Sunday, January 27, 2013

Descending into Description

I picked up a novel by Spanish writer, Almudena Grandes, a writer perhaps best known for Las Edades de Lulu. I was thrilled to discover page after page of descriptive writing! The first section starts with the details of the protagonist waking up, repeating in his mind- “I will not quit smoking”, and looking at himself in the mirror with all the details arriving to the conclusion, “I just turned 41.” It makes me think an American writer would be admonished to find just one verb to describe the pain and realism that Grandes does so effectively with her long sentences and adjectives, and God, forbid, adverbs.

I loved the description of the hidden ice skating rink in Bolano’s “ La pista de hielo”. I savored the book page after page. I haven’t found this beauty in writing in any recent (or not so recent) American novel I’ve read. Let me know if there is any out there, please.

So in this deep winter with cold and ice, and an injury (caused by some unknown force) I am, aided with tramadol, at home, reading and writing. I’m starting on my second crime novel, with the worry that I will keep accumulating works that never get published. I told myself that doesn’t matter. It’s the only way to keep on.

And thanks to a book I’ve been reading, Spanish again, I played around with the juxtaposition so wonderfully present in Spanish poetry.

City crows

the size of kittens

dance on my breakfast spoon.

I hide under a leaf,

wait for heavy rains

of spring to shake.