Book Diary: The First Bad Man (Miranda July)

It is a novel like this one that makes me wonder why I feel the need to write this blog at all, because what is there to say?  What more can I say that hasn´t already been said?  Where are all the new adjectives when you need them?  It – this novel – is so good, it makes commentary redundant, and archaic feeling.  However, this blog is my record (my ´personal repository´), my reminder of what I have read and what has moved me and therefore, I couldn´t not record this.

I know now why my sister was moved to suggest the idea for the dictionary of reading feelings whilst reading this novel, as it makes you feel so very, very much – a lot of it hard to quantify.  Here, again, I am stuck for what to say to qualify that statement.  It seems there are no adequate words to describe what July managed to achieve with mere words.  Which I suppose is why she is able to create something so powerful, and moving, and luscious, whilst the rest of us gape and write blogs about how there are no words to describe what she describes with style and ease.

It took another writer for me to be able to come to terms with my feelings about this book.  I had taken a brief break from Lorrie Moore´s, Al pie de la escalera to read The First Bad Man, as I had a friend visiting from the UK and decided to give myself a ´holiday from Spanish´ and indulge in reading this novel over the weekend he was visiting.  When I finished and went back to Lorrie Moore, I happened upon the perfect quote to describe the experience of having just read July´s novel.  Coincidentally – and beautifully – for me there is a lot of synergy between these two writers: they both surprise, are innovative and rich in their language and imagery; they both make you feel things very deeply, so it was lovely and perfect that they would connect each other, and me, and me to them, in this way.  I don´t have the original quote in English, and I don´t want to defile Lorrie Moore by doing a bad translation, so here it is in Spanish:

¿Había algo mejor que las palabras que te funcionaban, que decían lo que tú querías?

No, for me there isn´t.


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