Lingering Over the Ritardandos

Can you relate to this observation?

images-2.jpg“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 . . .”

Excerpt From: Georgi Gospodinov, Translated from the Bulgarian by Angela Rodel: The Physics of Sorrow.

Narrative, Labyrinth, and Quantum Physics


Georgi Gospodinov is a Bulgarian author you should look into. I first read his excellent work, Natural Novel, and now his latest, The Physics of Sorrow. If you enjoy authors who manipulate the forms of narrative, Gospodinov is a must.

Also, let’s face it: how many Bulgarian writers do you know? I assume there are far more than we know in translation but Bulgaria has a recent history of being lost in the labyrinth of the Iron Curtain and is only now emerging.

Also, Bulgarian is a language that doesn’t get a lot of attention. Did you know that there is no Rosetta Stone language course for Bulgarian? But I understand that if you speak Romanian, you can get along in Bulgarian (what? Rosetta Stone doesn’t have a Romanian course either?).

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