The Forum Book Club thread 2020. August: Tiempos recios

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Re: The Forum Book Club thread 2020. July: My brilliant Friend

Postby DaveAgain » Mon Jul 06, 2020 6:26 am

marie39 wrote:I didn't realize there was a new poll :lol: I really want to read "L'amica geniale" but I want to buy a physical copy of the book and I want the cover with the three girls standing behind the bride and groom. I don't want the version with the newer cover. I almost wish I was learning Ukranian because the book covers for this series are so beautiful. I might just have to deal with the ebook version.
The French one has a good cover, I'm not so keen on the German one. :-)
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Re: The Forum Book Club thread 2020. July: My brilliant Friend

Postby kanewai » Wed Jul 08, 2020 1:34 am

At least I can join you all in Napoli for the month - I just started Elena Ferrante's new book, La vita bugiarda degli adulti. I'll keep my comments spoiler free, and just stick to thoughts on style.
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Re: The Forum Book Club thread 2020. July: My brilliant Friend

Postby Cenwalh » Sat Jul 11, 2020 1:17 pm

I don't think I knew there was a book club so missed the poll, but I've got L'amica geniale in its Spanish version (La amiga estupenda) as an audiobook and should finish it before the month ends.

Do people who've read it/started reading it like it so far? What languages are people reading it in?
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Re: The Forum Book Club thread 2020. July: My brilliant Friend

Postby tarvos » Wed Jul 15, 2020 7:35 pm

I've already read this entire series in the original Italian :o

It is great but the first 2 books are the best
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Re: The Forum Book Club thread 2020. July: My brilliant Friend

Postby Mista » Thu Jul 16, 2020 11:18 am

The new poll is up: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 8e4df5a091

Cenwalh wrote:I don't think I knew there was a book club so missed the poll, but I've got L'amica geniale in its Spanish version (La amiga estupenda) as an audiobook and should finish it before the month ends.

Do people who've read it/started reading it like it so far? What languages are people reading it in?


Welcome to the club! I'm reading in Italian, and I'm planning to start this weekend, maybe on my 7 hours train ride on Sunday. I've read all the books in Norwegian, however, or listened to the audiobooks to be precise, and I think all the books are well worth reading, but like Tarvos, I think the first ones are best. After that, I got a little tired of the relationship between the two women, but the historical and political aspects are still very interesting.
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Re: The Forum Book Club thread 2020. July: My brilliant Friend

Postby Cenwalh » Tue Jul 28, 2020 7:43 pm

(no spoilers unless you really don't want to know what the book's themes are)

I listened to My Brilliant Friend in Spanish and really liked it. The narration is so detailed and gives time to so many minutiae that I thought it must be a real account. Having searched around a bit on the internet, the best answer I can find to that is maybe. I listened to the next book as well and I'm halfway through the third. I know others said that the first two are the best, but I thought I might as well finish the series.

One thing that gets a lot of focus on in this series is the use of "dialect" (it's written "dialecto" in the Spanish version, I'm not sure about in the English translation or other versions) which is the Neapolitan language vs use of Italian. Through the development of the series, it's really laid bare for me how in many places local languages have become displaced by a national language. A quick browse on the internet suggests that between a fifth and a third of households in the region where Neapolitan is spoken use Neapolitan as their main language at home. We really see its use fall throughout the series, and from some standpoints that's quite sad. Characters in the book use Italian to sound cultured or informed, which pushes Neapolitan down from the standard language to the "uneducated" language.

It would interest me to see a book that shows full use of a local/national language divide with no translations - particularly in Catalan/Spanish because they're what I'm learning. I doubt many exist because most books try to be accessible to the masses, and such a book would not be.

As to the use of Neapolitan in this series, I've noted one word so far, and I think they got an Italian person to say it on the Spanish audiobook, but she sounded similar to the normal narrator so I can't be 100% sure. Is there more use in the original Italian version?
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Re: The Forum Book Club thread 2020. July: My brilliant Friend

Postby Mista » Fri Jul 31, 2020 1:38 pm

marie39 wrote:I didn't realize there was a new poll :lol: I really want to read "L'amica geniale" but I want to buy a physical copy of the book and I want the cover with the three girls standing behind the bride and groom. I don't want the version with the newer cover.

