This morning I was sure I knew which book of short stories would be best. Now I’m not so sure. I’ve whittled it down to two choices. After reading comments I thought it would be best if we went with Great Spanish and Latin American Short Stories of the 20th Century or Short Stories in Spanish: New Penguin Parallel Text (Spanish and English Edition). That will give us the most variety. Not to mention that both are parallel text books, so anyone who doesn’t feel comfortable enough with Spanish has the option of reading in English. Por si acaso for any lurkers 😉
Time got away from us and Kat and I realized it’s been a while since there’s been a book club.
You sleep restlessly. You awake in a daze. You sleepwalk through your morning ablutions. Aura calls you for breakfast. You ask her once and for all if the old woman is keeping her against her will. Aura loves the old lady. She has sacrificed for Aura. Aura would never leave her. Aura tells you that the old woman will be out for the rest of the day. You decide to look through her trunk. You read the third folio. You discover that Consuelo and the General were never able to have children, a fact that he General believed to have affected Consuelo’s sanity. The General found her one day, claiming to have “re-created her.” You find a picture of Consuelo and the General. His image looks like yours. You go back to your room and fall asleep.
You finish with the folio and go in search of Aura. You witness her butchering a goat in the kitchen. Disgusted, you go up to Consuelo’s room. You witness her in the middle of a pantomime. You realize what she’s doing You rush back down to the kitchen and find Aura mirroring the movements of Consuelo upstairs. You go back to your room and fall into a stupor of sleep. You have a bizarre dream about the old woman and Aura. A knock at the door and the dinner bell awaken you.
You get to work on the first folio. You don’t find anything extraordinary about them. You begin to think maybe you can stretch the work out. Maybe you can collect enough from this job to spend a year working on your own master work, a history of the Spanish conquest.
Note: In recent years, Columbus Day (and by extension El Día de la Raza) has become controversial. I'm one of those people who thinks that the controversy is a good thing. We should not sanitize history. We can still celebrate Columbus' historical importance, but we cannot ignore what it meant for the millions of people who were already on this continent and how colonization/exploitation has affected current world events.
In 2011 Alabama passed HB 56, beating Arizona for the “most discriminating lawmaking” award. That same year I also attended a Spanish immersion workshop about the history of the U.S. involvement in Latin America and its impact on immigration. Since then, I try to seek out books on this theme and make a habit of reading them. Most of these are in English. Some are also available in Spanish.
Summary Capítulo 1
You discover you are actually Felipe Montero, not the mere reader of a book. You are an expert in history and French. You read an ad for a job that seems made just for you. You go to the house and inquire within. You meet an old woman. You discover that you will be required to live in the house. You hesitate until you meet Aura, the old woman’s niece.
How to read
Q: In your professional opinion, if I don’t understand at least one word per sentence, should I keep trying to read a book or come back to it later?
October is just around the corner and for me that usually means reading creepy or scary books. While I was poking around my shelves and organizing my TBR pile for October (The Halloween Tree and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow are annual traditions for me), I ran across my copy of Aura by Carlos Fuentes. I asked Kat if I could give the Book Club a try this time and she was all for it (¡Gracias, amiga!)
One reason I like to watch Spanish language television is to hone my listening skills, but I can’t forget about reading either. Mainly I like reading because I tend to be a little more actively involved. I can neither confirm nor deny that I tend to let my mind wander when I watch TV.