a wandering woman writes

Sunday, December 03, 2006

To Travel

Guerson over at Our Big European Adventure posted excerpts from Javier Reverte's Vagabundo en Africa in a post titled To Travel.

I can't help but post a quick translation of a few lines. Here's Javier Reverte, on travel:

Travelling extends your life, fills it with faces and scenery..... When you travel, your convictions fall as easily as eyeglasses; it's just that it's harder to put them back in their place.

Wait, it gets even better:

And travelling is also a way of creating, because you retain all that you see and all that you hear, in the memory and in the retina, in order to later try to interpret it, as if you were an artist, a painter facing the palette, facing the faces and the shapes, a musician open to sound, to voices and rhythms, and perhaps in the end, a poet. Travel converts us into free beings; allows us to see ourselves paused in time while the world runs along beside us.

Makes you want to walk through your own house as though you were "travelling", doesn't he?

I've yet to read an entire book by Reverte, although El Río de la Desolación is sitting right beside me as I type this post, patiently waiting its turn in the reading line. Javier Reverte is one of few writers that makes language-loving me see languages as a barrier for just a moment -- as I wistfully regret not being able to share him with friends I know would be swept away in just a few paragraphs.

So you'll excuse the amateur translation.

If you've yet to discover guerson, she was born and raised in Brazil, is married to a Canadian, and is working on her PhD at the University of Toronto. She's in Barcelona doing a year's research right now (nice work if you can get it, huh?) and writes up her adventures on her blog.

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  • Hi Erin,

    I'm also reading El rio de la desolación now!! I just love the way he writes... Javier Reverte's use of language is beautiful but also what he has to say. When he talks about a place he does it from the point of view of someone who actually took the time to learn about its culture and history, who took the time to talk to its people. He is also very sensitive and respectful of people.

    Anyways, thanks for coming by! And please, call me Alex!

    By Anonymous Alexandra, at 11:50 PM  

  • OOH! I can't start it yet. I'm still in Cees Noteboom's Desvio a Santiago..and I've got a book or maybe two in front of Javier. I keep peeking in his book..it may wind up cutting in line. ;)

    And, I don't think I knew your name was Alexandra, lol, did I? OK, Alex from now on. See you on one of our blogs, I am sure.

    By Blogger wandering-woman, at 11:57 AM  

  • I started it a couple of weeks ago but had to stop because I needed to read another book for a book club. But now that it´s over with I can revert to Reverte Ouch! sorry, couldn´t resist)... That book is particularly interesting to me because a big part of the trip is through my country and through a region I lived in... I´m really curious to see what he has to say...

    Anyways, will be reading it on the plane on my way to Lisbon this weekend!

    By Anonymous Alexandra, at 2:54 PM  

  • Loved this, borrowed an excerpt, linked back to you ... sorry but you are posting delicious stuff.

    By Blogger woman wandering, at 12:08 AM  

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