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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Jorge Luis Borges, Milonga de Jacinto Chiclana

Jorge Luis Borges, Edmundo Rivero y Ástor Piazzolla
(fuente: Descontexto)
no copyright infringement intended

Me acuerdo. Fue en Balvanera,
En una noche lejana
Que alguien dejó caer el nombre
De un tal Jacinto Chiclana.

Algo se dijo también
De una esquina y de un cuchillo;
Los años nos dejan ver
El entrevero y el brillo.

Quién sabe por qué razón
Me anda buscando ese nombre;
Me gustaría saber
Cómo habrá sido aquel hombre.

Alto lo veo y cabal,
Con el alma comedida,
Capaz de no alzar la voz
Y de jugarse la vida.

Nadie con paso más firme
Habrá pisado la tierra;
Nadie habrá habido como él
En el amor y en la guerra.

Sobre la huerta y el patio
Las torres de Balvanera
Y aquella muerte casual
En una esquina cualquiera.

No veo los rasgos. Veo,
Bajo el farol amarillo,
El choque de hombres o sombras
Y esa víbora, el cuchillo.*

Acaso en aquel momento
En que le entraba la herida,
Pensó que a un varón le cuadra
No demorar la partida.**

Sólo Dios puede saber
La laya fiel de aquel hombre;
Señores, yo estoy cantando
Lo que se cifra en el nombre.

Entre las cosas hay una
De la que no se arrepiente
Nadie en la tierra. Esa cosa
Es haber sido valiente.***

Siempre el coraje es mejor,
La esperanza nunca es vana;
Vaya pues esta milonga,
Para Jacinto Chiclana.
(fuente: Descontexto)


I remember, it was in Balvanera,
in a distant night,
that someone dropped the name
of someone named Jacinto Chiclana.

Something was also said
about a street corner and a knife.
The passing years don't let us see
the brawl and the sheen.

Who knows for what reason
that name is looking for me!
I would like to know
how must have been that man.

I picture him tall and consummate,
with his obliging soul;
capable of not raising his voice
and ready to risk his life.

No one with a firmer footing
must have stepped this earth.
No one must have lived like him
in love and war.

On the orchard and the courtyard
the towers of Balvanera
and that fortuitous death
on any street corner.

I do not see the characteristics. I see,
under the yellow light,
the clash of men or shadows
and that viper, the knife.

Perhaps at that moment
when the wound entered his body,
he thought that to a man it suits
not to delay the departure.

Only God can know
the faithful kind of that man
Gentlemen, I am singing
what's centered in the name.

Among all things there is one
of which there are no regrets
from nobody on Earth. That thing
is to have been brave.

The courage is always better.
The hope is never vain.
So, then, this milonga
is for Jacinto Chiclana.
(source: Planet Tango)


(Juan Carlos Villavicencio)

Labels: ,

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Giuseppe Ungaretti, Fratelli

Ungaretti in divisa militare durante la Grande guerra
(source: wiki)
no copyright infringement intended

Di che reggimento siete

Parola tremante
nella notte

Foglia appena nata

Nell'aria spasimante
involontaria rivolta
dell'uomo presente alla sua


¿De cuál regimiento son

Trémula palabra 
en la noche

Una hoja recién nacida

En el aire agónico
la involuntaria rebelión
del hombre ante su propia

(traducción de Juan Carlos Villavicencio)
(source: Descontexto)

(source: prgnair)
no copyright infringement intended

What regiment d'you belong to

Word shaking
in the night

Leaf barely born

In the simmering air 
involuntary revolt
of the man present at his

(source: Poem Hunter)

(source: medium)
no copyright infringement intended

Din ce regiment sunteţi 

Vorbă cutremurătoare 
în noapte 

Frunză abia mijită 

În văzduhul zbuciumat 
involuntara revoltă 
a omului ce-şi constată 


(Giuseppe Ungaretti)

(Juan Carlos Villavicencio)

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Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Un escritorazo

Ulica krokodyli
(source: Zeitgeist)
no copyright infringement intended

I found today on Facebook a wonderful text from an author totally unknown for me. A Spanish translation, El otro otoño, and the author was Bruno Schulz. I looked on Wikipedia, to find out that this writer had actually been one of the great Polish language prose stylists of the 20th century, author of some amazingly imaginative short stories. His life ended tragically, one of the Holocaust victims.

I found then on youTube an animated movie, inspired by the story of Bruno Schulz. It deserves to be watched, it's a masterpiece of absurd cinema!

I commented on the Facebook post, saying that this was superb prose, like poetry and that I didn't know anything about this author, though he lived in a country neighboring mine. They replied enthusiastically, un escritorazo.

Well, this escritorazo put me in deep difficulty, due to my very limited knowledge of Spanish. What was supposed to be escritorazo? A great escritor, or, todo lo contrario, some freaking kind of an escritor? I started to search on the web till I found a link that clarified me the meaning. It was an article about the Colombian writer Pablo Montoya, published in El Espectador, concluding that se los digo de corazón: ¡Pablo Montoya es un escritorazo!

And I realized that un escritorazo means, in plain English, a fucking good writer (or, to put it mildly, this time in Romanian, un scriitor dat naibii de bun)

(Refranero español)


Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Uno castudiao

(fuente de la imagen: Pinterest)
no copyright infringement intended

Pierre: Recently a lot of Spanish jokes end with "uno castudiao" For instance, "¿Papí, dónde come el hombre? +Del bar - -¿ Y lo del mono? +Noooo, del anís. -¡ Que lilo eres papí? + Nooo, uno castudiao. " I can give you also other jokes like that, all of them are based on puns, and end with "uno castudiao".
Patrick (| Unofficial St. Lucian Creole Course | Peruvian | Creole Languages Lover | Table-Tennis Player | Learning since 26/10/16): I haven't heard something like that in my live, and I'm a native Spanish speaker from Lima, Perú. Those jokes have no sense for me.
Mark985145: It looks like a funny way of writing "uno que ha estudiado", meaning "someone well-read"... I might be wrong, though.
AntonnioVaez (Recommended apps: LINGBE, QUIZLET, MondlyKids; English / Spanish, level 24, German, level 22): You are right.
kmpala (Spanish / English, level 25): That's interesting, a Google search brings up many hits, mostly joke-related, but there is no direct translation anywhere.
Pierre: Thank you all very much!

(Refranero español)

Labels: ,

Monday, April 09, 2018

Junot Diaz, The Silence: The Legacy of Childhood Trauma

Junot Díaz
(image source: edX)
no copyright infringement intended

(Junot Díaz)


Sunday, April 01, 2018

Gerald Murnane

Gerald Murnane
(image source: Sydney Morning Herald)
no copyright infringement intended

An author who has not made the selling of himself an easy task (NYT), as he captures a plain’s paradoxical mix of uniformity and mystery, the former producing the latter (The Newyorker); he is himself a man of profound contradictions, let's say a recluse who craves attention, or even better a Luddite who uses his smartphone to google himself (Paris Review); a guy who figures the world laterally, so his fiction is not an imitation of reality, rather a prismatic and many-sided mirror (Sydney Morning Herald); to achieve this he works diabolically on his sentences, being perhaps able to fill an entire book with only one sentence (Sydney Morning Herald); think Proust for that matter, or think Beckett (NYT); anyway, in constructing a sentence he has a few equals (Sydney Morning Herald); is this guy the next Nobel? it could happen; till then for his fellow Australians Gerald Murnane is kind of cult.

(A Life in Books)