still more on books and reading

(he) did not camp near the soporific letter nor contort himself with a foul translation characteristic of rustics, but by right of victory carried the meaning as if captive into his own language.       St. Jerome on translations by Hilary the Confessor


I remember clearly how we read back then.  The whole ecstasy of that youthful reading, it wasn’t reading, but galloping, racing through books.  We sought out the racehorse of action, direct speech, short, muscular expressions.  We hated the ritardandos, the descriptions of nature, who needed them…               Now I feel the need to stop, like an old man winded by climbing up a slope he used to take in three bounds.  The hidden pleasures of slowness.  I love to linger long over some “It was a pleasant May morning, the birds were shouting with song, the dew glowed beneath the sun’s soft rays…”

from The Physics of Sorrow by Georgi Gospodinov    translated from the Bulgarian by Angela Rodel


Author: abookwomansholiday

The perfect holiday for a lifelong reader is one with a stack of books and few distractions. Retiring after three decades as a bookseller, I look forward to reading my way through the stacks and shelves and lists of books waiting for me. This blog will be something of a grab bag or commonplace book of reviews, quotations, notes on the history of books, the contemporary book trade, and anything connected with books and language. Reading is a great pleasure. Thinking and talking about books multiplies and intensifies that pleasure.

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