Ideally, art would give us answers that other people don’t. This might even be one of the main points of literature: to tell us what society at large is too prudish to explore. The important books should be those that leave us wondering, with relief and gratitude, how the author could possibly have known so much about our lives.
It is with utmost relief and gratitude that the writer Gabriel García Márquez must have felt, upon having his work translated by the revered Gregory Rabassa (pictured above) who has died at the age of 94.
Translating is a very difficult job, not at all rewarding, and very badly paid. A good translation is always a re-creation in another language. That’s why I have such great admiration for Gregory Rabassa. My books have been translated into twenty-one languages and Rabassa is the only translator who has never asked for something to be clarified so he can put a footnote in. I think that my work has been completely re-created in English.
– Gabriel García Márquez,
The Art of Fiction No. 69 (The Paris Review)
Knowing who we are is central to understanding our deepest problems, but how far can one go in proclaiming that we actually don’t? Dive deep into a dear sister-in-the-struggle’s response to a piece that omits an entire movement’s efforts of genuine nation-building, central to the question of who we really are.
If all else fails, you could also dress the part. Here’s a delightful blog on dressing like books.
What’s your book look?
Pia Cortez is a writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She runs a book blog called Libromance where she reviews books and publishes literary features with a queer Filipino immigrant lens. She is a contributor at Hella Pinay, an online magazine for Filipino-American women and at New Life Quarterly, a literary magazine based in Oakland, California. She is currently working on her first novel.