Whether the unwarranted unearthing of these poems should be chalked up to a translator’s idiosyncratic obsession—in his...

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POEMAS DE LA ISLA

De la Torre, now 93 and living in Madrid, was born in the Canary Islands and was among the original members of the “generation of ’27”—the Latino Bloomsbury Group that included such stars as Buñuel, Salinas, and Lorca. Since those heady days, de la Torre has vanished from the literary scene and her poems, most of them written in the 1920s and ’30s, have fallen into obscurity. She has lamented this fate most notably in her poem “Medida del tiempo”: “And though it may happen / that the winds of fate will bring us together again / I don’t know in which city that will be / and if a day will come / when I feel discovered again.” The present bilingual edition, with translations by Carlos Reyes, is thus offered as an overdue re-issue of several unfairly neglected masterpieces. The evidence of the poems, however, does not support this contention. The lyrics share a restricted lexicon of shore, sun, moon, and wind. The poet dances on the beach, sports with wavelets, and searches the horizon for the barques of far-off lovers. The tone is hushed and somnolent throughout, with an adolescent’s awe of the poet’s task, and the few attempts at metaphor are so frail they barely even register: “Over the sea, under the sky, / come all the dense white sails, / unfurled in the air, golden and transparent.” To say that Reyes has ably translated these lines is merely to congratulate his feel for insipid language.

Whether the unwarranted unearthing of these poems should be chalked up to a translator’s idiosyncratic obsession—in his introduction Reyes claims to have searched for de la Torre over a 12-year period—or the snaky pathways of academic politics, is open to speculation: either way, this is no Laocoön.

Pub Date: June 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-910055-59-9

Page Count: 73

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2000

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A strict report, worthy of sympathy.

THE CATCHER IN THE RYE

A violent surfacing of adolescence (which has little in common with Tarkington's earlier, broadly comic, Seventeen) has a compulsive impact.

"Nobody big except me" is the dream world of Holden Caulfield and his first person story is down to the basic, drab English of the pre-collegiate. For Holden is now being bounced from fancy prep, and, after a vicious evening with hall- and roommates, heads for New York to try to keep his latest failure from his parents. He tries to have a wild evening (all he does is pay the check), is terrorized by the hotel elevator man and his on-call whore, has a date with a girl he likes—and hates, sees his 10 year old sister, Phoebe. He also visits a sympathetic English teacher after trying on a drunken session, and when he keeps his date with Phoebe, who turns up with her suitcase to join him on his flight, he heads home to a hospital siege. This is tender and true, and impossible, in its picture of the old hells of young boys, the lonesomeness and tentative attempts to be mature and secure, the awful block between youth and being grown-up, the fright and sickness that humans and their behavior cause the challenging, the dramatization of the big bang. It is a sorry little worm's view of the off-beat of adult pressure, of contemporary strictures and conformity, of sentiment….

A strict report, worthy of sympathy.

Pub Date: June 15, 1951

ISBN: 0316769177

Page Count: -

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1951

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Shalvis’ latest retains her spark and sizzle.

ALMOST JUST FRIENDS

Piper Manning is determined to sell her family’s property so she can leave her hometown behind, but when her siblings come back with life-changing secrets and her sexy neighbor begins to feel like “The One,” she might have to redo her to-do list.

As children, Piper and her younger siblings, Gavin and Winnie, were sent to live with their grandparents in Wildstone, California, from the Congo after one of Gavin’s friends was killed. Their parents were supposed to meet them later but never made it. Piper wound up being more of a parent than her grandparents, though: “In the end, Piper had done all the raising. It’d taken forever, but now, finally, her brother and sister were off living their own lives.” Piper, the queen of the bullet journal, plans to fix up the family’s lakeside property her grandparents left the three siblings when they died. Selling it will enable her to study to be a physician’s assistant as she’s always wanted. However, just as the goal seems in sight, Gavin and Winnie come home, ostensibly for Piper’s 30th birthday, and then never leave. Turns out, Piper’s brother and sister have recently managed to get into a couple buckets of trouble, and they need some time to reevaluate their options. They aren’t willing to share their problems with Piper, though they’ve been completely open with each other. And Winnie, who’s pregnant, has been very open with Piper’s neighbor Emmitt Reid and his visiting son, Camden, since the baby’s father is Cam’s younger brother, Rowan, who died a few months earlier in a car accident. Everyone has issues to navigate, made more complicated by Gavin and Winnie’s swearing Cam to secrecy just as he and Piper try—and fail—to ignore their attraction to each other. Shalvis keeps the physical and emotional tension high, though the siblings’ refusal to share with Piper becomes tedious and starts to feel childish.

Shalvis’ latest retains her spark and sizzle.

Pub Date: Jan. 28, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-296139-6

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2019

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