Some late August Foreign Book Porn

August 28, 2014 § Leave a comment

Made my monthly trip to McKay’s today.  Found quite a few titles in translation in languages that I want to learn.  Above are four Serbian translations:  J.R.R. Tolkien, The Children of Hurin; Tolkien, The Silmarillion; Salvador Dali, I am a Genius; and Gabriel García Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude.  Being somewhat of a Tolkien enthusiast (at least for his non-LotR works) and certainly one who enjoyed Gabo’s most famous work, I was almost ecstatic to see these four books available for a grand total of $6.50.  Will likely re-read these stories in tandem with these translations in the coming year or two, maybe sooner in the case of Tolkien, as I don’t have published reviews of those two books.

More works in translations (and two in the original idiom, albeit one seems to have been modernized):  Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina in Italian; Gide’s Les Faux Monnayeurs in the original French; three Dostoevsky short stories in Spanish translation; and a prose, modernized French edition of Tristan et Iseult.  All of these for language practice (and the Dostoevsky because it was only 15¢).  All this for $1.55.

Got lucky here and found the “first edition” (a limited edition published by arrangement before the mass release) of the English translation of Elsa Morante’s Historia (I’ve already read the Italian original, but this is a leatherbound, gilt edition from The Franklin Library and it was a steal at $18 for its very good condition).  Also found an Attic Greek-Brazilian Portuguese translation of the middle third of The Odyssey for $3 and Nobel Prize winner Elfriede Jelinek’s most famous work, The Piano Teacher, in the original German for only 75¢.

Spending $29.80 in store credit (and having almost $7 remaining from the books I traded in) for these classics makes me very thankful that I can travel to a wonderful bookstore 1-2 times a month and always find surprises and excellent fiction for cheap rates.  Now to find the time to work again on my languages so I can read the German and Serbian editions almost as quickly as I do the English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian books bought.

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