Confiésate / Confess
Hamish Rankine interpreta “Confiésate”, un relato de Adolfo Moreno
Durante mucho tiempo el nombre del traductor quedaba relegado a la contraportada del libro. Como si las palabras fueran herramientas matemáticas, se pensaba que esta profesión podía desempeñarse por cualquiera que supiera emparejar un signo lingüístico con otro. Como si en la literatura el significante, significado, ritmo o sensibilidad no importara. Como si todos los idiomas tuvieran el mismo número de palabras o texturas. Como si existiera en algún otro idioma ese término japonés al que ya apelamos alguna otra vez en el pasado “わびさび o “wabi-sabi” que representa el estado de gracia al que llega una inteligencia sobria, modesta y sinceramente sensible”.
Cualquier traducción tendrá tantos defensores como detractores como punto de partida. Los más académicos defenderán que se han perdido matices al cambiar de lengua. Otros, por contra, estarán agradecidos por acercarnos obras de arte que de otra manera nos hubiese sido imposible conocer. El mundo literario sería totalmente distinto sin ellos.
El traductor es un intérprete, al igual que el músico o el actor
Y en este debate sobre Literalidad sí o literalidad no, aparece Borges como un elefante en una tienda de bombillas alegando que la traducción no solo puede ser mejor que el original sino que está en la obligación de serlo. Tiene que superarlo eliminando las imprecisiones del lenguaje, añadiendo matices y limpiando las distracciones textuales. Y no acaba aquí, una vez traducido el texto debería de ser traducido una y otra vez hasta que la obra fuera perfecta. Cuanto hay de real y cuanto hay de guasa en las palabras del genial maestro nunca lo sabremos pues el mismo recurrió a la seudoepigrafía, un texto donde título y autor son falsos, para así inventar historias supuestamente traducidas.
Hoy hemos querido hacer un homenaje a esta profesión. Es por ello que hoy de la mano de Hamish Rankine les traemos un relato de Adolfo Moreno, escritor seleccionado para el número 0 de La gran Belleza y del que esperamos leer mucho más. Hoy nos atrevemos a publicar no un relato traducido si no un experimento lingüístico. Enjoy it.
By Adolfo Moreno translation Hamish Rankine
He was blinking, showing with a mathematical rhythm his dilated pupils, surrounded by an intense, jelly-like blue. He was barely ten; redheaded and wiry with a sad and listless smile. He was sitting in the back seat of an aircraft which was rising vertically amongst the towering skyscrapers which traced the outline of the city, its sky murky, its neon lights bright, where the sun was barely even a firefly glow emerging through the dense layer of pollution which smothered everything.
“It’s a long journey, Henry, but it’ll be worth it,” his mother told him enthusiastically.
She stroked her husband’s knee; they were sitting side by side in the front seats. Both were smiling.
“Did you take your medicine?” his father asked him, turning his head to look at him.
“Yeah,” replied the boy, without taking his gaze from the translucent window which was shaping the vast building that he had had in front of him for most of the ascent.
Henry walked through the mountains with eyes like saucers. He bent down to stroke the blades of grass. Later on, he knelt down, fidgeting, looking at the small lake nestled in the valley. His parents looked at him with joy, and then at each other, knowingly. They enjoyed the still silence for a few minutes, until the sun’s descent started to dye the clouds red and orange. The grown-ups came up behind Henry.
“What do you think? It’s called a sunset,” she told him.
The boy didn’t say a word, and his father stepped from behind to look at him.
“Honey, are you okay?”
“No,” he managed to reply.
“What’s wrong?!” asked his mother, moving around to stand in front of him too. She stroked his face.
“I think my heart is beating too fast,” said Henry.
“Oh, well, you scared me! That’s just the excitement, you needn’t worry. Just enjoy it,” recommended his father.
“I don’t feel good,” insisted Henry, shaking, as he sat up. “Who’s that man?”
His parents turned their heads to look at the mountain landscape. There was no one else around.
As soon as he managed to sit up straight, Henry collapsed, sprawled out on the grass.
His blue, jelly-like eyes fixed themselves on the Alhambra. Henry was now just under 20, and a driverless aircraft was taking him and three friends towards the Alcazaba. Spotlights focused on the Red Fortress accentuated its hue.
“I’m so hungover…” mumbled Marco, one of the four young men.
“You’re telling me! You really reckon we’re going to find what we missed out on in Granada up there in the Alhambra?” added the second.
“You already missed out on everything last night,” kidded the third, and both Marco and Henry laughed along.
“If we were back with those lasses from last night instead of here in this pile of shit, I can tell you who’d miss out on what,” answered the second one.
“Seriously though, guys,” butted in Henry, “I’ve heard it’s fucking amazing. And I’ve had it up to here with living between buildings that block out the sky. We can agree that we chose to come to Granada to see something that’s still standing from the past…”
“Yeah, please, go on, tell us about when you saw that sunset. I’ve not heard that one,” cried Marco, sarcastically.
