It is almost like a lived dream in which the limits between reality and unreality blur. Books are quivering, murmuring creatures. He was a poet, quite a clever guy though not as clever as he thought , and likeable enough. The setting is Guatemala, but the wider troubles of society, more discussed in Rey Rosa's other novels, are kept deliberately in the background here:" There are far more serious problems here, but I don't want to talk about them now.
The " she " mentioned is the eponymous Severina, Ana Severina Bruguera Blanco, to give her full name, or at least the name she gives to the narrator " 'He doesn't have proof of identity you know, nor do I'. She smiled. And the Russian books are set as a trap to catch her: " I noticed her the first time she came into the store, and right from the start I picked her for a thief, although that day she didn't take anything.
And the rest of this brief novel is devoted to his pursuit of Severina, who remains an enigma, even as he gets close to her. But I felt there must have been another explanation, which I associated with an uncompromising approach to life: absolute freedom, a radical realisation of the ideal that I too had adopted one fine day - the ideal of living by and for books. There were black days when those fantasies faded away, leaving me pray to despondancy and remorse for a life half-lived. I would think: "You're kidding yourself; she's just a common thief, or, at best, a sad case, a kleptomaniac " With clear religious parallels, Ana Severina and her ostensible grandfather claim to be from a wandering, historical and entrepreneurial tribe of book lovers.
They believe themselves descendants of Lydians, who Herodutus, in The Histories, records as having invented dice games, before moving to "the land of the Ombricans", the present day Umbria, where Ana claims to have spent her childhood. As Ana Severina's Grandfather explains to the narrator: " Books have always been my life.
Both my father and grandfather lived exclusively from booms We have been accused of all sorts of vices and misdemanours, even crimes. But the only thing we do consistently is use books to make a living. Severina even claims to have entered the Holy of Holies, Borges's library, and her most valued relic is a copy of the Koran, valued for the annotations in the margins: " 'I took this book, just the one, from Borges's library.
The notes are his.
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There, in the margin, he started writing one of his stories. The bookshop takes it's name from a Cervantes play La Entretenida and Severina's surname Bruguera refers to one of Borges publishers, to give just two and the list of books that Severina steals from the narrator and many other shops is intriguing to both the reader and indeed the narrator: " I kept going over the books that she had taken from me and trying to imagine the complete list of every title she had ever stolen.
There is a beautiful review by Raphael Rerolle in Le Monde which expressed what he achieves better than I ever could "His work is extraordinarily precise, mythic, intriguing; it's literature without useless gestures, where beauty seems to be born of it's author's curious inclination toward silence. In "Severina," a bookstore owner falls in love with a woman who is beautiful, intelligent, and a thief of his merchandise and that of another bookstore owner in the area. Severina doesn't just steal books, she reads them, too; she doesn't just steal books, she steals books of rarest quality and value intrinsic and monetary.
Just who exactly Severina is, who exactly the old man she lives with is father, grandfather, husband? This is a remarkable piece of writing. It even provided me the occasion to re-read a A Paul Bowles short story. Thank you, Rodrigo! Interesting read set in Guatemala. A beautiful tale of love, of the material, of the self and of the loved. Sep 01, Tony Snyder rated it really liked it. This book is both mystifying and compelling.
I need to read it a few more times. Aug 03, Virginie rated it really liked it Shelves: slowly-reading-through-the-world. Reading the world in books: Guatemala. Feb 01, David Young rated it really liked it. Severina follows the narration of a lovelorn owner of an eclectic bookstore, who becomes obsessed with a beautiful woman who comes to his store to steal books. He looks forward to her visits, and, for a while, tacitly indulges her habit, but eventually confronts her in the act.
When he chooses to let her go, a flirtation opens up between them.
He soon finds himself drawn into her strange orbit, and then into delirious love. Her name is Ana Severina Bruguera Blanco, but he is sure of little else. She speaks with an unidentifiable accent—it could be Argentinian, or perhaps Uruguayan, he thinks—although she is listed as Honduran at the hotel where she stays. She is traveling with an older man, Otto Blanco, who a fellow bookseller and fellow victim of her thefts claims is her husband.
