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Norma Rosa

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Chip's thread "recommend good books" gave me this idea.
Could we all read the same book and discuss it here as we go along?

We could all read La Fiesta del Chivo (Vargas Llosa) and discuss vocabulary, sentence structure, historical content, facts, etc. We could select a number of pages to read and discuss (4 or 5) then continue in the same manner.

Is there an interest? Is it out of line?
 
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XXKWISIT

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This sounds like fun! This book might be above my level of comprehension in Spanish, but discussing it would definitely make it easier.
I will search for this book.
 
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Norma Rosa

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This sounds like fun! This book might be above my level of comprehension in Spanish, but discussing it would definitely make it easier.
I will search for this book.

I don't have it either; will have to get it.

I want to hear from more of you out there.
 

Anastacio

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Buy it on iBooks, you can all read it simultaneously for the price of one copy, just share the passwords with each other.
 

Marianopolita

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Great idea if you get readers----

From what I have seen over the years since I have been posting on DR1 is that there is not much of a Spanish book readership among the group of posters who post regularly in the Spanish forum and on DR1 in general. In threads where Spanish books are being discussed it's pretty much a monologue, which is not a bad thing but it's also a clear indication that people are not reading or are not interested in a post lecture discussion.

I think your idea is terrific but I am not sure you will find too many takers, the primary reason being the language. I am avid reader, my threads on books clearly reveal my passion for Spanish literature but I have not seen other readers emerge to the forefront over the years however; I have always had an outlet which is writing book reviews and summaries. I write to enhance my writing skills in English and Spanish and to have a reference down the road should someone ask about the book or if I want to recall the general themes or specific details about it.

I think you are setting the bar very high with a Vargas Llosa book being the first book to read. Many people are at different levels in Spanish and I have no doubt that the La fiesta del chivo is too advanced. I think you need to probe first and find out what people have already read in Spanish (if any literature at all) and what their biggest challenges are/ were and then scale down your choices based on their responses. Normally, it is suggested that people read a level below their current language level for as long as necessary to get a good feel for the language. Therefore, a beginner should start reading junior literature; an intermediate/ advanced level Spanish speaker should read youth literature accordingly and move forward. Youth literature is a broad category and there are plenty of choices.

Most of the renowned Spanish writers don't have literature geared towards the Spanish 'learner' per se. These writers are masters of the language and a very good to strong command is best (almost required) to enjoy their prose. Writers like Vargas Llosa, Garc?a M?rquez, Carlos Fuentes, Rosa Montero, Ana Mar?a Matute, Esther Tusquets etc and the list goes on are writers who have a tremendous command of Spanish, even many Spanish speakers need to take a deep breath before attempting to read their work or some simply can't because their command is not good enough.

My suggestion is if you do get some posters who interested is to start off with a short fictional novel with syntax and vocabulary that are simple and not overwhelming. I think Mexican American writers aka Chicano literature are the best at this and is one of the common elements of their writing style from what I have observed. One reason could be the target audience, which is bilingual speakers who have had to immerse themselves in USA at an early age. Many have written about their struggles as a Latino youth through fictional stories and having to overcome language and racial barriers. Others have chosen stories of pure fiction which have an important cultural element. These are just my observations after having read some interesting and selective books by Chicano authors. I recommend books by Rudolfo Anaya, Sandra Cisneros, Ana Castillo, Sandra Benitez and Laura Esquivel for starters. These writers have made their mark in their respective genres and I highly recommend two books that I think would be good for starter literature:


Bend?ceme ?ltima- Rudolfo Anaya
All? donde el mar recuerda-Sandra Benitez

I read both of these books many years ago but still hold onto my fond memories of the good literature that it is.


Good luck Norma you may find a few posters who are interested.


-MP.
 
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Marianopolita

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PDF books in full -----

Thanks to the internet readers have other options if buying a book is not possible. There are many books that are on PDF in full so readers can have access to good literature if they can't buy a copy or just prefer to read it online or print it and read without having to invest in buying books.

Here are two that I found that would be good for the 'forum reading'. One is a short story, twelve pages, by Sergio Ram?rez. I am sure you have heard of this author since he is one of Latin America's finest. Renowned for his book, Margarita, est? linda la mar, also it was the prestigious winner of the Premio Alfaguara 1998 and his most recent novel, El cielo llora por m? both of which I have and will read in the future. However, since I discovered this short story on PDF, I will read it today and it will give me a good feel for the author's writing style. I have been doing a lot of sampling of late every time I consider reading a book just to determine whether or not I want to start reading a certain novel or enjoy a certain writing style at a particular time. It really makes a difference having the option to sample first.


http://www.fundacionsantillana.org/upload/ficheros/noticias/200904/la_botella_en_el_mar.pdf