My Italian book has the new "now on HBO" cover, but once I started reading it, I discovered that they have just printed the new covers and put them outside the old books, so I can simply take it off and get a book with the old cover!

Cenwalh wrote:One thing that gets a lot of focus on in this series is the use of "dialect" (it's written "dialecto" in the Spanish version, I'm not sure about in the English translation or other versions) which is the Neapolitan language vs use of Italian. Through the development of the series, it's really laid bare for me how in many places local languages have become displaced by a national language. A quick browse on the internet suggests that between a fifth and a third of households in the region where Neapolitan is spoken use Neapolitan as their main language at home. We really see its use fall throughout the series, and from some standpoints that's quite sad. Characters in the book use Italian to sound cultured or informed, which pushes Neapolitan down from the standard language to the "uneducated" language.

It would interest me to see a book that shows full use of a local/national language divide with no translations - particularly in Catalan/Spanish because they're what I'm learning. I doubt many exist because most books try to be accessible to the masses, and such a book would not be.


The italian book uses dialetto/italiano. I'm also very interested in this phenomenon, but I don't see it much in books. I have read some books in Norwegian and Swedish which use "immigrant language" as in the sociolects of Norwegian and Swedish used in immigrant-heavy areas, and other examples of dialect use, but no really good examples of code switching in use. It's more common on the screen, however, where it's both potentially more interesting, and undoubtedly easier to deal with, as it can be supported by texting. Le Bureau is a good example, though the setting is a little out of the ordinary. I recently saw it in an Algerian movie, where there was frequent switching between French and Arabic among young students, and have also seen it elsewhere.
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Re: The Forum Book Club thread 2020. August: Tiempos recios

Postby kanewai » Mon Aug 03, 2020 8:50 am

The dialetto / italiano divide plays a big role in La vita bugiarda degli adulti also. I don't think Elena Ferrante uses dialect in her writing, so much as lets us know when characters are speaking Italian, and when they're speaking dialect. La vita explores some of the same class themes, though this time the main character is a younger girl from an upper middle class family in Naples. Or mostly upper middle class; early on she discovers that she has relatives in the rougher parts of town. That's all I can say without spoilers. I like the book, but it doesn't have anything as compelling (yet) like the friendship between Elena and Lila.
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Mario Vargas Llosa, Tiempos recios: 125 / 350
Le Clézio, Désert: 160 / 410
Elena Ferrante, La vita bugiardi degli adulti: 75 / 100
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Re: The Forum Book Club thread 2020. August: Tiempos recios

Postby kanewai » Fri Aug 21, 2020 5:36 am

I'm about a hundred pages into Tiempos Recios. So far I enjoy it, though I'm having a hard time keeping track of the characters. Each chapter seems to represent a different POV. I love the basic premise, though - that the whole "communist insurgency" in Central America was a lie cooked up by United Fruit Company in the 1940s/1950s, part of a public relations campaign against the democratic government of Guatemala ... but it was a lie which turned into a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Is anyone else reading it?
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Mario Vargas Llosa, Tiempos recios: 125 / 350
Le Clézio, Désert: 160 / 410
Elena Ferrante, La vita bugiardi degli adulti: 75 / 100
Memrise Turkish 2: 10 / 20

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Re: The Forum Book Club thread 2020. August: Tiempos recios

Postby DaveAgain » Fri Aug 21, 2020 5:51 am

kanewai wrote: I love the basic premise, though - that the whole "communist insurgency" in Central America was a lie cooked up by United Fruit Company in the 1940s/1950s, part of a public relations campaign against the democratic government of Guatemala ... but it was a lie which turned into a self-fulfilling prophecy.
There's a super book about the banana biz, Banana: the fate of the fruit that changed the world
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