a wandering woman writes

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

A quick stop home

I've developed a habit of catching little unexpected opportunities - things I think I used to miss, when I was travelling at highway velocity, but now...I've learned to welcome the little light that flickers, quietly, in the background when someone unexpectedly mentions a book, or a CD, or a place I should visit.

I got to chatting with the president of the neighbors' association in my building the other day, in the entrada, as I was leaving and she was heading up to her piso. We'd never really talked much before, other than when she's knocked on my door to claim the laundry strewn across my terraza.

She asked what city I was from, for some reason, and when I answered Chicago (my short answer since all the places I am from take a while to explain) she surprised me.

She recommended a book. Seems she's always wanted to visit Chicago, because of the role it plays in a novel by Simone de Beauvoir, called The Mandarins.

A little googling told me de Beauvoir was in Chicago, in the 40s, in love with Nelson Algren, a classic Chicago writer.

Anyone know the book?

I'm going to stop by Cervantes Librería and buy it this afternoon before meeting friends for pinchos. The "to-read" list is long at the moment so we'll reserve it a spot right away.

Sometimes home is that simple. Sometimes you go home just hearing someone react that way, with a crystal clear image, accurate or not, of where you are from. Sometimes home is a link you never saw, a relationship between something familiar, from home (Algren) and something you didn't know went with "home" (a classic European - de Beauvoir.)

If anyone's read the book, tell me about it, please.

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2 Comments:

  • Hey lady ... you're writing beautifully :)

    I loved this!

    By Blogger woman wandering, at 7:31 PM  

  • darn you are good for my ego, ww.

    I'll report in on the book. All I've ever read of her is The Second Sex, several centuries ago.

    By Blogger wandering-woman, at 12:41 PM  

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