Deft Writing a la Spain
Some writers can capture the nuance of a character with the deft sweep of a master fencer. Arturo Pérez-Reverta is such a writer.
In THE NAUTICAL CHART, Pérez-Reverta tells the story of Coy, a sailor without a ship, a shore-bound man who gets caught up in a mystery beyond his ken, while forced by a maritime accident to spend his days on dry land, which is terra incognita to him.
Pérez-Reverta (with assistance by English translator Margaret Sayers Peden) described Coy as walking distractedly around Barcelona without any goals or plans, as making “minute by minute comparisons between the gyroscopic and magnetic compasses; or, to put it another way, to verify a false north by means of another north that itself was not true.”