diumenge, 28 de març de 2010

Camí de sirga / The Towpath

Having an interest in Catalan literature as well as the world of translating, from time to time we will enclose extracts from Catalan novels alongside their published English translations.
Camí de sirga /The Towpath, was written by Jesús Moncada in 1988. An English translation by Judith Willis was published in 1994 by Harvill Harper Collins. The flooding of a small Catalan town to create a reservoir on the river Ebro is the starting point of this novel which leads us through Catalonia’s recent tragic history.

La novel·la Camí de Sirga del Jesús Moncada va ser publicada en anglès a l’any 1994 amb traducció de Judith Williams. Així comença ...

Here are the opening lines in both languages...

Pilans i parets mestres van esberlar-se bruscament; una fragor eixordadora en la qual es barrejaven el cruixir de jàsseres i bigues, l’ensulsiada d’escales, trespols, envans i revoltons, l’esmicolament de vidres i la trencadissa de maons, teules i rajoles, va retrunyir per la Baixada de la Ferradura mentre la casa s’esfondrava sense remei. De seguida, un núvol de pols, el primer dels que havien d’acompanyar la llarga agonia que començava aleshores, va elevar-se per sobre de la vila i es va esfilagarsar a poc a poc en l’aire lluminós del matí de primavera.
Anys després, quan la malesa encetada aquell dia del 1970 era memòria llunyana, temps amortallat amb teranyines de boira, una crònica anònima va aplegar un feix de testimonis colpidors sobre l’esdeveniment ...

Columns and supporting walls suddenly gave way; as the house came toppling down, Horseshoe Hill reverberated with the thunderous roar of rafters and beams creaking, stairways, ceilings, coves and partitions collapsing, glass shattering and bricks and tiles smashing. And then a cloud of dust, the first of many which were to accompany the long agony that lay ahead, rose up above the town and slowly dispersed in the bright spring morning air.
Years later, when the tragedy that began that day in 1970 had become a dim memory, time shrouded in cobwebs of mist, an anonymous chronicle collated a number of moving personal accounts of the event ...

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