PositiveReading in TranslationRodoreda’s work denies us easy emotion; instead, emotional experience is conveyed through what remains unsaid, a skill Rodoreda performs with a unique mastery ... At its simplest, Garden by the Sea is a story of spurned love, shifting sands, and the ways in which idleness and inaction can come to define a life ... However, there’s a carefully-rendered pain behind his observations, indicated in the way his life has stagnated almost to the point of paralysis ... The Catalan story, and the story of its literary tradition, is unavoidably marked by linguistic repression and interruption—it isn’t linear, and neither are Rodoreda’s narratives. As such, she writes stories in which astute narrators stumble upon meaning as if by accident, letting their discoveries pass without being dwelled upon by remarkably unselfconscious prose. Her characters, unaccustomed to both agency and self-reflection, are wholly unable to say what they mean, which causes massive and sometimes fatal failures of communication.