Wednesday, May 26, 2004

My Apologies

My apologies for my lack of verbosity this week. I am preoccupied with the final episodes of American Idol. There, I said it, my secret is out. After tonight I will be free from my horrible and incomprehensible desire to watch the show. When I'm not wondering if it will be Fantasia or Diana who wins, I have managed to read. I still have eight books going, but my main focus has been on Virginia Woolf's diary and a book I began a few days ago, The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon and translated by Lucia Graves. I am only on page 62 and I am in love with this book! It's 1945 Barcelona and Daniel's father, a widowed book dealer, takes Daniel to The Cemetery of Forgotten Books. Daniel is allowed to choose, or be chosen by, one book. It is that book, The Shadow of the Wind, a novel by Julian Carax, that sets the story rolling. The language is gorgeous and delightful, a real feast. I mean, how can any sane person resist writing like this:

The object of my devotion, a plush black pen, adorned with heaven knows how many refinements and flourishes, presided over the shop window as if it were the crown jewels. A Baroque fantasy magnificently wrought in silver and gold that shone like the lighthouse at Alexandria, the nib was a wonder in its own right...I was secretly convinced that with such a marvel one would be able to write anything, from novels to encyclopaedias, and letters whose supernatural power would surpass any postal limitations--a letter written with that pen would reach the most remote corners of the world, even that unknowable place which my father said my mother had gone and from where she would never return.
I can't begin to say how thrilled I am that I still have another 500 pages of this book to read. I'd like to find The Cemetery of Forgotten Books and I'd like that pen too.