dimecres, 24 de març de 2010

Petit homenatge a Miguel Delibes


Fa un temps vaig fer una traducció d'un text de Josep Maria Espinàs parlant sobre Miguel Delibes, que es pot trobar al seu llibre Relacions particulars (2007, ed. La Campana). La correcció del text va córrer a càrrec de l'amable Pip Manley, angloparlant nativa, professora d'anglès i prou fluent en català com per poder proposar suggerències subtils.

Hauria volgut fer alguna cosa en el seu moment, per fer un homenatge com cal a aquest autor inimitable i discutible en moltes de les seves opinions (sobre les dones), que no comparteixo en absolut. La manca de temps, m'ha fet recuperar aquest text. Segur que queda com una pedantada de l'alçada d'un campanar. Però ja no ve d'aquí, imagino. A més, això és casa meva i si aquí no puc fer el que em sembli, pleguem, au! I no patiu, que no penso continuar fent entrades en anglès, tampoc. Però mira, una mica de promoció internacional d'algun text català, de tant en tant, tampoc farà mal.

Espero que els que sapigueu més anglès que jo us ho passeu molt bé fent-me correccions addicionals, he, he...


Text en anglès

Josep Maria Espinàs (Barcelona 1927) is one of those rare authors who attained certain popularity but was, nonetheless, very demanding of himself and his writing. Here bellow you can read an excerpt of one of Relacions particulars (2007), one of his latest books - among some interesting links - in a translation I made to English.

To read a bit more about his biography :
http://www.lletra.net/noms/josepmespinas/index.html

Awards, honours and work:
http://cultura.gencat.net/ilc/qeq/FitxaAutorsuk.asp?nom2=Espin%E0s&cercauk2=Search&quinform=form1&NRegistre=2&idregistre=1188

And here several videos when you can see Josep Maria Espinàs appearing in some interviews:
http://www.tv3.cat/videos/326619 (With Monica Terribas, asked about his last book El Meu Ofici 2008).

And here you have a short note about why I chosen this excerpt and, after it, the translation:

Relacions particulars is a very personal portrait of six important literary figures: Camilo José Cela (Nobel Award in 1989) and Miguel Delibes, both of them masters in Spanish language, and Salvador Espriu, Josep Pla, J.V.Foix and Josep Maria de Segarra, four myths of the Catalan writing.

He didn't pretend to make perfect biographies but just to put light in some details, talking about some anecdotes he shared with them, looking for telling something more about them that some pretentious analyses instead.

The excerpt you have here is taken from the Chapter dedicated to Miguel Delibes, the Castilian master. Between a lot of other nice things, Espinàs makes here some lucid insights about why some writers must write in one language and not in another one. It is, for me, one of the most beautiful homage I read to Castilian and Catalan languages at once. It shows how a man - Espinàs himself - without ever hiding his very Catalan vision of things, tends his hand to Miguel Delibes, who had a much closed Castilian one.

I think that in these times, when cultural differences are so often used as weapons to create enemies, to built bridges, to extend hands - without being so stupid of lacking our own culture - is a true need as pure water for our thirsty ignorance.

I hope you enjoy it so as I did it.



Relacions Particulars by Josep Maria Espinàs


Miguel Delibes

I read the first book of Delibes before I known him personally. He lived in Valladolid and me in Barcelona. My reading were professional at that time, because I was proof reading for Ediciones Destino, and Delibes was one of the authors on this publishing company. I wouldn’t be surprised if I would miss some typographic mistake, because I was driven by the seduction of the text. It isn’t easy to become independent of the fixation of the look into the letters, when a reading is absorbing you so.

He didn’t know it, but the literature of Delibes convinced me that, writing in Catalan, I had chosen the right way (look, I don’t talk about “literary” way. It not only would be a pretentious statement, but to be misunderstanding what I want say. And I repeat: linguistic way). And this is the reality: reading Miguel Delibes I understood that I only could be a writer in Catalan.

Delibes wrote in a deep and clear Castilian, in a language rooted in its own, in its own hunting comrades (1), in its own landscape. A Castilian made of a lived lexicon, full of colour, descriptively loyal to real characters and shining way of talking.

I couldn’t work properly in a really literary Castilian language: the revelation was this. I was able to write Castilian as a functional tool. I read Delibes and it wondered me. I immersed myself into an expressive boundary which wasn’t mine.

