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Me and Sylvia on the canal in Qibao (April 2011)

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He'd had the sense, moments earlier, that Caroline was on the verge of accusing him of being "depressed," and he was afraid that if the idea that he was depressed gained currency, he would forfeit his right to his opinions. He would forfeit his moral certainties; every word he spoke would become a symptom of disease; he would never win an argument.

Jonathan Franzen


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El espectador

I am embarking on a new project this week. Recently Yascha Mounk of The Utopian contacted me to ask if I'd like to contribute some short translated pieces to their site's blog. Naturally (given that I've been reading and thinking about Vásquez' work so much lately) the first thing to come to mind was Juan Gabriel Vásquez' weekly column for El espectador, which seems almost perfectly suited for this format. I made contact with Anne McLean and received permission to give this a try -- the first column is up, his January 26th column about Salman Rushdie's canceled appearance at the Jaipur literary festival: Bullies and their certainties.

posted morning of Sunday, February 19th, 2012
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