Private: Marta REBÓN

En la ciudad líquida

PRH, 2017


“A beautiful investigation/divagation on Europe, with long asides in Russia, Africa, and Latin America, the book incorporates a number of photographs, not as a mere adornment, but as a central part of the project. In them, and in the author’s highly elegant prose, an immense capacity for evoking mystery is revealed, but at the same time, the book’s structure is almost mathematical… Under the intricate, changeful current of the liquid cities brought together in this book lurks an inimitable prose.”– Nadal Suau, El Cultural (El Mundo)

“Marta Rebón has written a masterpiece, deciphering how the lives, settings, and works of major writers have shaped her as a reader, traveler, translator, and in the end, as a person… A very rich book that inhabits multiple simultaneous planes, all with depth and excellence of execution: an essay about rootlessness and melancholy, biographical-literary analysis, meditations on identity, fleeting impressions, questions about the translator’s calling… Marta Rebón reclaims for herself Virginia Woolf’s famous phrase: ‘She slices like a knife through everything, and at the same time is outside, looking on.’” – Antonio Lozano, Cultura/s (La Vanguardia)

“Marta Rebón is a great translator. She is precise and flexible, but also daring. All these qualities are present in In the Liquid City, a work in the tradition of Angelo Maria’s Magic Prague, Claudio Magris’s Danube, and Sergio Pitol’s The Journey. That is: an intelligent manual about literature as a way of life… The writing has the feel of wandering, with an evident taste for digressions, never capricious, nomadic, horizontal, without lingering or speeding up. Rebón knows which episodes of universal culture demand illumination. She takes her time. She isn’t in a hurry, because she carries her home on her back.”– Carlos Pardo, El País

“An educational work in the best sense of the term, maybe the only one capable of transmitting this kind of passion, without which curiosity and knowledge are pointless. Because only by loving something can you know it well.” – Elvira Navarro, Mujeres a seguir


Liquid cities are those whose contours are reflected in the waters of a river or a sea, like Saint Petersburg, Tangiers, Moscow, or Porto. For the author, these are metaphors of the inner space, the moment of suspension one plunges into when reading, translating, or writing. This book is an homage to authors like Chekhov, Dostoevsky, Pasternak, Brodsky, Nabokov, Paul and Jane Bowles, Elizabeth Bishop, and Lydia Chukovskaya, as well as to the double edges of words, which abide in the horizon and its reflection, and are themselves a kind of liquid city.