The OF Blog: Beginning to Zafón's El juego del Ángel

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Beginning to Zafón's El juego del Ángel

I found this opening paragraph to be quite attention-grabbing (and roughly 1/5 in, it fits what appearing to follow after quite well):

Un escritor nunca olvida la primera vez que acepta unas monedas o un elogio a cambio de una historia. Nunca olvida la primera vez que siente el dulce veneno de la vanidad en la sangre y cree que, si consigue que nadie descubra su falta de talento, el sueño de la literatura será capaz de poner techo sobre su cabeza, un plato caliente al final del día y lo que más anhela: su nombre impreso en un miserable pedazo de papel que seguramente vivirá más que él. Un escritor está condenado a recordar ese momento, porque para entonces ya está perdido y su alma tiene precio.

Or in my rough English translation:

A writer never forgets the first time that he accepts some money or praise in exchange for a story. He never forgets the first time that he feels the sweet venom of vanity in his blood and he believes that, if he manages that no one discovers his lack of talent, the literary dream will be capable of placing a roof over his head, a hot plate for the end of the day and his deepest yearning: his name impressed on a miserable piece of paper which surely will survive longer than he. A writer is condemned to remember that moment, because from then on he is lost and his soul has a price.
If The Shadow of the Wind dealt more with the perils (among other things) of the reader, El juego del Ángel perhaps will capture the attentions of those who write even more than those who read. So far, the story is entertaining and occasionally thought provoking. More later, elsewhere.

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