The OF Blog: Twitter conversations influencing book purchases

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Twitter conversations influencing book purchases

Now that I'm out of work for a few months (unless I see a better-paying job before March, which is possible), I've had a lot more time for Twitter than I've had for 16 months.  I usually use it to keep up with certain news items, but occasionally some interesting discussions about literature will take place.  Earlier this morning, I was chatting with two Brazilian writers, Fábio Fernandes and Alex de Souza, about translation issues of stories going to/from Portuguese and English.  The talk shifted to certain poets.

Luís Vaz de Camões.

Antero Tarquinio de Quental.

Francesco Petrarca (surprisingly not available in Portuguese translation).

I was reminded that I needed to read more José Maria Eça de Queirós by reading their comments on certain Portuguese writers.

Then the topic shifted to how Camões was like the Portuguese Milton.  I noted that he was actually very popular in Elizabethan England and that Shakespeare (among others) almost certainly read him.  Then the topic shifted to other epic poets:

Torquato Tasso.

Lodovico Ariosto.

Matteo Maria Boiardo.

Lope de Vega (already owned an edition of his Spanish epic poetry)

And although I already owned some of these in translation, I ended up buying (most for free, some for $0.99, one for $4.99) nine of these in Portuguese or Italian editions.  Now I get to read (or in a few cases, re-read) these works and possibly review some, if not all of them, sometime next year.

Yes, Twitter can be a perilous place for reviewers/lovers of Renaissance epic poetry to visit and converse.  But at least I'm assured of several great reads in the weeks and months to come, all now stored on my Kindle for iPad app.

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