Books Read – January 2010

I read 10 books, briefly reviewed here, which seems a reasonable beginning to the year.

Here are some of the more obscure authors:

  • Gregor von Rezzori was an Austro-Hungarian (a German living in what would – and indeed did – become Romania (actually now the Ukraine)). I’ve also read and greatly enjoyed his Memoirs of an Anti-Semite.
  • Juan Benet is generally considered one of the most important Spanish writers of the c20th, though not much of his work has been translated into English. He was very influenced by Faulkner (as you may notice if you ever read any).
  • Angeles Mastratta is a Mexican writer, winner of the presitigious Rómulo Gallegos.
  • Max Blecher was a Romanian writer, who suffered from a rare disease of the spine which he writes about and from which he died.
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8 thoughts on “Books Read – January 2010

  1. I suppose the author’s bios on Wikipedia don’t vary much: was born here; went to school there; wrote such and such a book. Blecher just has a life that was dominated by something other than writing.

  2. For what it’s worth, Ambrose Bierce’s wiki bio is rather good and the ending is a cracker:

    In October 1913 Bierce, then in his seventies, departed Washington, D.C., for a tour of his old Civil War battlefields. By December he had proceeded through Louisiana and Texas, crossing by way of El Paso into Mexico, which was in the throes of revolution. In Ciudad Juárez he joined Pancho Villa’s army as an observer, and in that role he witnessed the Battle of Tierra Blanca.

    Bierce is known to have accompanied Villa’s army as far as the city of Chihuahua. After a last letter to Blanche Partington, a close friend, dated December 26, 1913, he vanished without a trace…

    All investigations into his fate have proved fruitless, and despite an abundance of theories his end remains shrouded in mystery.

  3. The phrase ‘Ambrose Bierce’s wiki bio’ is actually a link. It might be an idea to configure this page so that links are a different (even if only slightly different) colour…just saying.

  4. It might be an idea to configure this page so that links are a different (even if only slightly different) colour…just saying.

    That’s how whoever designed it designed it. – I may, at some point, have a look through the CSS.

  5. Well done…I’ve read a few of Fuentes’ works but not that one, nor seen the film they made of it. I’ll have to read it now…

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