Thursday, August 23, 2007

Cervantes, Wilson, & Hammett

Hmm, that doesn't really have a law firm ring to it, as so many last name last name ampersand last name groupings do. I am totally thinking about law school again, excitedly so, and I am also excited about being excited, so it's just a big ol' barrel of law school preparation fun 'round these parts, but I am still reading my summer books for the moment, and here's what I have to say about that.

Don Quixote: On Monday I received much validation from my friend Carrie, who has also read many good things in her day but finds herself unable to get through Don Q. We agreed that Cervanted needs an editor and that it is a one-joke book. Said joke is hilarious the first 100 or so pages, but 500 pages in I'm yawning way more than chuckling. Of course it's understandable if he didn't have an editor, what with it being "the first modern novel" and all. But I'm just saying.

Apart from the noncommittal murmurings of a few, I've received basically one strong vote for finishing the book and one strong vote against. So, no mandate. Oh, and I've also received the response from another friend (who loves her some Don Q), "You're reading the wrong translation!" That's kind of like the Ralph Nader vote. What to do, what to do.

The Able McLaughlins: Meanwhile, the other week as I waited for Brian to be ready to read Dashiell Hammett I picked up an old Pulitzer Prize-winner (love me some Pulitzer-winning books), The Able McLaughlins by Margaret Wilson. I will probably take that with me to New York this week, along with the Q, and see how I feel.

Because the book I'm actually reading - today, tomorrow, and surely to finish this weekend - is The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett. Hurrah! I am so excited to be reading this. It goes quickly and is not long. Sam hear this name so much ambling through our society, but you may have never read him. As promised, so far the prose is clean and sparse and I can see where he's quite the hard-boiled detective fiction legend with his "That's the stuff" etc. Sam Spade himself so far seems complicated, despite his surface simplicity. Would he have really killed his partner so that he could marry his Iva? I'm doubting it. But we shall see how it all unfolds.

My edition of The Maltese Falcon: 0679-722645

1 comment:

Kim Diaz said...

Translations are everything. I should have picked up on that and said something.
I am so sorry. If you quit the Don I will understand.