Thursday, May 04, 2006

I think I gave the impression, below, that we were already moving house -- we're not. We're still in the almost stage of moving and it's dawning on us just how much there is to do before the physical part of it happens. The least unpleasant bit of which is a trip to Barcelona, where Eleni will be reading in the international poetry festival and where I will be drinking espresso and speaking bad Spanish to folks who would rather hear bad Catalan. Well, maybe they would.

At any rate, spurred by something George Saunders says in an interview on boldtype, I pulled my George Reavey translation of Dead Souls off the shelf, which had been languishing, as best I can recall, since a certain rickety busride near Chetumal in the Yucatan some years back, and read 10 or 15 pp from the second (unfinished) volume. And was glad, indeed, that I had.

"Where can one not procure enjoyment? It is to be had in Petersburg in spite of the austere and gloomy appearance of that city. There is a raging thirty-degree frost crackling down its streets; that fiend of the north, that witch of a blizzard, howls along, blotting out the pavements, blinding the eyes, powdering fur collars, moustaches and the shaggy muzzles of horses, but somewhere above, on the fourth floor, a window glimmers in a friendly sort of way through the spinning snowflakes..."


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