Don't forget about Isabel Allende. I did not mention her name in my example of great authors in my post above because she does have a youth series which I recommend for the type of reading you are suggesting. Although her literary style and Spanish is exclusive just like her counterparts, her youth series is geared towards a different audience and her change in writing style is noticeable. Allende said she will not write anymore youth literature books because 'you have to be so careful' because of the target audience. You may want to explore her youth trilogy series. I read one book and will definitely read the other two. Although I did not read it in sequence, I don't think it will make that much of a difference. The books are:


La ciudad de las bestias

El Reino Del Drag?n de Oro

El bosque de los pigmeos- I read this one. I enjoyed it. It's pretty good literature.



http://www.librosgratisweb.com/pdf/allende-isabel/cuentos-de-eva-luna.pdf


Here is a book on PDF in full by Isabel Allende called Cuentos de Eva Luna. I think this might be worth exploring as an option Norma. I have the hard copy but I am glad I found this PDF version because I can print certain stories and have them at hand for reading or give them to a friend etc. I think these are a good collection of stories (I speak for the ones I read) and there's one that always strikes me whenever I read it and I have read it several times because although it's fiction these things happen in reality. I think Isabel really captured a true aspect of life and I won't say which story it is but I am going read it again today. I also think these stories are good examples of Allende's writing caliber which in my opinion is unquestionably superior Spanish.


Enjoy!


-MP.
 

Norma Rosa

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Thanks, Marianopolita for your suggestions. Your point is well taken. I suggested La Fiesta del Chivo for two reasons: 1)The author just got the Nobel Prize, 2)It has a Dominican theme. But we can begin with something less complicated, just to wet our feet and get a feeling for what it is we want to accomplish here. I would like for this to be an outlet for those who are exploring the Spanish language, at whatever the level they are at; that they might feel free and unafraid to come here to have their questions answered, while at the same time enjoying a good piece of Spanish literature. We know how important reading is for language acquisition. I will look into those sites you posted, and hope other readers will do the same. Anyone can make a suggestion, don't just leave it up to me.

Maybe we should begin with a short story.

Is everyone listening? (Reading?)
 

Chip

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Thanks, Marianopolita for your suggestions. Your point is well taken. I suggested La Fiesta del Chivo for two reasons: 1)The author just got the Nobel Prize, 2)It has a Dominican theme. But we can begin with something less complicated, just to wet our feet and get a feeling for what it is we want to accomplish here. I would like for this to be an outlet for those who are exploring the Spanish language, at whatever the level they are at; that they might feel free and unafraid to come here to have their questions answered, while at the same time enjoying a good piece of Spanish literature. We know how important reading is for language acquisition. I will look into those sites you posted, and hope other readers will do the same. Anyone can make a suggestion, don't just leave it up to me.

Maybe we should begin with a short story.

Is everyone listening? (Reading?)

Yes I am. :)
 
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Africaida

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I am interested too...

Funny, because I don't live in a Spanish speaking country, I was thinking that I need to read in order to keep what I learned (Spanish was my minor in College and I studied a semester in PR). I speak Spanish in NYC almost every day, but the conversation are not very challenging. I tried watching the news in Spanish and I understand 90%. I tried a Telenovela, but I couldn't get into it :(
In other word, reading is the answer :)
 
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Marianopolita

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Vargas Llosa ----

Here is a nice clip about Mario Vargas Llosa in the Peruvian newspaper, El Comercio. I liked the brief comment about the author and his writing achievements.

2q9i143.jpg


I am glad that he won the Nobel Literature Prize this year but must state that it's a bit odd or late may be a more appropriate word. He's what I would call 'el eterno favorito' meaning he was a potential candidate so many times in the past and did not win the award. What made this year the year of Vargas Llosa? The author himself stated that he was surprised and thought for sure in years past he would have won the award but not this year.

He sure has an interesting collection of novels. As I said in another thread when I do finally read a Vargas LLosa book I am starting with ?Qui?n mat? a Palomino Molero?

33mocb9.jpg



El Comercio.COM.PE


Norma, what's going on with the forum reading? No one has replied therefore you have no idea what people are thinking even those who expressed interest in reading and in a post discussion. May I also suggest reading newspaper articles which may be less intimidating. Many people on the forum use translators to understand Spanish newspapers which is not a good way to learn the language. Breaking down a newspaper article is a good way to learn Spanish by analyzing the grammar, expressions, vocabulary etc and they offer a world of linguistic variety and writing styles. I read papers from various countries daily and a few are guaranteed reading.

Just a suggestion.


-MP.
 
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Marianopolita

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Follow up and the benefits of reading----

I did some searching in other newspapers that I read and as expected I found some good articles about Mario Vargas Llosa regarding his Nobel Literature Prize award. Now this one answers the questions I had in my previous post about why this year, 2010 and not previous ones when in my opinion he was a very strong candidate. This article explains what the 'conflict' / concerns have been per se about him being selected however, he finally defied the odds. I also find it interesting that he is only the sixth Latin American author to win the award given the strong literary contribution of Latin American authors in general. It’s really tremendous if one knows about the scope of their contribution.

