Luis Sagasti: A Musical Offering

“Weren’t you just reading The Books of Jacob?” My mom asked when she saw me with this a day after I finished reading Olga Tokarczuk’s magnum opus.

“Recovery read,” I answered with a wink.

She shot me a questioning look.

“You know how runners do a short recovery run within 24 hours after a marathon?”

She could only laugh and shake her head.

It was the perfect easy run for this reader! In fact, I think every little detail of this book is perfect!

From the cover design, to the French flaps, to the first page that quotes Leonard Cohen:

Now, I’ve heard there was a secret chord / That David played, and it pleased the Lord / But you don’t really care for music, do you?

And truly, if you care for art and music, brilliant is an understatement of how this book is written. Think Apeirogon, think When We Cease to Understand the World but instead of physicists and mathematicians, musicians and artists — Bach, The Beatles, Brahms, Messiaen, Glenn Gould, Rothko, Mahler, Scheherazade… yes, Scheherazade!

Haven’t we already noticed that literature around the world is still undoubtedly under her spell, especially the Eastern Europeans and South Americans? Argentine Luis Sagasti’s musical offering puts us in the shoes of the bewitched Persian King Shahryar.

And we can only dream of a thousand nights more…

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