Thanks to my awesome mother-in-law I received by mail the book “Nada” by Carmen Laforet translated by Edith Grossman, yes I’ve been cheating, but before you take offense I am still reading the Spanish version.
Basically, for my Spanish Literature class we have been given a book to read that we will discuss in some weeks time, my grade is based on the discussion. Since I don’t read Spanish that well, especially when it’s a 300 page novel, the task seemed extremely daunting until . . . I found an English translation.
That translation is now in my possession and two days ago I picked up the book and didn’t put it down until last night or should I say this morning at 1 am. I love to read. I am always looking for new books to get lost in. Thankfully my teacher has great taste in books! I would strongly recommend “Nada.”
It’s one of the few books written about post-Civil War Spain. It is about a girl around the age of 18 that comes to her extended family in Barcelona to study at the University. She finds that her family, who used to be rich and well respected, has fallen into poverty after the war. They are not the same people they were and she finds herself caught in their messy lives, involved and yet standing separate as a spectator. It is about her time living with them coming to terms with the girlhood dreams she arrived with and the reality of what life is truly like.
I’ve never been so enchanted by such a strange, sad, and somewhat distressing novel. The imagery that the author uses completely sweeps you up and the characters have so much depth and intensity. The book was both thought provoking and surprising.
One quote I found extremely interesting was from Andrea (the girl) thinking about her aunt Angustias, it reads, “I didn’t know why that awful indignation with her rose in me, why the mere sight of her body and especially her innocent delusions of grandeur blocked out the light for me. It’s difficult to get along with people of another generation, even when they don’t try to impose their way of seeing things on us. And when they do want to make us see with their eyes, for the experiment to even be moderately successful the older people need great tact and sensitivity, and the young need to feel admiration for them.”
Tomorrow Grayson and I leave for Seville where we will be sight-seeing until Saturday when we will travel to Granada and sight-see some more. I will have lots of pictures to share with you on Monday, but until then friends, Chao!