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Articles tagged "Spain"

Adam Gerber’s Good-bye

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

No Euskera

Bilbao rose to meet them, swathed in stagnant drizzle. At the door to the train station, the old woman opened her umbrella and stepped outside, with the girl walking snug against her body. The damp fog blurred the outlines of the city. Objects appeared menacingly distant, and the people seemed to be walking an inch off the ground. The old woman tied her black kerchief under her chin without dropping the basket hung over her arm. She was dressed in an old village woman’s prim mourning...

Translating Tweets from the Catalan Independence Movement

Liz Castro (@lizcastro) on the Power of Multilingual Social Networks  Muira McCammon probes the corners and crevices of cyberspace to better understand the political, legal, ethical, spatial, and ideological challenges involved in translating individual Tweets. She's interested in efforts to theorize the web as an increasingly multilingual space, despite ongoing language barriers and digital divides.  While exploring the interplay between censorship and social media, she...

Mangled Flesh

His father says, Son, if you see me crying when we go inside don’t be afraid, you keep moving forward, they’re my own things and they have nothing to do with you, coming here breaks my heart, but today I’m making good on something I’ve been promising you for a long time, Borja, I’m not putting it off any longer. Another March, noon, they said it’s going to rain. We don’t have to go inside if you don’t want to, Dad, what you told me already and...

from “Rhapsody”

XV The time has come to say good-bye; with farewells comes wind to the vineyard like dark Valpolicella wine in the hand of dark winter dyes: parks, far stations pass by winter platforms, by hills that lose their color on being dyed into crystals by thinking light; so we head for the center, not to flight or the abyss but the carnation of time, of what spots us in the flaming mirror. So clouds in their service pass by like the Holy Procession of Phantoms like the...

The Baghdad Clock

I never feared them nor did they ever do anything to frighten me. They were there, next to the stove, mixed up with the crackling of firewood, the taste of freshly baked bollos, the to-and-fro of the old women’s skirts. I never feared them, perhaps because in my imagination they were pale and beautiful, listening as we did to the stories that took place in nameless hamlets, waiting for the right moment to let themselves be heard, to whisper to us wordlessly: “We’re here,...

from “Rage”

From violent dampnesses, from places where the residues of torments and whimpers mesh, comes this arterial grief, this shredded memory.          They go insane, even the mothers who run through my veins.  *** The tortured shadows near the signs. I think about the day when horses learned to weep.  *** Who shows up shouting, announcing such a summer, lighting black lamps, hissing into the pure blue of knives?  *** They come...

The Last Day on Earth

There seemed to be no one left in the barrio now and the windows were bare and the wind stirred through gates and the rats crossed noiseless rooms and the smell of the honeysuckle was fading. At night there were neither the cries of a sleepless child nor the clatter of dishes deep in the kitchens. In the gardens, it was not the sound of fountains but those of a dry, broken-off branch, a well's pulley creaking in the wind, an orphaned cat whispering an astonished meow and the acacias...

Crossing Bridges

I crossed the Vltava by way of the Charles Bridge. I crossed the Neva by way of the Trinity Bridge. I crossed the Danube by way of the Lion Bridge. I crossed the Moskva by way of the Novoarbatski Bridge. I crossed the Sava by way of Branko’s Bridge. I crossed the Tiber by way of the ponte Sant’Angelo. I crossed the Seine by way of the pont Mirabeau. I crossed the bridges of rusted iron over the immense Paraná, at Gualeguaychú, and the equally mighty...

Social Skills

The Dodge Dart parked on the crosswalk with its right front wheel up on the curb and the fender touching the lamppost. Doña Mercedes, sitting in the passenger seat, opened the door and let out a snort. “Your driving is getting worse and worse, Hija. You’re really showing your age,” she said, although Felisa was eighteen years her junior. Felisa was Doña Mercedes’s maid, cook and, when necessary, driver. Petite, somewhat hunched, with a mousy face,...

They Destroyed Our Radios and Televisions

They destroyed our radios and televisions to leave us without images, without those maudlin songs that lulled our past to sleep back when we still believed in trains by the seaside, at the ranch where Laura carried her milk churns to the river to meet the prince on horseback, kissing the stamping steed on the mouth like in Gwendolyn’s garden, abandoned to what they called love. They made us spend nights reading Barthes and Derrida until words came undone in our hands and nothing had...

Under the Sign of Anaximander

I I was raised by a depressed mother and an alcoholic father. Mother soon stopped being a mom in every sense of the word and became more of a nuisance than an iconic figure, just a body to trip over. And Pops was tripping on her less and less, ‘cause when my older sisters seemed ready, straight away he started banging them, first one then the other, till finally he was banging one in front of the other, and I was starting to see myself as next on the list; soon as the girls...

What Do You Expect, Heart?

