Archive for the ‘Travelogue’ Category
A partir del 08.05.12 Interlitq publicará la traducción del español al inglés de poemas de Luis Cernuda por Paul Scott Derrick, que contribuyó a la edición 9 y a la edición 11 de Interlitq y www.interlitq.wordpress.com
Filed under: Authors, Interlitq, Issue 11, Issue 9, Poetry, The International Literary Quarterly, Travelogue, Writing, www.interlitq.wordpress.com |
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Acerca de Luis Cernuda: Luis Cernuda nace en 1902 en Sevilla. Allí fue alumno de P.Salinas. Partidario de la República, se exilia en 1938. Viaja por G.Bretaña y Estados Unidos y muere en México, en 1963. Soledad, dolor, sensibilidad… son notas características de la personalidad de Cernuda. Su descontento con el mundo y su rebeldía se deben, en gran medida, a su condición de homosexual, a su conciencia de ser un marginado. Admite ser un “inadaptado”. Sus principales influencias proceden de autores románticos: Keats, Hölderling, Bécquer… También de los clásicos, en especial de Garcilaso. Hay una voluntad de síntesis muy propia del 27. Su obra se basa en el contraste entre la su anhelo de realización personal (el deseo) y los límites impuestos por el mundo que le rodea (la realidad). Es una poesía de raíz romántica. Los temas más habituales son la soledad, el deseo de un mundo habitable y, sobre todo, el amor (exaltado o insatisfecho). Posee Cernuda un estilo muy personal, alejado de las modas. En sus inicios toca la poesía pura, el clasicismo y el Surrealismo, pero a partir de 1932 inicia un estilo personal, cada vez más sencillo (de una sencillez lúcidamente elaborada), basado en un triple rechazo: -De los ritmos muy marcados (uso fundamental de versículos). -De la rima. -Del lenguaje brillante y lleno de imágenes: desea acercarse al “lenguaje hablado, y el tono colo-quial” (lenguaje coloquial que esconde una profunda elaboración. Desde 1936 Cernuda reúne sus libros bajo un mismo título: La realidad y el deseo, que se va engrosando hasta su versión definitiva, en 1964.
Acerca de Paul Scott Derrick: Paul Scott Derrick is a Senior Lecturer of American literature at the University of Valencia, Spain. His main field of interest is Romanticism and American Transcendentalism and their manifestations in the art and thought of the 20th and 21st centuries. His critical works include: Thinking for a Change: Gravity’s Rainbow and Symptoms of the Paradigm Shift in Occidental Culture (1994) and “We stand before the secret of the world”: Traces along the Pathway of American Romanticism (2003). He has co-edited several critical studies, including: Modernism Revisited: Transgressing Boundaries and Strategies of Renewal in American Poetry, with Viorica Patea (Rodopi, 2007); and with Norman Jope and Catherine E. Byfield, The Salt Companion to Richard Berengarten (Salt Publishing, 2011). As a translator, he has published bilingual English-Spanish editions of a number of works by Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Adams and Emily Dickinson and has co-authoredand co-translated, with Juan López Gavilán, a critical Spanish edition of Sarah Orne Jewett’s The Country of the Pointed Firs [La tierra de los abetos puntiagudos] (2008). He has also published translations into English of poems by Jorge de Montemayor, Luis Cernuda, Pablo Neruda and Jorge Luis Borges. He is coordinating a critical study and translation into Spanish of Emily Dickinson’s fascicles and is currently preparing, with Miguel Teruel, a Spanish version of Richard Berengarten’s Black Light.
“Seamus Heaney and East European Poetry in Translation: Poetics of Exile”, la obra nueva de Carmen Bugan, una Editora Consultora de Interlitq, y que contribuyó poesia y prosa a la edición 10 de Interlitq, será publicada por Legenda en Septiembre, 2012
Filed under: Authors, Interlitq, Interlitq Editors, Issue 10, Memoir, Poetry, The International Literary Quarterly, Travelogue, Writing |
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Seamus Heaney and East European Poetry in Translation: Poetics of Exile, la obra nueva de Carmen Bugan, una Editora Consultora de Interlitq, y que contribuyó poesia y prosa a la edición 10 de Interlitq, será publicada por Legenda en Septiembre, 2012.
Interlitq is delighted to publish its fiction in English for 10.02.12, the translation from the Arabic of Mohamed Anakar’s story “He and I” by Redouan El Ayadi and Allen Hibbard
Filed under: Authors, Fiction, Interlitq, The International Literary Quarterly, Travelogue, Writing |
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He and I
Trans. Redouan El Ayadi and Allen Hibbard
Upon entering the restaurant, I was confronted by a profusion of elegant tables around which chairs were neatly placed, at once inviting and intimidating. Appealing bouquets of roses topped snow-white tablecloths. I was at a loss as to where to sit since the place was virtually empty. I was not seeking lasting satisfaction. I merely wanted to fill my stomach. A man, no doubt the maitre d’, approached me: a slim, clean-cut waiter with gold-framed glasses. I smiled and deferred to him reluctantly.