But Otto could also be her father, or grandfather, or just some shady character in hiding with her. And then there is the question of why she steals in the first place—is it out of some sort of compulsion, like a sickness, or does she have another hidden reason? If so, what could it be? Peppered throughout, like discrete pauses, are the small lists the narrator makes of each stolen book.
The effect is two-fold. The books, not the characters, are the point. We use these ebbs and flows the way a sailor uses ocean currents. We exploit them as best we can, beyond literary good and evil, so to speak.
We, that is, [Ana] and I, are still navigating the tides and currents of books. May 08, Roger Brunyate rated it liked it. The Book Thief Rodrigo Rey Rosa was an unknown name to me until I picked up this book at random in the library and, after reading the text, consulted the very helpful introduction by the translator Chris Andrews.
Born in , he is regarded as Guatemala's leading literary author, holding a place in the center of the younger generation of Latin American writers. Even more persuasive than that are the names of three late great writers associated with his work: Paul Bowles, who translated three of The Book Thief Rodrigo Rey Rosa was an unknown name to me until I picked up this book at random in the library and, after reading the text, consulted the very helpful introduction by the translator Chris Andrews.
Not that this slim novella has anything like the heft of a literary landmark. Its premise, though offbeat, is so simple as to be almost artificial. A bookstore owner in Guatemala City notices a young dark-haired woman coming into his store and slipping off with one or two books, somehow evading the alarm system. Not ordinary books either: the first day, they are some translations from the Japanese; then a few volumes of The Thousand and One Nights ; and some days later, some high-end editions of Russian literature.
At this point he tackles her, but lets her go; he is falling in love with her enigma. He doesn't know her name for sure; she says Ana, but when he tracks her down to her pension, she is registered as Severina. He discovers that she is with a much older man; she says her father, but it might equally well be a lover, husband, or something else. Even her nationality is uncertain; she speaks Spanish with an accent that emerges under stress. At any rate, the bookstore owner has become besotted with her, and the more he learns about the eclectic list of books she steals from himself and others, the more her mystery deepens.
Wide-ranging, for sure, and there are tantalizing hints of a political message; the Norman Lewis book, for instance, is about the covert US role in Latin American revolutions. The life of books, the life of ideas, the page as a global meeting-place for both inspiration and danger: in our chain-store age, it is touching to think that such a thing is possible. Indeed, it is a Borges text in a Borges book that brings this charmingly edgy fantasy to its conclusion.
So, usually, when I read, I try to always read a book in Spanish and then a book in English maybe you had already noticed. However, sometimes, it is hard for me to find books in Spanish to read. And I'm not saying there aren't some excellent Latin-American and Spanish-Speaking writers - of course there are; but sometimes I find it hard to balance classic or pseudo modern like 70's's writing with more contemporary ones.
So well, here and in some future entries, I'll try to incorporate a bi So, usually, when I read, I try to always read a book in Spanish and then a book in English maybe you had already noticed. So well, here and in some future entries, I'll try to incorporate a bit more contemporary novels to my Spanish reading. I start with this book by Rodrigo Rey Rosa from Guatemala.
The book claims to be a disturbing love story, but really It is about a girl who goes into a book shop to buy books and the owner of the shop discovers her and falls in love with her in a bit of an obsessive way and well It is fun, but I didn't think it was amazing. I don't feel like the author made an effort for the theme to really give enough and talking about someone who steals books I would think is a rich enough topic.
And what they say about it being disturbing I don't know if I'm desensitized or what, but I didn't really think so.
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Now, I can't write too much about this book because it is quite short and, as I say, I don't feel it contributed a lot to my life except for a couple of hours of entertainment. If you don't want anything overly complicated, I recommend it. And if you read it and find something more than I was able to I broke the rule and judged the book by its cover.
In this case, a simply beautiful, colorful cover of polish hardcover edition. ISSN This essay problematizes the dominant approach to health risk communication.
Severina - English Translation - Word Magic Spanish-English Dictionary
It thus consults and analyzes authors that present themselves as experts in risk communication and passages from mainstream audiovisual media broadcasts. While risk communication appears as an area of mediation between experts and the lay public, with the potential to generate technological innovation and potentially consumable merchandise, health risk communication occupies a biopolitical place that reinforces blaming individuals and individualizing risk avoidance proposals.
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