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Strange Magic

New article by David in Slightly Foxed

The latest issue of fabulous book quarterly Slightly Foxed is now out and features an article by David on early twentieth-century Spanish classic Platero and I by Juan Ramón Jiménez. Here’s how it begins:

“Books possess a strange magic. Like Poe’s purloined letter, they hide in plain view, standing on their shelves unregarded for days, weeks, months or years, innocent in their brittle dignity, until a hand, perhaps an idle one, pulls them down. Something special can happen then: something even miraculous. I spend a lot of time, more than I should, wandering through the stacks of the London Library, that strange and vast labyrinth of books, that pungent shadowy temple in which time appears to have set like resin; and it was there, not long ago, when I wasn’t looking for it – because I didn’t know it was there – that I came across Platero and I by Juan Ramón Jiménez. Some books say to us: ‘You need me. You’re going to love me’ …”

And the rest of the article tells us why Platero and I proved, for David, to be just such a book. Slightly Foxed, subtitled “The Real Reader’s Quarterly,” is, for those who don’t know about it, a fabulous magazine about old books written by authors who love them and want to pass on their love. (The current issue, among much else, also includes articles about Nevil Shute’s A Town Like Alice, Alain-Fournier’s Le Grand Meaulnes, Evelyn Waugh’s The Loved One, and a whole lot more.) The Foxed people also do other brilliant things such as run a bookshop and publish their own high-quality books – reissues, of course, of just the kinds of books that are written about in the magazine. You can find out all about Slightly Foxed here.