  What do you expect, heart? What do you want from me? To be like Zeno of Elea, who bit off his own tongue in one bite and spit it out at the tyrant? The good angel bad angel speaks: the bearable the unbearable. They look as if the quiet captured them (a sign of danger? how light falls at a given moment? through a work or an internal distillery?) in a comb of rich honey. About what is other, I accept everything  that I do not unbearably dislike. I accept it...

Bitter Lemons

Everything went well until we got to Corfu.  It’s not that things started to go wrong there, but that this may have been an omen that our happiness had already been drawn out far too long.  I was a new professor.  Upon completing my first course as a lecturer, I bought myself a car: a white Fiat 127.   My goal was to travel through Greece that summer, traversing those historic and literary places of which I had dreamed since my childhood.  I was neither...

Don’t Do It

He left his car in the parking lot of the hospital complex. It had all been under construction for years. Around him were unfinished buildings with display windows still protected by tape beside other old, dusty ones, with air conditioning units hanging off them like enormous ticks. Amid the buildings were pre-fab sheds, cranes, fenced-in areas all around, but he knew his route well. He passed a row of oleanders that had been relegated to no-man’s-land, and he emerged in an open...

The Devil Lives in Lisbon

On Mondays Mother always got up at five o’clock. She would leave half an hour after getting out of bed, once she had gathered up all the breakfast crockery, and then, looking at us again with a smile, she would not be back home till Saturday. When she’d come back down the same path that she had gone up on Monday. Nieves was seven at the time. I was six. Elisa, just three. Mother worked as a schoolteacher. In La Comba, a small village in the mountains. The little bus would come...

The Damage Done

Basque writer Willy Uribe is now into his twelfth day of a hunger strike in protest against the incarceration of reformed heroin addict David Reboredo. This is the latest in a number of cases demonstrating the Spanish government's perceived double standards when it comes to granting judicial pardons. There have been a number of high-profile pardons (which require government intervention) in the last couple of years, including those of four Partido Popular politicians found guilty of...

Confession

I admit it: I once killed a journalist. I’ve tried to forget it, to keep quiet, to pretend, but it doesn’t make sense to continue deceiving myself. No one can escape their memories. The recollection of that unlucky wretch follows me, by day and by night. And when I say that it pursues me, I mean exactly that: when I open my eyes at dawn, frightened by some presence that I don’t recognize as real, I find that fool by my side, watching me with those bulging eyes,...

To Fly to the Himalayas

(This post is based on Yuyutsu Sharma's 2010 visit to Cordoba where he was invited as a guest poet at the Cosmopoetica Poetry Festival.)   My life I can tell you in two words-- a patio and a small piece of sky where a lost cloud and some bird fleeing from its wings pass by sometimes.   (Marcos Ana, “My Life,” Translated from the Spanish by Nicolas Suescun )   A nameless apprehension overwhelmed me. A nauseating thud hammered my heart...

The Quality of the Fabric: An Interview with Bernardo Atxaga

Phillipe Starck´s forty-three-thousand-square-foot cultural center, the Alhóndiga, that was opened in 2010 was the setting for the Gutun Zuria literary conference that brought writers from the U.S., Spain and elsewhere to Bilbao in mid-April. Residents of the Basque city packed the auditorium each day to listen to the invited speakers, Bill Keller, Chuck Palahniuk, John Verdon, William Gibson and Philip Gourevitch, among others. (See:...

Listening Under the Kitchen Table: An Interview with Kirmen Uribe

Kirmen Uribe is a Basque writer and poet. In 2008, his novel, Bilbao-New York-Bilbao was published in Basque. (It has subsequently been translated into more than ten languages and was awarded the Premio Nacional de Literatura (Narrativa) in Spain. Uribe has also published children´s stories and his collection of poetry, Meanwhile Take My Hand, which was translated into English by the U.S.-born writer, Elizabeth Macklin, was a finalist for the 2008 PEN Award for Poetry in...

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...

The Man Who Buried Himself

It was extraordinary, the change that came over my friend. The jovial, witty, and carefree youth had become a melancholic, taciturn, and cautious man. His moments of abstraction were frequent, and in them it seemed as if his spirit were wandering the paths of another world. One of our friends, a diligent reader and decipherer of Browning, remembering the strange piece in which the poet tells us of the life of Lazarus after he was resurrected, would often say that poor Emilio had visited...

Living to Write: An Interview with Doménico Chiappe

Jonathan Blitzer: “The Writer of Memories,” the story we’ve published in this issue of the magazine, is the first one to appear in your book of stories, Párrafos Sueltos (2003). And in several senses, the story contains some of the central themes of your work: immigration, the notion of place and location, the weight of literary tradition (and the anxiety that provokes). But in a fundamental way this story demonstrates an interest of yours that runs even...

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