Posted by: Caitlin | November 18, 2007

Memoria de mi vocabulario

I am reading Memoria de mis Putas Tristes (Memories of My Melancholy Whores) by Gabriel Garcia Marquez as an assignment for my Spanish class. As any diligent language student should, I have been looking up the words I don’t know as I read. Here’s what I have for pages 20 to 24 alone:

pitabamos (pitan) – to blow

apaciguarme (apaciguar) – to please

bajamos (bajar) – to go or come down

alzar – to raise, lift up

soltar – to release, to ooze

tragar – to swallow

What is this SMUT? At least I am not paying for this class! (Actually, since I attend during working hours I guess I am getting paid to be there).

Incidentally, Memorias de Mis Putas Tristas was recently banned in Iran (and rightly so!). The Farsi title of the book was played down to Memories of My Melancholy Sweethearts, but the religious authorities caught on soon enough. The book, which was already selling out in book stores across Iran, has reportedly become even more popular after the ban.

Actually, as any Spanish speaker will notice, these vocab words are not idiomatically vulgar. When in context in the book, they are not offensive. Memoria de mis Putas Tristes is delicately subtle and often funny (from what I understand). And who knows, maybe knowing these words will pay off at some point.


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