By Vicent Andrés Estellés
This option of the verse of Valencian poet Vicent Andres Estelles (1924-1993) is followed by way of a translation into English from the unique Catalan. The structure of an leading edge discussion with classical authors — a cornerstone of Estellesian expression — constitutes an inventive invocation and parodic statement at the output and ethos of the Latin poets Horace, Ovid, Virgil and Catullus, the medieval patriarch of Valencian letters Ausiàs March and the Renaissance Castilian poet, Garcilaso de los angeles Vega. For Estellés, Octavian Rome presents a parallel to the Franco dictatorship and the ancient framework surrounding those writers gives the neophyte a chance for ideological denunciation, inventive wit and lyrical grace in addition to righteous anger on the oppressive pettiness of existence lower than autocracy. The translators have tried to convey to an Anglophone readership the wealth of accomplishment of this author who, regardless of the severity of fascist repression, sang and celebrated the adventure of his personal neighborhood via its personal oppressed language.
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Extra info for After the Classics: A translation into English of the selected verse of Vicent Andrés Estellés
15 Though one can appreciate Fuster’s concern for his friend’s contribution attracting appropriate recognition – especially given the widespread ignorance of their community and its history – it is also plain to see that he is worrying perhaps more than is necessary. First of all the Valencian dialect presents little or no difficulty to the Catalan speaker and is certainly nowhere near as complex as, say, Burns or MacDiarmid for the non-Scottish reader of English. What is more, the strategies employed by Estellés to universalise the domestic experience of his own locality offer, in themselves, a fascinating perspective for the appreciation of his expression as a whole.
Both qualities are again manifest in another moving example, lviii, where the enactment of linguistic inheritance is conveyed with a tenderness enhanced by the ingenuity of the discourse. what’s that dad? that’s called an axe and it’s used for cutting wood. what do you mean cutting wood? well it’s cut, wood. i mean the axe is used to trim the lazy branches from the trees. ah. ’ The nominalism evident in these lines, reminiscent of the corresponding scene from Genesis, re-iterates the psychological association between the linguistic and social orders where the rules of syntax and grammar are seen as analogous to the law/lore which governs communal deportment.
Oh good morning, dear neighbour, back home from the market. this fine piece of shit, fragile and ripe, makes you want to invite the neighbours to dip their bread in it. just as shit slips away as you pull the chain, so too are fleeting the pleasures life holds in store: love and all that. we were born in shit and other similar comforts, and our last act or last testament will also be a gratuitous shit, a piece of piss. 47 48 After the Classics xxiii et veig gastat, flàccid, llançat, condó, sense dignitat en la teua derrota, tirat de qualsevol manera, com un peixot impotent, incapaç de redreçar-te, cansadament humà.
After the Classics: A translation into English of the selected verse of Vicent Andrés Estellés by Vicent Andrés Estellés