2) A book of poems by Tomas Tranströmer, random browsing through which suggests that Swedes, contrary to their reputation, suffer just as passionately as your garden-variety Greek, Italian, Irishman, or biblical prophet, though they may do so more quietly. Here's one stanza (translated by Joanna Bankier) that hit home, and not just because of my recent clothes shopping:
"In the middle of life it happens that death comes3) Yasmina Khadra's memoir L'écrivain. I've wanted to read this since I read an excerpt in which this Algerian author resident in France (he writes the Brahim Llob crime novels, among other books) explains why he writes in French rather than his native language:
and takes your measurements. This visit
is forgotten and life goes on. But the suit is
sewn in the silence."
"I wanted to write. In Russian, Chinese, Arabic. But to write! At the beginning, I wrote in Arabic. My Arabic teacher ridiculed me, whereas my French teacher encouraged me."4) A book of maxims and reflections by La Rochefoucauld. Expect this blog to become more pithy, witty, and jaded under its influence. And expect me to try to sneak one of the maxims into the blog, uncredited, in the next year.
© Peter Rozovsky 2012