“I’m by myself, so a small table would be fine.”
“You may sit wherever you like,” the man responded with measured generosity.
Rather bewildered, I headed towards the corner of the restaurant and sat at a secluded table, regretting my inability to make a better choice with complete ease and confidence.
I had just won a musical competition for youth, organized by a group in Casablanca. The group had awarded me with a collection of books and paid for my stay at a respectable hotel for one night. I had lunch in the home of a member of the group. In the evening they covered the tab for my dinner at the hotel restaurant before I was to catch the 11 p.m. bus back to Tetouan.
The dreamy music in the spacious restaurant invited me to trace strange and obscure visions within my memory. Outside, by contrast, a calmness and softness reigned, like a refuge in the quiet night. I sat alone beneath a large painting that hung from the wall, feeling no wish to raise my head to take it in. Rather my whole being drifted along with the stylish, flowing features of the dimly-lit place. I was the only customer in the hotel restaurant. I could not tell for sure where the cold was coming from: Was it emanating from my body or from the room? Actually I wasn’t alone. Behind me, in front of a small desk, the waiter, wearing a white jacket and black slacks, stood, absolutely still. His silence absorbed me as he waited for me to finish my salad so he could bring me a second course. I ate, counting the seconds of waiting as the waiter in his turn waited to be called from the kitchen. The voices of music and silence made me forget I was alone.
“Does the dim lighting create the sense of tranquility in whose shade I sat?” I wondered. “Or was it due to the emptiness of the space?”
It occurred to me to ask the waiter about this, but his imposing silence and cold demeanor dissuaded me. I thought then of my immutable low status and the transitory comfort I was enjoying.
Another waiter emerged from some place I could not determine and crossed the spacious room in a calm and friendly manner that he sealed with a soft remark.
“The lights in this room are dim.”
My waiter mumbled a response I didn’t make out. I then strained myself to meet his expectations. He certainly bore no responsibility for the dim lighting that could well have been caused by some damage in an electric wire my waiter had promptly reported but the electrician had still not repaired. I also attributed the dim lighting to burnt-out bulbs or to the restaurant owner’s stinginess. What mattered was that my waiter bore no responsibility for the deficiencies of the place.
I made a conscious effort to put aside questions about passing concerns and thought instead of the pleasures of the brief time available to me before I would be thrown out into the cold world. I talked to myself about the dish of meat and fried potatoes that soon would be brought to me. At that moment a squarish, large man with fine clothes and rosy cheeks entered the room and headed confidently toward a large table at the opposite side of the room, facing me. Despite the cold, he took off his leather jacket and sat down. I surmised that the man was a foreigner. No sooner had he settled into his chair than my waiter hastened to turn on the remaining lights in the room, so that light now spread throughout the place. The walls, paintings, curtains, and mirrors were bathed in radiance. An unexpected warmth permeated the air. Even my waiter’s cold countenance was overtaken by something like virility that surprises a sluggish old man all of a sudden in his declining years. He confusedly looked for signs of delight, visions of gladness, and a world of pure affection. He came to greet his new customer and take his order.
“Can we watch the soccer match on TV?” I overheard the man ask slowly in Spanish.
The waiter joined one word to another, in halting Spanish, to invite the newcomer to watch the match at the hotel.
I lingered, taking my time eating the second dish in a warm, well-lit world, undisturbed by the kind of surveillance that laid bare the concealed, and exposed vulnerability.
I then had to go out into the cold.
The restaurant was spacious and quiet, but its lights were disturbingly dim. The profusion of chairs and tables offered me a wide number of options from which to choose. I decided to sit facing that young man sitting alone, in order to study him more closely and increase my knowledge of Moroccan behavior—the way they sat, looked, ate, chewed, breathed, turned around, moved their eyelashes, and handled bread, knives and forks. I sat down at a table with eight chairs and put my cell phone down in front of me. Suddenly, all the lights in the room went on. The room became more vibrant and I was able to examine more clearly the young man seated in front of me: a thin, sallow face; an old-looking jacket and a grey shirt buttoned at the neck. His movements suggested that he was cultured, though his general aspect did not reveal his specific profession. What mattered was his peaceful, shy look that aspired toward civilization.
A waiter approached me. He knew only a few mangled words of Spanish. Before me he played the role of the amiable fellow ready to satisfy all my wishes. A man like me, accustomed to travel, could not fail to discern the meaning of his smiling face and subservient look. I ordered a light dinner—vegetable soup and fruit—then expressed my wish to watch some of the match before going up to my room to rest.
