Sunday, June 10, 2007

Eustace Tilley, I love you

I've been here in Spain for almost 3 months, and have been deliberately limiting my reading in English, to try to force myself to focus on learning Spanish. But my friend PB was here visiting this past week, so I got to relax my self-imposed limits. So the four recent New Yorkers that she brought with her, and left here for me to read now that she has gone, have been an absolute gift.

I wish I could report that I have shown some discipline in reading them, but the fact of the matter is that I fell upon them with a voracity that would put any self-respecting plague of locusts to shame.

What a feast! David Sedaris being his inimitable, hilarious self. Anthony Lane writing about Tintin. Peter Hessler on the Great Wall of China, Paul Theroux on Turkmenistan. Fiction by Colm Tóibín, William Trevor, Nadine Gordimer, George Saunders. Adam Gopnick on Lincoln. Nicholas Lemann on the diaries of Ronald Reagan, Anthony Gottlieb on atheists with attitude. And cartoons!

It's as if Santa and the Easter Bunny came together for my birthday, which has been magically translated to early June.

I'd gush some more, but I have some reading to do. PB, I miss you already, but I will be thinking of you as I consume every terrific page.

The plain people of Ireland: It's not your birthday, is it? You come across more as one of those Capricorn types.

The management: I am indeed a Capricorn, not that it's any of your business. And if you read more carefully you would see that I was using a figure of speech.

The plain people of Ireland: So, are we going to see any pictures of this lady friend of yours?

The management: My lady friend, to whom you so presumptuously refer, is entitled to her privacy, which will be respected.

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