I did, however, edit the translation I had a couple of other people do, and that editing has caused me to experience the book in a new way. I frequently laughed out loud when I came across key phrases, sometimes because they were funnier in Spanish, and sometimes just because it was so exhilarating to see my dream come true.
|First cover of the English edition|
One core tenet of both surrealism and absurdism is that the art should disturb the reader or viewer. I'd always wondered where I got that apparent mean-streak-need to disrupt reader expectations. Again, blame twentieth-century literature for teaching me that I need to pay attention to my muse at the expense of reader comfort. Tree/House's disruptive yearning is apparent in its dissected title. The translated title means "A Home in the Trees," which has a lot less disruptive impact and points instead to what I'm trying to do in the book when you get past the weirdness.
|The new cover by|
In the opposite way the girl in that film navigates a horrifying reality by responding to a complex dream world, Emma in Tree/House has let her dreaminess drag her through situations that negate her personhood. She has to break out of all the weirdness and find either the real world or one of her own making. It doesn't matter a lot, but in either case, Emma's new world must be free of the indecision and lack of confidence that has stood her in such ill stead.
Yup, I wrote this in my early twenties, mostly for myself.
I'm now prepared to do guest lectures on this book in undergraduate absurdism or Jungian criticism seminars. The graduate ones will have to wait a bit longer...
Here's the Kindle version. Paperback coming soon. And the English version is already available for your enlightened enjoyment!
Happy Fourth of July tomorrow!