Book-a-Day-Challenge Day 8


I met Eliot Weinberger at the International Literature Festival in Berlin 2 or was it 3 years ago, not really knowing him then. I had wandered into a reading, waiting for some other event to start and was mesmerized by his reading of „The Ghosts of Birds“. Afterwards we ended up chatting for a bit, he is a very charming intelligent person who I hear is mentioned often as a possible Noble prize contender.

He is a contemporary American writer, essayist, editor, and translator. His work regularly appears in translation and has been published in around thirty languages.
He gained recognition for his translations of the Nobel Prize winning writer and poet Octavio Paz.

The Ghosts of Birds/Vogelgeister consists of  a variety of essays almost unclassifiable and hard to describe. Almost essays but also almost poems he leaves me searching for words to describe his writings.

Some parts I really enjoyed – it is astonishing how he turns the most mundane topics into brilliant little gemstones of wisdom and knowledge. A books that you need to read slowly maybe preferably near the ocean, where you can hear the waves and the seagulls.

Parts of this book went right over my head but I didn’t mind I just enjoyed the rhythm of the words and the pictures my brain came up with whilst reading.

Check out some more poetry with Wislawa Szymborska’s „Hundert Freuden„, Sylvia Plath’s „Übers Wasser“ or these essays by Rebecca Solnit „Hope in the Dark / Hoffnung in der Dunkelheit“

Have you read anything by Eliot Weinberger before? What else would you recommend him or another writer balancing the fine act between essays and poetry?

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