The young man seated opposite me wrestled with a piece of meat, self-consciously, with embarrassment. At one moment he would hold the knife with his right hand and the fork with his left hand; at another, he would reverse the situation, holding the knife with the left hand and the fork with the right hand. I purposefully kept my eyes trained on him since I commanded a view of the entire room. He, on the other hand, would raise his eyes toward me then look away abruptly lest I detect his misuse of the knife, fork, napkin and the way he ate his bread with his hands, Bedouin style. When his frustration reached its height, he gave up on the cutting and speared the fried potatoes with his fork, picking them up one by one, very slowly.
I consumed my warm soup fairly quickly, then had an apple. I didn’t want to spend all my time watching someone eat. I pleasantly thought of the excitement of the match and the warmth of the room. I rose and headed straight out, looking only at the exit.
The train glided along smoothly, as though I was traveling on a magic carpet. I was alone in the compartment rereading the newspaper, searching in vain for notices for work and vacant positions. From time to time, I would turn my eyes to the right, then to the left. Small, obscure blurry images came into my view through the window, images that no doubt connected to tangible human worlds with their own particular human warmth: a cottage with a clay roof surrounded by scraggly prickly pears—and the train glided along rapidly; a peasant woman digging an irrigation ditch in the dusty earth—and the train glided along rapidly; a child sitting calmly beneath a tree, gazing at the train rushing past like a viper. The child’s distant gaze pierced the space, the iron, the glass and time, taking me forcibly back to the depths of my childhood.
The train stopped for a few minutes at the Rabat station; some passengers got off while others got on. A silent traveler, heavy set, entered my compartment. He excused himself with a smile that was a blend of an apology and an attempt to make me accept his action. With that, the thread of my solitude was broken; the foreigner punctured the cocoon of silent conversation I’d spun around me.
The man settled into his seat, took off his coat, and pulled out papers with typed letters and numbers. He pored over things like an experienced businessman. I turned my head to the right so as not to distract the man immersed in his rolling sea of reckonings. I looked out the window for more children, prickly pears, and peasant women in the dusty soil. But the foreigner brought me back to the scene of the compartment when I heard him speaking on his cell phone with his son who was somewhere out there in this vast world, assuring him and talking to him in a language unmarked by qualities of advice and caution. The man’s tone in French brimmed with self-confidence and self-control. I remembered my mother in the upper area of Barrio Malaga, waiting with all life’s hope for the results of my attempts to find work. If only I could fly to her right then in that cold morning moment to see if she was able to get out of bed to clean the pen with the two goats and feed the chickens.
I felt somewhat hungry so took two bananas from my bag and offered one to my compartment companion. He declined with a smile and with a motion of the head. Time advanced, winding through hills and plains, and we were wrapped in a prolonged silence, swaying between my meandering mind and the foreigner’s absorption. I closed my eyes. I felt as though I was bearing centuries of hardship on my shoulders, and urgently needed a deep sleep in order to remedy my exhaustion. Meanwhile, the foreigner held his glistening pen, looking intently at writing and charts printed on snow-white paper. I slipped into a light, brief sleep, not free of disturbances. I was wakened by the sound of sharp, unrestrained snoring. I opened my eyes and discovered that the gold pen had slipped from the foreigner’s hands. His papers were scattered before his feet. His snoring rose in a disturbing manner, breaking the gliding rhythmic motion of the train. I held my breath and refrained from making any movement so as not to lose this rare chance to gaze as long as possible at this man snoring unselfconsciously, until he woke up on his own, ashamed and flustered. Before he looked toward me, I had already shifted my gaze outside the train to spare him embarrassment and not be affected by signs of haughtiness and humiliation in his eyes.
I felt a wave of satisfaction spread through my being.
I chose a nearly empty compartment occupied only by a young man. I turned toward him when I entered, without encouraging him to engage in conversation. I did not greet him and turned my back to him as I lifted my heavy suitcase to put it in the luggage rack. I wanted to rest and finish my work in peace and quiet, so that when I arrived in Tetouan the papers for the deal would be revised and corrected. It seemed as though the young man was preoccupied with me though he pretended to be reading a newspaper. Without a doubt he took an interest in me. He must have been thinking about what advantage he might gain if he drew me into conversation and got to know me. A job contract. A way to get abroad. Financial security. The young man, alone in the corner, reminded me of my son, Peter. . . .
“Hello! Peter . . . How are things going, son?”
“All right. . . mother, the factory and the workers. . . . Everything is all right . . .”
