Obsessive Personality

Just so that everybody understands what it means to have an obsessive, addiction-prone personality.

I was asked to write a review of a collection of articles about the famous Spanish author Carmen Laforet. She is the author of the second most widely read Spanish novel after Don Quixote titled Nothing. It’s a hugely, hugely famous novel. All most people know about Spanish literature is Cervantes and Laforet. This isn’t because Nothing is that great but because it’s extremely easy to teach, so it ends up on a million course syllabi.

Like all students of Spanish, I had to read Laforet’s Nothing – a female Bildungsroman, for my sins – several times. Unlike most students, however, I didn’t particularly like it. This concluded my knowledge of Carmen Laforet but I couldn’t say no to writing the review because the person who asked me is somebody I can’t deny.

As soon as I started reading the edited volume, however, I became possessed of an irresistible desire to read everything that Laforet published after Nothing. Then I decided to read a biography of hers. I say “a biography” but I have a strong suspicion I will end up reading all three of her biographies.

None of this is remotely needed for my review. Laforet is not one of the writers I study, she’s decades before my sphere of interest, but the need to know everything about her came over me, and I can’t resist.

By the way, I found out some fascinating stuff about this writer that I’ll share soon. Because it’s not a real obsession if you can’t persecute everybody else to death with it.


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