Life is a Dream by Pedro Calderón de la Barca

Title: Life is a Dream (La vida es sueño)
Author: Pedro Calderón de la Barca
Genre: Classics, Play, Drama
Release date: Edition from 2015, originally published in 1636

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Acclaimed for his superb dramatic instincts and philosophical seriousness as well as his extraordinary imagination, Calderón exercised his best qualities in this allegorical play, an exploration of the mysteries of human destiny, the illusory nature of earthly existence, and the struggle between predestination and free will. The story revolves around the moral dilemmas of a Polish prince, unjustly imprisoned by his suspicious father. Against a background of revolution, Calderón builds a dramatic edifice of outstanding theatricality, rich in symbolism and metaphor, expressed in magnificent poetry.

This excellent new English translation is absolutely complete, and as close and direct as possible. Ample footnotes and an informative introductory Publisher’s Note enhance the value of its modest price.

The writing of Calderón de la Barca flows gracefully along the pages of this play and makes it easy to navigate its complex themes. However, I am sure I did not grasp all the ideas and musings that he intended to portray, as it would take a more careful eye (or ear) and probably a better understanding of early modern Spanish, but it was more managable to read than I would have imagined.

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Book Traveling Thursday: A book that made me smile

Every week, Danielle (from Danielle’s Book Blog) and Cátia (from TheGirlWhoReadTooMuch) host a feature called Book Traveling Thursdays on Goodreads. They give you a topic each Thursday and you choose a book that you think fits. Then comes the fun part: a cover showdown! You post the original cover, the cover from your country (which I won’t be doing because the books aren’t published here), and then your favorite and least favorite cover from any edition around the world.

This week’s topic is a book that made you smile. I chose Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I just love this book. Elizabeth is my favorite and her witty banter with the other characters always makes me smile, especially with Darcy and Jane. Whenever I reread it or rewatch an adaptation, I can’t help but smile. I had no choice but to pick it. Let’s check out the covers!

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