I’m considering adding books in Spanish (and maybe even French) to my lists. It’s not so much that I’m reading a lot more Spanish fiction but rather that my slow, fumbling march through fiction in a language other than English is absorbing more and more of my time. If it takes me ten times as long to read Bolaño or Cervantes might suggest that I will be reading far fewer books each month. Then again, is that a problem?
Way way back in the past history of this world (often referred to as The Sixties) I read Tarzan en la Selva. As a Senior in High School my family hosted a student from Peru and I spent much of the day immersed in Spanish. But when I matriculated on to the university I was coerced into thinking that a knowledge of Spanish was insufficient for advanced study in literature so I switched to French. This had three results: first, I learned enough French to pass my language exams for graduate school; second, my mind replaced engrammatic knowledge of Spanish words and phrases with the French equivalents, and finally, I twisted my little gray cells around the two languages such that I was never confident speaking either.