The three friends started to laugh. Henry went silent, and lowered his gaze, running his hands over his long, curly red hair.
The security guard pushed the button and the horizontal light barrier disappeared. The four guys crossed the threshold and entered the Court of the Lions. They all stopped, silent, with their mouths half open staring at the gallery of sleek marble columns through which they could see the interior of the iconic courtyard.
Henry’s pupils drank in the scene, eager to capture every detail. His face began to go red. His legs weakened. He let himself fall slowly, until his knees touched the floor, and he brought his hand up to his chest.
The dace-floor in the nightclub was quite full. Marco and Henry, drinks in hand and legs motionless, were watching their two friends pretending to enjoy dancing as they approached a group of young girls.
“What happened to you back there?” Marco asked Henry.
“A fucking doctor came over this morning, man. Are you kidding me?”
“I’m a bit odd, you know…”
“You’re not odd, your sensitive. If this is because of the joke I made earlier when we were heading up to the Alhambra, Christ! You know I was just kidding around. I tell you my stuff, and you tell me yours. What’s why we’re brothers, mate!”
“What do you think it would’ve been like, you know, to have an actual brother back when we were young?” asked Henry, changing the subject.
“I reckon fucking great. Like that sunset you saw, that I cracked up about before. It’s just a bit of innocent envy though mate, seriously. Go on, tell me.”
“Man, you’re just going to laugh,” said Henry timidly, looking embarrassed. “Only my parents know.”
“You’re going to have to tell someone sometime, bro. Someone… Or some girl,” added Marco, winking at him. “Go on, you may as well practise on me. I’m all ears.”
“I’d rather do it some other day.”
“I swear on my life I’d never dream of making a joke about whatever you tell me now. Go on, bro, I don’t want to get another scare like today. Someone’s got to know, in case it happens again.
Henry looked at him warily.
“I get sick… If I see beauty.”
“What the fu—”
“I get that you think I’m crazy, don’t worry. I think so too!”
“But, right, so what happened today was because you saw something pretty? Because you saw some fucking building from ages ago?!”
“Yeah. The first time I remember was when my parents took me to the mountains to see the sun without any clouds. It hit me hard. It took us years to figure out what it was.”
“So you’re doomed to run away from beauty…” Marco summed it up in a phrase that made Henry go pale.
The jelly like blue of his irises stood out amongst the chalky faces of the people walking along the street. The city was dull and gloomy. Henry, who was now over 30, pressed the button next to the restaurant door, which opened instantly. He followed the labyrinthine corridor, which had lights underfoot to guide him. He arrived at a table set with two places and sat down.
“Good evening, Mr. Henry. Would you like a drink?” asked an electric voice from a device attached to the wall.
“A glass of red wine, please. Do you have Rioja?”
“No, I’m afraid not, sir,” answered the robot. “We have our fabulous EM1D2, or an intense J1I9. If you prefe—”
“Certainly. That last one: R1Z7.”
“No! The one you s—”
“The last one I said was J1I9, the last one I started to say was R1Z7. It was my mistake, sir. Please excuse me. I believe you wanted the J1I9?
“Certainly, EM1D2, the first one I offered you. Wonderful…”
“…As I was saying. Excuse me? It wasn’t the EM1D2?”
“Just give me whatever the hell you want!” shouted Henry at the wall.
At that moment, a beautiful, tanned woman, with long curly hair and green eyes arrived at the table. Henry stood up, startled. He turned his head to look at her, wanting the earth to swallow him up:
“Sorry, I don’t usually shout; these damn machines can drive you crazy sometimes! I’m sorry, I…” he stammered, and made a sudden movement forward towards her. “Flor, right?”
“Florencia, yes,” she replied, a look of disgust on her face. It didn’t go away when Henry moved clumsily forwards to give her a kiss on the cheek.
The two glasses of wine stood facing each other on the tablecloth. They went straight from half full to completely empty when both Henry and Florencia drained them in one go.
“I’ve got to confess, I’m dying to have some fun with the waiter machine!” exclaimed Henry.
“Wow, you’re one of those people who still add ‘machine’? You’re one of those people who still add ‘machine’!” she smiled at him. “You’re so cute…”
“You didn’t think so when you walked in on me having a go at a robot like a madman.”
“It’s a good thing I’m not the kind of girl who lets a first impression get the better of her. It means I got to meet someone who’s sensitive in a way I hadn’t seen before. Come on, tell me what your flaw is. Apart from bullying machines.”
“Flor, if I told you, you’d think I’m crazy. I’ve never told anyone, and I don’t think I should now.”
“Confess, handsome,” she whispered.
When the new-born huddled in Flor’s arms opened his blue eyes, Henry disappeared onto the floor with a thud.