why learn Spanish, part 2

Isabel Allende's Eva Luna

Because Isabel Allende’s “Eva Luna” must be even more beautiful in its original language.

I’m reading it in English now on the recommendation of several people who told me that if I love Gabriel Garcia Marquez I’ll love her, too. They were right. I’m halfway through and absorbed in the story in a way I haven’t been since grade school. I read it every day on the subway to and from work and am amazed when I find myself at my destination seemingly without commuting.

On Monday I skipped French conversation to go to a filmmakers’ gathering at a bar instead. When the bartender saw me carrying “Eva Luna” she broke into the hugest smile and just gushed and gushed about how much she loves Allende and how halfway through “The House of the Spirits” (which I’m planning to read next) she put the book down because she never wanted it to end.

Can you imagine if something is that powerful in translation what it must be like in the original?

One day! One day I will know, because I WILL learn enough Spanish to at least take a clumsy stab at it. Con Dios como mi testigo. I should learn that phrase in every language, I seem to use it far more here than, “Where are the toilets?”

P.S. Why learn Spanish, Part 1.

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