“I’m speaking to you from the train. I’m on my way to Tetouan . . . . I’ll arrive in an hour or an hour and a half. . . . The representative of the company will be waiting for me. . . . I’ll call you from the hotel as soon as I arrive. . . . Bye bye. . .”
“Bye Bye . . .”
Then the man selling drinks and sandwiches passed by with his trolley. I ordered a cheese sandwich and yoghurt. I felt pleasantly full, began to feel drowsy, and gave in to the lethargy. I raised my eyes toward the broad, populated plains passing by, dozed off, and saw myself running across the vast plain beneath the burning sun. . . . In the distance, at the end of the range of my vision, stood a solitary tree, leafy with shade. I rushed toward it. . . . Peter, with his blond hair, rosy cheeks and athletic build, must be sitting beneath the tree, waiting for me, I said to myself. . . . Behind me appeared a ghost that frightened me and sent a shock through my body, producing a hot numbness. I could turn neither to the right nor to the left because my head was fixed to the neck, unable to move. Some creature or undefined form was chasing me toward the limits of fear. . . . There was no way out other than to race toward the distant tree. . . . I ran toward it, bathed in a sea of perspiration and fear, and the strange creature chasing me . . .
I then woke up, anxious. Apparently I had been dreaming and snoring under the pressure of a nightmare. I straightened up in my seat and gathered up my pen and papers that had scattered about during my sleep. Then I turned toward the young man whose gaze was averted from me, looking out over the open space. I was certain, however, that he had been furtively observing me, and that he had noticed my agitation and snoring.
I felt ashamed.
Brief biographical sketches
Moroccan writer Mohamed Anakar, who lives in Tetouan, is best known for his novel Barrio Malaga. This story appears in a collection entitled Al Akhras, or The Mute, published in 2005. While acknowledged as an important contemporary writer in Morocco, his work has yet to be introduced to English readers.
Redouan El Ayadi is a Professor in the English Department at Abelmalek Essaadi University in Tetouan, Morocco.
Allen Hibbard, Professor of English and Director of the Middle East Center at Middle Tennessee State University, is the author of two books on Paul Bowles. With Osama Isber, he has translated a number of poems by the great modern Arab poet Adonis. He and Isber are presently preparing a translation of A Banquet for Seaweed, a novel by Syrian writer Haidar Haidar, for Syracuse University Press.
Filed under: Authors, Essay, Poetry, The International Literary Quarterly, Travelogue, Writing |
Kirsten Warner will be contributing a piece on Bali, and also an example of her poetry, to Interlitq’s New Zealand feature. Date of feature to be confirmed.
Filed under: Authors, Criticism, History, Interlitq Editors, The International Literary Quarterly, Travelogue, Writing |
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Leonard Barkan, the Director of the Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts at Princeton University, where he is also the Arthur W. Marks ’19 Professor of Comparative Literature, the Director of the New York Institute for the Humanities 1997-2001, author of many works including Satyr Square: A Year, a Life in Rome, a Consulting Editor of “The International Literary Quarterly”, and who is currently the American Academy in Rome Scholar in Residence in History of Art, recently responded to two questions about his Roman connection fielded by the “American Academy in Rome” weblog:
“Tell us a bit about your connections to Rome. I know you’ve had quite a lot before joining the AAR this year as a Resident.
I have always been intrigued by the notion of “overdetermination”—roughly, referring to an effect that has many causes, any one of which would have been sufficient by itself to explain it. My connections to Rome are, precisely, overdetermined. I wrote a book about rediscovering ancient sculpture in Rome during the Renaissance; I entered an extraordinary circle of friends in the city once I started doing research here in the 1980s; for fifteen years I have been writing about food and wine for a publication that is produced here; I published a memoir about a year of my life here; my partner is a photographer with a special interest in capturing unexpected mixtures of old-and-new on the urban scene. About the only thing I haven’t previously done in Rome is to be part of the American Academy, a lack that has now been joyously remedied.
And so how have you been spending your time here so far?
During these few months of my residency, I am poised between two very different projects. Michelangelo: A Life on Paper, which will be published this November, still keeps me busy with coaxing some of its 208 color photographs out of their various Italian sources. The new work, still untitled, will involve another scholarly departure for me. Having considered for years the relations between the arts of the word and the arts of the picture, I am now asking about connections across a still wider gap, between what is called “high culture”—poems, paintings, symphonies—and the world of eating and drinking. Focussing (as usual) on antiquity and the Renaissance, I am noticing just how deeply interwoven these activities are, both conceptually and in practice. All of which will, I hope, emerge when I return to the American Academy in 2011 to deliver the Jerome Lectures. The fact that I am researching a project in gastronomy just when the Academy is blessed by an extraordinary culture of good food and wine: that, too, is blessedly overdetermined.”