The Hudson Review’s Spring 2011 issue features Spanish language authors. Many of the authors are well known and I’d think some of this stuff is already in English, but there are few authors who you may not recognize. The first is the Galician, Julián Ríos. I don’t know much about the piece, but it is an excerpt from a novel. With all the great short story writers out there I wish they had actually found a short story, novel excerpts seldom seem to work for me (see my notes on the Granta authors). I think the most interesting is an essay from Antonio Muñoz Molina called A Double Education. None of it is online, but the Muñoz Molina would be interesting.
Continuing with her fine series on Franco’s Ghosts: The Remaking of Spain, Elenor Wachtel interviewed Antonio Muñoz Molina for a generous hour in English. They talk about how the history of Spain during the 20th century influenced his family and his writing. It is one of the better interviews I’ve heard that expresses how hard life could be during Franco’s reign and why so many books about that time have been written. They talk a lot about Sepharad, one of his few books in English, so if you haven’t read it, it’s a good opportunity to decide. They also talk about his most recent tome (1000 pg, or so) which hasn’t been published in English. All in all, an excellent interview.
Antonio Muñoz Molina was on 1001 Noches a month or two ago. He talks about his last book, La noche de los tiempos, a Spanish poet, his view of Spanish, and other things. It is a lengthy interview. It is also one of the strangest programs I’ve ever seen. They have a live piano player on stage and playing in the background. Then a couple of clowns give him a present after telling jokes. And 20 minutes in they cut to an interview with a different person, then but back. However, if you are interested in his work the video is worthwhile (and Canal Sur’s Flash player makes it easy to skip over uninteresting sections).
As you might expect, Spanish speakers are quite excited about the award. For the Spanish, Llosa gave a special shout out, noting they have done more for him than any other country in promoting his works than any other country. And naturally, the Real Academia (the group that confers definitions on what is Spanish and not) is quite happy, since he is their fifth member to win the award.
A few comments by Vargas Llosa.
An overview. Even if you don’t read Spanish, there is a slide show of 27 photos through the ages.
A profile of his agent Carmen Balcells, who has represented some of the greatest Spanish language writers: Garcia Marquez, Vargas Llosa, Fuentes, etc.
Thoughts from the director the Real Academia.
An editorial about why he deserves the prize.
And a special edition with a huge number of tributes from the likes of Antonio Muñoz Molina, Javier Cercas, Santiago Roncagliolo, and Fernando Iwasaki.
For those of you who understand Spanish, El Público Lee has an interview with Antonio Muñoz Molina from 2004. It is about an hour long and El Público Lee is ususally worth the trouble.
This already happened, but if you want to read a recent chat between Antonio Muñoz Molina and his readers, you can head on over to El País and read the transcript.