No way, José!

Last Thursday, I attended a Mid-America Library Alliance (KCMLIN) workshop on blogging, presented by Rebecca Vnuk, Editor for Reference and Collection Management at Booklist and co-creator and author of Shelf Renewal--a fantastic book blog covering backlist titles. Among several great tips, Rebecca suggested that if one hasn't posted in two or three weeks, there's clearly room for improvement. Needless to say, I received another kick in the pants to keep on task and update this blog--one I think too good to give up. I've been holding on to my next Nobel title, having received it through interlibrary loan nearly two weeks ago, and I am just now making my way through its tattered and worn pages.

What I found fascinating about José Echegaray y Eizaguirre, Nobel recipient alongside Frédéric Mistral in 1904, was that he had interests and talent in both mathematics and writing. The main reason being that I, too, excelled in both areas, having double majored in English and mathematics in my undergraduate studies. In contemplating what I should do with my life, a high school math teacher of mine once jokingly suggested I write math books, which causes me to wonder if José ever thought the same. Elizabeth R. Hunt, however, explained in the introduction to Hannah Lynch's translation of Echegaray's The Great Galeoto, that the dramatist and mathematician spent thirteen years teaching advanced topics in math and served as Minister of Commerce of Education and of Finance for seven years before becoming known as a dramatist (p. vi).

Though I'm only about 50 pages into the play, I agree that the vocational switch was a good choice for José. So far, the play focuses on a Don Julian and his wife, Teodora, who have taken in Ernest, a struggling playwright, after the death of Ernest's father. Don Julian, committed to repaying a debt to Ernest's father, convinces Ernest to act as his secretary in order to fool Julian's brother, Don Severo, who's convinced Ernest may be taking advantage of the situation. It may not be the most intense and exciting of situations, but I'm interested in seeing where the play is taken next. As for the language and writing, I can't complain--it's easy to follow and quick to get through--just about 100 more pages and I'll be on to my next Nobel read.


  1. Definitely too good to give up! We can learn so much from your research/reviews! Thanks for sharing.


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