“I was assailed by the smell of earth, the smell of decay from the rains that had fallen on the leaves of countless autumns. The landscape changed; the gorse had been replaced by fern, and the terrain sloped. I heard the fluttering of bird wings. I sat down on a damp, moss-covered rock by a pond with rippling water. Perhaps one day–if I died near this spot where I had paused to sit–a hunter or a wanderer like myself would find, instead of a carcass of a wild animal, my own remains. With the tip of his boot he would unearth a bone, and beneath it would be an ant colony or a centipede’s nest or perhaps a worm that would coil in desperation at being discovered, at having its entire world dismantled.”
–from Mercè Rodoreda’s novel, “War, So Much War” (Open Letter Books, November 2015). Translated by Maruxa Relaño and Martha Tennent.
This novel, in English for the first time, has become one of my favorites. And not just for 2015. I’ve written a piece about it, which will likely be published this fall. Most importantly though: Read Rodoreda! I posted about her earlier, but that’s all I can say: Read. Rodoreda.