Thursday, December 14, 2023


Something for me to look forward to: this Spanish translation of a book by the Italian writer Leonardo Piccione. The publisher's description (roughly rendered) states:
The 47 stories contained in this volume are linked in various manners with the volcanoes of Iceland, and reveal them from the adventures of the first colonizers of the island to the deeds of extreme explorers, from the old Norse sagas to the NASA missions in the "lunar" canyons of the highlands, alternating science, poetry, chronicle, and legend.
If nothing else, the book design, judging from the interior spreads shown on the publisher's website, is stunning. The Nórdica Libros edition is due in February 2024; there's no word on an English-language version yet, as far as I can tell. The title translates as "Fictional Atlas of the Volcanoes of Iceland."

Monday, December 04, 2023

Produce department

We're lying in bed and there's a rap on the window glass. I get up and open the window. A middle-aged couple are standing on the sidewalk and the man asks me if I have any ramps. I say yes and go to the front door to meet them. On the way there I pick up a handful of limp scallions, which I offer with an apology, saying that ramps are out of season and that's all I have. He and his wife aren't wearing masks (neither am I) but he tells me they've both had COVID. He gives me a dollar and they leave. On the way down the hall I pass the open door of another room, where a male relative is standing next to a tall wooden cabinet. The cabinet is festooned with hundreds of radishes of different sizes and colors (but mostly red), lovingly and symmetrically arranged. Where some people have knickknacks, he has radishes. And now, back to bed.