I have said I proof read print mistakes of the novels of Delibes, who came really few times to Barcelona from his Valladolid. One day I had the luck of meeting him at the publishing house. We talk a bit about his book, I had on my table, and I was daring to say him that the only thing I didn’t look clear was the title.

He asked me why. I gave him my own reasons: La hoja roja (The Red Leave) was a not pleasant title, the two J so close made the pronunciation of the title carrying an almost guttural sound.

Delibes, who heard me attentively, look at me without understand nothing: ‘¿Estás seguro? (Are you sure?)’, said me. ‘A mí me parece muy fácil, “La hoja roja” (It’s very easy for me, “La hoja roja”)’. And when I heard him I rested shocked. The J of Delibes has sounded with a natural softness that seemed me impossible. He repeated ‘La hoja roja’ and look at me, as wanting to say “I don’t know what you find it wrong”.

He was right. Said by a Castilian “La hoja roja” doesn’t presents any phonetic inconvenience. Each language has their own sounds and shades; the good writer knows that a language is a very delicate and in-transplantable music, which only grows in its own land. At least for me, the literary use of the Castilian only would allow me to make an imitation. A plot can be invented in any language, but in every language has to be personified in a different, exclusive melody.

By this reason, I say that when I discovered the deep natural identity of the language of my admired Delibes, I understood that I chosen the right way writing in Catalan.

Although, Delibes never believed I write in Catalan just because it was my own language. He dedicated some nice articles, full of affection, in El norte de Castilla - a magazine about literature - commenting my own novels, translated to Castilian. The fact the original text was in Catalan seemed to be a detail without any importance for him. I ever thought, looking to what he leaved understanding me, that Delibes was convinced I maintained with my language a basically sentimental relationship that I wrote, from time to time, in Catalan as a sort of idealism, a voluntary service to a “regional” culture. That it was, definitively, a patriotic decision.

Once he wrote, in a review, that I write admirably well in Castilian, an uncertain or not exaggerated point, and in his inner inside he had the believing that my books had to be judged in that language. With the big paradox that none of the three novels published by Destino I written in Castilian, and even I haven’t made their translation from the original in Catalan. The Castilian versions were made by Enric Bardosa – two books – and Fernando Gutiérrez – the third one.

The year I told him about the project I had of bringing a truck from Barcelona to Valladolid and return, for later writing a novel – Combat de nit (Combat by Night) – he asked me that, before all, to call him in time, because he wanted we lunch together. And we did it like this. The kindness of Delibes was extraordinary, natural. (…)

Two days later it appeared a brief note in his paper saying that the writer “José María Espinás” was writing another novel “esta vez en castellano (this time in Castilian)”. I rested disconcerted when I realized definitively which linguistic world Delibes was living in, the only one imaginable for him, that one which gave him so huge identity.

It’s possible he was very impermeable to any language except Castilian. But what it could be a cultural reproach, I see it too as the stony coherence of the writer, the Castilian had for Delibes an absolute consistency, the language were fortifying itself.

I ever admired him. He is for me the most purely rooted (2) writer in Castilian of the whole 20th century.


(1) Delibes loved to hunt. Espinàs mentions here the hunting comrades of Delibes in Castile. On the other hand I don't see Espinàs very comfortable with a gun in his hands, even I can be wrong, of course.

(2) In the original says "racial", which looks as a good compliment in the original text. I was advides about that it sounds very wrong in English, being easily understood as if Delibes was a racist. Nothing can be so far from reality! I finally left "purely rooted" as the lesser evil I could, here.

2 comentaris:

Neus ha dit...

Molt bona entrada, en anglés, català o castellà has fet un bonic homenatge, a més el vas conèixer, que bé. Miguel Delibes ens ha acompanyat moltíssim amb les seues obres independentment de la nostra ideologia política o llengua. Recorde quan El Camino va ser tot un descobriment per a mi.
Una abraçada

Florenci Salesas ha dit...

Gràcies Neus, i sí, estic d'acord amb que El Camino (que no "Camino" de l'inefable Escrivà de Balaguer...) és un llibre increible.

I ep! què jo no el vaig conèixer personalment aquest senyor, eh, ni anant de caça (la única arma que jo he tingut a les mans ha estat un inocent botonet que activava el llençament de bombes atòmiques, i prou, poca cosa...) ni a demanar-li signatures per Sant Jordi. No sé que pot haver creat aquest malentés. Mira, currículum de relacions públiques fícticies que sempre va bé...