You cannot stop the birds of sorrow from flying overhead and crapping on your head, but you can stop them from nesting in your hair.
To Don Asterio Alarcón, timekeeper of Valparaíso by Pablo Neruda Valparaíso has the smell of a crazy port, the smell of a shadow, of a star, of moon-scale and fish-tail. The heart shudders on the harrowing stairways of the bristling hills: grave poverty and black eyes dance there in the fog and the flags […]
PREVIEW | FICTION FIESTA 2015 Fiction Fiesta started out three years ago as a conversation in a pub between myself and Nick Davidson, landlord of the now defunct Promised Land in Windsor Place, Cardiff. I was expecting a visit from two Argentinian writers, Andrés Neuman and Jorge Fondebrider, and Nick and I decided to hold […]
Lydia Davis, in inimitable style, consolidates the elements of reading, writing and travel in a short piece from her 1997 collection, Almost no Memory: Michel Butor says that to travel is to write, because to travel is to read. This can be developed further: To write is to travel, to write is to read, to […]
More translation – literary and the other, everyday kind – and more thoughts on being a foreigner: “Foreigners are, if you like, curable romantics” writes Alastair Reid. “The illusion they retain, perhaps left over from their mysterious childhood epiphanies, is that there might be a place – and a self – instantly recognisable, into which […]
Continuing my readings of Alastair Reid, while travelling in Chile, I find the following: “The fictions we make are ways of ordering and dominating the disorders of reality, even though they in no way change it. The ‘truth’ of a fiction is less important than its effectiveness; and since reality is shifting and changing, […]