Declaration of intent
My innocent aim when I started writing this first entry was to declare my intention of letting Anglo-saxon readers know how AWESOME fantastic literature written by Spanish authors is.
Because there have to be some, right? -Awesome Spanish fantasy writers, I mean-. So say all the literary contests about the winners, and so say many sites and blogs about those authors who have been writing all their lives.
I've spent so long reading Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett and Patrick Rothfuss, that I had simply left aside my compatriots, but then, realizing as I did that only a few of the latter have been translated into English, I thought I'd read those and spread their reviews so that readers in other countries realized that they are actually there, in a language understandable for them.
I wanted to help these authors because they are, you know... ACTUAL authors. They aren't booktubers who get published because they have almost 100,000 followers. They aren't twenty-year-olds who are only at the beginning of the slow process of learning how to write well but get published because they... well, have followers on social networks. Nor do they sound like -so said my literary criticism professor- teenagers in love. -I'll return a lot to this expression because... sigh...-.
I don't know what's going on in the rest of the world, but this is what's happening in Spain right now: people get published because they are a gold mine for publishing companies, even if they're crap. So, yesterday I went straight for one of these authors who got published for their own merits, SO awesome as to have been translated into English, French, German and Japanese; winner of a literary contest here in Spain.
And then, this happened.
Since it wasn't my intention to cut Spanish authors into pieces with my reviews, but diametrically the opposite, I realized it would be better not to write personal reviews, but analytical criticism, as in the formal aspects usually lie the reasons why we don't like a book, even if you, as readers, aren't aware of that when you're immersed in a story. This means that I won't give personal opinions (well, yes, some), but I'll get mostly technical and analytical, unless I'm loving a story so much that it just blinds me and doesn't let me see the flaws, which happens too (cough! Harry Potter! Cough, cough! Relying on characters to explain the plot instead of showing with facts...). Sometimes it also happens that the book is giving me so much material to be derisive and barb about, that I have to contain myself and simply blast it (yeah, like that's not enough).
Oh, and about the Spanish authors... yes, I'll be talking about those who have been translated, but, since I'm going to be analyzing books, I'll also do it with foreign ones, because, as I've seen, the Anglo-saxon blogosphere is full of reviewers too -some of them as arse-lickers as ours-, but there aren't many analytical critics, and I regret to tell you this, but rubbish isn't present only in hispanic fantasy and sci-fi.
So, what I'll be doing here will be criticize books from a formal perspective, Spanish as well as from other countries, even if my first intention was to make Spanish authors well-known beyond our frontiers. I'll be writing mainly in English, but once in a while I'll write something in Spanish -for example, if I review or criticize a book which hasn't been translated-. Anyway, all these things depend on the kind of readers I get as time goes by -if I get any-.
For now, I'm going to keep reading the book I've already got in my hands, even if I'm tempted to abandon it -which I don't like doing; one day I'll tell you how much I suffered with a couple of books that I thought I'd love *reinsert the "surprise, surprise!" picture*-.
Reaction to the book at page 55 -out of 510-:
|So little read, and already narrowing my eyes...|
We'll see when I've read the other 90%.
I've had to abandon the book I'd started, and, anyway, I didn't want my first critique to be such a negative one. By when I've finished Terry Pratchett's Mort, I'll move on to a Spanish one that has received good critiques from very demanding bloggers, so I'll trust them. Really: I want my first book to be from a Spanish author, and a good one. It's a pity this book hasn't been translated, but I'll try and translate any parts I analyze, so it'll serve as a good recommendation for those studying the Spanish language, as well as good propaganda to put some pressure on the publishers and make them translate this book :)
Or so my trusting soul hopes.