Saturday, August 17th, 2013
Wow, there is some great poetry in this issue of Metamorphoses. Akhmatova, Tsvetaeva, Hilst, Orhan Veli, Benny Andersen (whose "Kierkegaard on a bicycle" is going to be my new favorite poem for at least a little while),...
Another Zupcic story, another Osner translation: "Tescuco, Italy" is printed in the Fall 2013 issue of Metamorphoses, the journal of the five colleges faculty seminar on literary translation.
Monday, April 30th, 2012
I got word yesterday that Metamorphoses, the journal of literary translation at Smith College, accepted my translation of Slavko Zupcic's story, "Tescucho, Italia" -- nice! This is the first piece that I have had accepted after submitting it to a couple of magazines and being rejected. Glad I kept sending it out. It will appear in the fall 2013 issue of Metamorphoses.
Thursday, March 22nd, 2012
Today I happened on another story by Zupcic, "Girasoles Funeral Home: The Autobiography of a Hearse" -- here we learn the (rather sordid) story of Bárbula Copies, after Benavides and his friends graduate and sell out to the fat lady who runs the numbers game next door.
Wednesday, March 21st, 2012
— Death takes us all. — That was all we would say when customers asked us how we had made the decision to go into the funeral home business here next to the medical school, when they asked us how we could have chosen such a name for our business as Bárbula Copies.
Wednesday, January 25th, 2012
El último cuento de la colección nueva de Zupcic, Médicos taxistas, se dramáticamente diferencia del resto -- todos los son muy elegantes y lúcidos pero no (a excepción tal vez del hermoso "Tescucho, Italia") me inquietante cogen como los padre-ausente-y-criminal cuentos de sus colecciones jóvenes. Éso sí y hace una conexión bonita a los cuentos anteriores. (Los nuevos son indudablemente más fácil traducir, no estoy seguro de cómo esto interpretar.)
Cada uno de los cuentos en Médicos taxistas es a su manera excéntrico, es difícil clasificarlos juntos. El cuento titular me encuenta y en segunda lectura me deja pensando que es otra cosa detrás de la historia pero no puedo ver qué es. "El Barbero de Dalí" me ha riendo y rascándome la cabeza. "Doble Chávez" me da un sentido no del todo bienvenido de la identificación. Una lectura muy divertida.
"Amor que a otro puerto pertenece," el último cuento y el más largo, reexamina a otra manera la tema de Zlatica Didic y su hijo Zlatko Didic que Zupcic (Slavko el hijo de Slavko Zupcic) visitó por primera vez en su "Cartas hacia una novela". Zlatko comienca aquí, "Comencé a escribir este relato hace casi veinte años..." y de repente tengo una imagen más claro y más estimulante del (sin duda pequeño) cuerpo de su obra. Todo se junta.
The last story in Zupcic's new collection Médicos taxistas differs dramatically from the rest -- all of them are elegant and clear but none of them (except perhaps the beautiful "Tescucho, Italy") seizes me in the disquieting way that the absent/criminal-father stories in his juvenile collections do. This one does, and it creates a nice link to his earlier stories. (The new ones are indubitably easier to translate, I'm not quite sure what to make of this.)
Each of the stories in Médicos taxistas is oddball in its own way, I would have a hard time grouping them together. The title story enchants me and on second reading makes me feel I'm missing some element behind the story -- but certain that the unknown element is present behind the story. "The Barber of Dalí" ("Dalí's Barber" is probably a closer translation but I like the rhythm of this title) leaves me laughing and scratching my head. "Chávez Double" gives me a not completely welcome rush of identification. All in all a lot of fun to read.
"A Love Which Belongs to the Other Door," the last story and the longest, takes another look, through a different glass, at the subject of Zlatica Didic and his son Zlatko Didic, whom Zupcic (Slavko son of Slavko) first visited in his story "Letters Towards a Novel". Zlatko starts off by saying, "I began writing this story almost twenty years ago..." and suddenly I get a much clearer, more moving vision of the (to be sure small) body of his work -- it all comes together.
Sunday, January 15th, 2012
I rode my bike down Muntaner to Diagonal. Parked it in front of the Dau al set gallery and rang Valerie's doorbell.
—When you come to the door, so you won't have to tell me who it is, ring three times in a row: ta, ta, ta. That way I'll know it's you. —that's what she had told me, the first day.
The door opened and I went upstairs. Valerie went over to the sofa with me as soon as I came in, she was moving her hands slowly in front of me, telling me her mother had been in the hospital since that afternoon, she feared the worst, that she had only come away from there to meet me, so that I would not come to an empty apartment and be scared.
She gave me a kiss on the cheek, paid me, and we left the apartment. Of course I didn't tell her any of what I'd been thinking about. I wasn't going to be seeing her anymore, surely; but I had left the mobile -- the lizards, the Gaudi mobile, on her sofa.
I have made a couple of revisions and have submitted the story to Words Without Borders. The biographical note I submitted:
Jeremy Osner is a computer programmer living in New Jersey. He came to Spanish translation late in life and has been learning the language as he learns the voices of the authors he has translated. Notable among these is Venezuelan Slavko Zupcic, a psychiatrist now living in Valencia, Spain, whose stories examine the gaps in understanding at the borders between people.
This story is from Mr. Zupcic's recently published collection, Médicos Taxistas.
I have been struggling for a couple of weeks with translating a trilogy of stories by Zupcic about his character Vinko Spolovtiva... took a break from that to work on "Tescucho, Italia" from his new book Médicos taxistas and I was able in just a few days to get a working version together that I think reads quite well. You can listen to me reading it if you like; and hopefully soon you will be able to read it published somewhere!
Wednesday, January 4th, 2012
I am very happy to hear, this morning, that Slavko Zupcic's new short story collection Médicos taxistas has been published. The story that got me interested in Zupcic, "Tuesday Meetings", is in there, as is the story that I translated, "Requiem". (Or at least, both stories were blurbed as being "from Zupcic's forthcoming collection Médicos taxistas".) And lots more... "Médicos, taxistas de Caracas". "Tescucho, Italia". (This one especially looked interesting and worthwhile. I'm going to take a little closer look now.) Excited to read it!
Saturday, December 24th, 2011
I am setting a goal for myself of finishing my translation of Zupcic's "Vinko Spolovtiva, ¿Quién te mató?" Probably not much blogging this week.
(Oh and happy year's end!)
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