Lifelong Dewey

Reading through every Dewey Decimal section.

Category: 860s

865: In Search of the Present by Octavio Paz

DDC_865

865: Paz, Octavio. In Search of the Present: The 1990 Nobel Lecture. Translated by Anthony Stanton. San Diego, CA: Harcourt Brace & Company, 1990. 68 pp. ISBN 0-15-644556-5.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 800: Literature
  • 860: Literatures of Spanish and Portuguese languages
  • 865: Spanish speeches

When the Nobel Committee announced Octavio Paz as the laureate in literature in 1990, it was the first time a Mexican writer had been elevated to the position. The committee cited his “impassioned writing with wide horizons, characterized by sensuous intelligence and humanistic integrity.” Every year, if the recipient can, each laureate is invited to Oslo to give a speech to both accept the award and share a little bit of their vision of the world. Paz’s speech, In Search of the Present, is a quiet reflection on his history as a writer, as a reader, and as a lifelong pursuer of the “modern.”

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860: The Literature of Jealousy in the Age of Cervantes by Steven Wagschal

DDC_860

860.9: Wagschal, Steven. The Literature of Jealousy in the Age of Cervantes. Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press, 2006. 191 pp. ISBN 978-0-8262-1696-0.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 800: Literature
  • 860: Literatures of Spanish and Portuguese languages
  • 860.9: History and criticism

Spanish literature from the 16th and 17th century is some of the most intriguing, most fun, and most exciting that has ever been written. New techniques, new philosophies, and new cultures all combined to form works that revitalized the populace and helped to expand imaginative writing. Steven Wagschal’s Literature of Jealousy in the Age of Cervantes focuses on a few writers of this timeframe and how they interpreted both the cultural and emotional landscape of the region. His main focus is on the titular emotion of jealousy. Jealousy in Spain was different from that in other regions in Europe. It was a widely-varied, highly refined topic, so much so that Lope de Vega (1562-1635) wrote six whole plays with jealousy in the title. Oddly enough, Wagschal uses philosophical frameworks from Descartes and Freud to examine the Spanish works. He does, however, wisely incorporate the works of Valencian scholar Juan Vives as well. While Wagschal’s theses are varied, they do take into account the beginning of Spain’s decline as an empire, new humanist teachings, and a more detailed reading of the works of Cervantes, Vega, and Luis de Gongora y Argote.

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869: Death with Interruptions by Jose Saramago

869.42: Saramago, Jose. Death with Interruptions. New York: Harcourt, 2008. 238 pp. ISBN 978-0-15-101274-9.

Dewey Construction:

  • 800: Literature
  • 860: Spanish and Portuguese literatures
  • 869: Portuguese literature
  • +42: Authors starting between 1945 and 1999

Jose Saramago’s Death with Interruptions is a continuation of his magical realism virtuoso. If you’ve read other works by Saramago, then you’re well-equipped for what’s coming. If not, prepare for a wild ride. In this book, he imagines a country in which death stops. But just in that one country. People age and die elsewhere around the world. So what happens to a government and a society when death no longer intervenes?

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868: Labyrinths by Jorge Luis Borges

868.62: Borges, Jorge Luis. Labyrinths: Selected Stories and Other Writing. Edited by Donald A. Yates and James E. Irby. New York: New Directions, n.d. 251 pp. ISBN 0-8112-0012-4.

The various literatures of the world are stuffed into the 800s, and as such, it is a cornucopia of delights. Spanish literature in contained in the 860s, and 868 is the place for Spanish miscellaneous writing. You don’t necessary have to be from Spain to be considered a Spanish writer. Borges, for instance, was from Argentina, but since his primary writing language was Spanish, that’s where he sits. “Miscellaneous writing” denotes collections that contain essays, plays, letters, poetry, stories, novellas, or any combination thereof.

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