Muchas eran las especulaciones acerca de los motivos por los cuales el escritor no pod?a acceder al premio; entre ellas, la principal: su postura pol?tica, liberal, cr?tica con la socialdemocracia, que no era considerada coherente con la l?nea de la Academia Sueca. En la apuesta de aspirantes hisp?nicos al galard?n para este a?o, adem?s de Vargas Llosa, figuraban el argentino Juan Gelman, el mexicano Carlos Fuentes, los espa?oles Javier Mar?as y Juan Mars? y nuestro compatriota N?stor Amarilla, entre otros.


El Premio Nobel de Literatura y Latinoam?rica (Other Latin Americans who won this award- the now elite six)

Mario Vargas Llosa pasa a formar el grupo selecto de los seis latinoamericanos ganadores del prestigioso galard?n.

1) Gabriela Mistral, Chile, 1945, la primera mujer de letras de Am?rica Latina premiada por la Academia Sueca.
2) Miguel ?ngel Asturias, Guatemala, 1967.
3) Pablo Neruda, Chile, 1971.
4) Gabriel Garc?a M?rquez, Colombia, 1982.
5) Octavio Paz, M?xico, 1990.
6) Mario Vargas Llosa, Per?, 2010.

Premio Nobel de Literatura 2010. Mario vargas llosa - SEMANALES - ABC Digital


Regarding reading (in general)

To support the need to read in Spanish and a broad range of material (whether it’s to one's liking or not), I always take note on a daily basis how I come away with something new after reading the newspapers daily. Be it a word, an expression, a term, something colloquial etc reading gives me this exposure that is impossible to get since the language is so broad and diverse.

In today’s List?n Diario in the food section there is an interesting article about the indigenous foods of Costa Rican cuisine. Sometimes traditional foods become less prevalent in a culture and often substituted for foreign fast foods, or local meals that are less time consuming to prepare etc. However, staple foods like rice and beans or rice and peas dishes are familiar to all islands of the Caribbean- English, Spanish and French. They are prepared according to local variations and specification but the similarities are striking. What I learned from this article, other than the extremely interesting detail about Costa Rican indigenous foods is the local way to call their rice and beans dish- el gallo pinto (it sort of rings a bell, but I am not sure if I really heard of this before- the name) El gallo pinto is a mixture of 'arroz y fr?joles' (or frijoles depending on the country). Now for a person like me that eats rice as a staple food, and arroz con gandules at least once a week this is key information for when and if I ever go to Costa Rica. Long live rice and beans!


Un libro recoge los or?genes ind?genas de la cocina costarricense - List?n Diario Digital



-MP.
 
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Chip

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I've realized that since I don't generally like fiction in English that I wouldn't like it in Spanish. Therefore I've decided to look for topics in Spanish that I enjoy in English, like history. Here is what I'm reading now:

"Los franceses de Saint-Domingue en el cintur?n cafetalero de Santiago de Cuba,1790".

http://revistacienciassociales.homestead.com/XXX-1-2/Yacou.pdf

I'm doing this for historical research from my family which apparently came from Sainte Domingue and Santo Domingo in the early 1800's. If anybody has any good historical references of Santo Domingo from the French controlled era at this time please post.
 

Norma Rosa

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I've realized that since I don't generally like fiction in English that I wouldn't like it in Spanish. Therefore I've decided to look for topics in Spanish that I enjoy in English, like history. Here is what I'm reading now:

"Los franceses de Saint-Domingue en el cintur?n cafetalero de Santiago de Cuba,1790".

http://revistacienciassociales.homestead.com/XXX-1-2/Yacou.pdf

I'm doing this for historical research from my family which apparently came from Sainte Domingue and Santo Domingo in the early 1800's. If anybody has any good historical references of Santo Domingo from the French controlled era at this time please post.

Chip, I had suggested history of the DR, but we can read what you are reading. Let's just indicate the pages (or paragraphs) that we should read and discuss. Where are you at in your reading?
 

Chip

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Chip, I had suggested history of the DR, but we can read what you are reading. Let's just indicate the pages (or paragraphs) that we should read and discuss. Where are you at in your reading?

I'm almost finished as it is quite short. We could talk about the first couple of pages. The structure seems quite simple to me, even moreso than Dominican newspapers. It could be because it was apparently translated from French.
 

Chip

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Here is an excerpt from an article I read in Hoy:

Registro. Las autoridades del Ministerio de Agricultura, a trav?s de la Direcci?n de Sanidad Vegetal, aseguran que se encuentra en proceso de fiscalizaci?n y registro de las tiendas expendedoras de agroqu?micos.

ReportajeMortales plaguicidas en venta libre - Hoy Digital

This sentence gives me a problem because I'm not sure what the direct object is. It appears the d.o. is implied to be "registro".
 
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