“Let your book start the Time Travel Game”

Season 2: “Let your book start the Time Travel Game”


“Imagine that you have been chosen for a fabulous travel in a space ship following the government’s decision to send a writer to a newly discovered planet. You are permitted to carry only one book of your choice along with your luggage. one important thing is YOU CANNOT RETURN TO EARTH FOR TEN YEARS. Because 1 year in earth is 1 day in the new planet.”


Alephi : Now say which book you may choose to carry with you?

Ilan Stavans : Then it is Don Quixote de La Mancha, which more than a novel–the best ever written–is a manual to live life fully and sensibly. But maybe it will already there in the planet, since it is an essential part of creation, in which case I’ll take with me One Hundred Years of Solitude, I book I’ve reread more than 50 times but only now I’m appreciating its true depth and complexity.

Ilan Stavans is a distinguished Latino critic, editor and author. Currently he is a professor of Latin American and Latino Cultures at Amherst College. His published work, translated into several languages, includes The Hispanic Condition; On Borrowed Words: A Memoir of Language; The Essential Ilan Stavans; and The One-Handed Pianist and Other Stories.  He has been the editor of the Oxford Book of Jewish Stories, Prospero’s Mirror, The Oxford Book of Latin American Essays, Tropical Synagogues and The Urban Muse. He has received a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Latino Literature Prize.

2003 saw the publication of the controversial Spanglish: The Making of a New American Language, a pan-Hispanic socio-linguistic reference work which includes a vibrant introductory essay examining the historical context of Spanglish, a lexicon of 4,500 words, and Stavans’ Spanglish translation of the first chapter of Don Quijote de La Mancha.


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