew Grief could be beautiful and hopeful as well as sharp and painful. Didion's writing is poignant and eye opening, and she spares us of nothing in her portrayal of loss.
An almost aggressive and yet gorgeous take on what it feels like to be a first generation American, a writer at heart, and a queer boy who discovers his sexuality in the wheat fields of Connecticut.
Sweet, funny, and honest, this graphic novel doesnt mince words on gender, sexuality, and mental health. Indispensable read for teenagers and adults willing to understand our current world and the one to come.