Two or Three Things that have come my Way
Recently came across a new online internationalist — thus translation — oriented magazine, Cerise Press, edited & published between the US and France. Check it out — I am of course immediately very taken by Charlotte Mandell’s translation of Abdelwahab Meddeb‘s The Stranger Across, but also fascinated by Tony Brinkley & Raina Kostova‘s translations of Osip Mandelshtam — to me, the most difficult of the Russian poets to bring over into English.
Just in from burning deck, Jean Daive‘s memoir of Paul Celan, Under the Dome: Walks with Paul Celan, translated from the French by Rosmarie Waldrop. I have commented on it before on this blog — check it out here.
Also just in, Donald Wellman‘s excellent translation of Antonio Gamoneda‘s Lapidas / Gravestones from UNO Press (University of New Orleans Press). Gamoneda is one of the major Spanish poets of the the last half-century (he’s born in 1931) and, if I am not mistaken, this is the first of his collections available to US readers.
Writes José Kozer on the back cover:
One should be glad for Gamoneda’s belated recognition and simply shrug one’s shoulders over the timing, since that seems to be the lot of great poets. One should concentrate on a poetry that “travels from the visible to the invisible” and vice versa. A poetry not prone to expletives, resentment, nor the exploitation of personal grievances. A poetry that can deal with, in the words of Eduardo Milán, “the intimacy of exclusion” objectively yet passionately, language transparent and yet complex. Translator Donald Wellman’s sensitivity to these nuances and complexities serves these poems well.
Gamoneda, the recipient of the 2006 Cervantes prize, the major literature award in Spain, had of course been silenced under the Franco dictatorship — here a video of the poet speaking of his life of resistance to that disctatorship and his poetics: