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Articles tagged "Catalan"

Adam Gerber’s Good-bye

I Adam Gerber says good morning:                                                             “Good morning, trees, good morning, sky, good morning, morning;...

Terra Incognita

I plugged my poem into a manhole cover That flamed into the first guitar, Jarred the asphalt and tar to ash, And made from where there once was Ground a sound instead to stand on.   "Terra Incognita" from The Ground by Rowan Ricardo Phillips. © 2012 by Rowan Ricardo Phillips. Reprinted by permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC. 

New Fiction in Translation: From “The Boys”

The following is an excerpt from Toni Sala's short novel The Boys, translated by Mara Faye Lethem and out November 10 from Two Lines Press. The novel opens in the once-bucolic Catalonian village of Vidreres. Ravaged by a harsh recession, the town now has to come to grips with the death of two of its young men in a horrible car crash. The selection below follows one of the novel's four principal characters, a brutish trucker who, in between...

Translating as Transformative Experience: Columbia’s Word for Word

For the fourth year in a row, Columbia University’s School of the Arts hosted a reading to celebrate Word for Word, an exchange program that brings together pairs of writers from different countries and languages to translate each other’s work. For the past three years, Columbia students collaborated with German counterparts. This year, they partnered with students from Scuola Holden in Turin, Italy and Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. The American...

Musical Beds, Catalan Style

If you've finished the issue and are still in the mood, check out Empar Moliner's rollicking "Invention of the Aspirin" in our October 2007 Catalan issue. A bored wife finds she has the ability to slip into other women's identities—and their bedrooms. Shapeshifting from secretary to teen to porn star, and whirling in and of bed with, among others, her daughter's boyfriend and the president, she embraces this cure for her ennui. The result is inevitable and (at least...

Literary Journeys Through Catalonia: Through Josep Pla’s Empordà

"Landscape elucidates literature, because literature                                                                 is the landscape’s memory through time." —Josep Pla, Cartes de lluny   The Empordà, the northernmost territory of the Province of Girona, stretches from the northern border of the...

A New Series: Literary Journeys Through Catalonia

Throughout history writers have, again and again, undertaken journeys—journeys of the mind and actual journeys, traveling across their respective homelands as well as exploring more distant, foreign territories. They have traveled, one could argue, to feel captivated and reinvigorated by a sense of discovery, and perhaps even to make sense of the apparent chaos of the human condition by observing its nuanced manifestations through a variety of cultures and landscapes.  The...

A Stitch in Time

The mossos came this morning. I’d been expecting them for days. When I opened the door, they were still out of breath. That’s not unusual. Visitors get to my seventh-floor attic apartment on their last legs, as there’s no elevator. The stairs have high steps and are an effort to climb, and rather than taking them calmly, like Carmeta and me, they must have rushed at them hellbent for leather, like a couple of lunatics. I expect their uniforms set the neighbors’...

Landscape with Strikers

At nine a.m. the few people standing around on the subway platform are watching the news on the screens provided by the Barcelona Channel. The trains comply scrupulously with the minimum-service laws. They are running half-empty and many seats are unoccupied, which would be unthinkable at this time of day any other day, when occupancy approaches that of sardines in a can. In front of the Goya Theater, at the top of Joaquín Costa, there are fewer whores than usual. Perhaps in...

My Brother

Midway through Christmas dinner one year, absent any illness or prior warning that might have led us to suspect some problem with his health—not even a tiny, unobtrusive one—my brother died. He had never been a very active kid. He had frequent dizzy spells, and he didn’t like to play soccer or get drunk with the guys when we went to the Chinese restaurant back behind the school (not so much because the food was cheap as because they would bring us little glasses of...

The Game

It’s the son’s idea: he’ll hide in an armoire and, when his father walks by, he’ll jump out and scare him. The boy opens the doors, clambers under the lowest shelf, and, from inside, silently closes them. After a while, he hears his father’s voice. At first he calls him in a normal tone of voice. Soon, it becomes more uneasy. Back and forth through the house, the father repeats his son’s name, with increasing volume, increasing irritation. When, judging...

Immolation

Husband and wife contemplate the silhouette of the tower. The woman feels particularly affectionate, and she hugs her husband. "I really wanted to make this trip." They kiss. The husband caresses his wife's hair. They look at the tower again. "What time do we have to be in Florence?" the woman asks. "In the evening. Are you hungry? Should we get the car and go have lunch someplace close by?" "Yes, but let's go to the top of the tower first." "The tower? No way."...

from “Such Small Hands”

Everything was different at the zoo. It all started at the zoo: the smell of the zoo, the nervous excitability as we stepped off the minibus. All that was new: the zoo. All that was violent: the zoo. And to think that the whole world can be contained in one fang, and that that fang can be seen in an animal’s mouth, and it’s white, and made to sink into flesh, and that the wolf, who is bad in real life, looks good when he’s in his cage…And to sense that they were made for each...

Mr. Beneset

Mr. Beneset’s son arrives at the geriatric home and greets the girl at reception: a nice, sensible girl who was, in fact, the one who, when he was looking for a home for Mr. Beneset, tipped the balance and led him to pick this one and not the other one, in Putxet, which he’d also liked. She and Mr. Beneset’s son chat about this and that. About life in general, about Easter Week, which is fast approaching, about the newly asphalted road and about how Mr. Beneset has been...

Honesty

The nurse walks into Room 93 pushing a cart carrying a tray with a glass of water, a jar of capsules, a thermometer, and a file folder rest. She says "Good evening" and approaches the patient's bed. He lies there with his eyes closed. She looks at him with no particular interest, consults the clipboard at the foot of the bed where the instructions are written, takes a capsule out of the jar she brought in on the cart and, as she picks up the glass of water, says: "Mr. Rdz, it's...

Sun in an Empty Room, 1963

In this bedroom devoid of furniture and unpolluted the action is set. It is filled with sunlight admitted by the window and my footsteps resound as if someone were walking with me. I stand up straight, my eyes intent on something (on what is clearly unimportant). Floating in the nuptial glow of afternoon (the sun already waning) I noted the presence of a shadow, a pulse, a breath. It's just me: tending to be invisible, I rediscover myself and leave a sign. The...

Summer Evening, 1947

Being a couple is twice the fun. Being a couple is twice the cost. Being a couple doubles your earning power and your frustrated dreams. Being a couple means a unity stops you from being the indivisible and unique thing you once were for better or worse. Being a couple is ruining your eyesight together and shaking your booties in synch and jogging side by side. Being a couple brings the "added problem" of not being three or four. Being a couple makes you talk it over....

Summer in the City, 1949

The man is looking for trouble, thrills, sublime ecstasies, places devoid of folklore, deals, calculated approximations, objects of desire that hold your attention and help you keep your cool, the latest rage at your fingertips, binges, infatuations, sexual icons, irrefutable proofs, joyrides, advice within parentheses, green lights, comfy shoes, forms of expression that presume supremacy, free tickets to the game, ways of killing time that are reckless and frenzied, the...

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