Saturday, April 23, 2011

It's the Day of the Book!

[Painter outside Parc Güell, Barcelona]

Today is the only saint-related holiday I’m truly fond of,* and maybe my favorite holiday of all. In Barcelona, it’s La Diada de Sant Jordi (Saint George’s Day). The tradition is sexist - men give women roses while women give men books – though that’s somewhat fallen away and books are exchanged amongst all. Book and flower sellers have special deals and set up hundreds of stands all along the Rambles. Perhaps best of all, the Catalan festival has spread, and today is now UNESCO’s International Day of the Book!

As much as I’d love to give everyone books in celebration of the holiday, that’s not possible, so I’ll just mention the fiction I’m reading at the moment, Hermann Broch’s The Death of Virgil:

Enjoy the holiday, and buy a book for someone you love!

* Though I admit to a fascination with patron saints due to an unhealthy interest in identity and categorization.

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