Posts Tagged ‘The Unknown University’

Louis Esterhuizen. Roberto Bolaño se versamelde gedigte binnekort op die rakke …

Thursday, August 1st, 2013

 

Die Chileense skrywer, Roberto Bolaño (1953 – 2003), is ongetwyfeld een van die indrukwekkendste skrywers in onlangse tye; bekend vir monumentale romans soos The Savage Detectives (1998) en 2666 (2004). Tog het hy hom sy hele lewe lank primêr as digter beskou: “The great Chilean writer Roberto Bolaño liked to argue, plausibly enough, that poetry is a higher calling than fiction. He also liked to argue, with no plausibility at all, that he was a better poet than a novelist. ‘The poetry,’ he said, ‘makes me blush less.’ Like so many writers, Bolaño (1953-2003) was an unreliable guide to his own oeuvre.” Aldus Dwight Garner in New York Times.

 Goeie nuus is dat Bolaño se gedigte nou as ‘n volledige (tweetalige) versameling deur New Directions uitgegee gaan word. Laura Healy het die gedigte uit Spaans vertaal. En met ‘n dikte van 835 bladsye gaan  The Unknown University omtrent ‘n formidabele publikasie wees. Volgens Garner se berig was Bolaño besig met die finale afrondingswerk aan dié manuskrip ten tye van sy hopeloos té vroeë afsterwe op 50-jarige ouderdom aan ‘n lewerkwaal.

Roberto Bolano

Met bogenoemde paragraaf as aanloop, gee Garner hierna ‘n kort oorsig van die belangrikste tema’s: seks (Garner beskryf Bolaño as een van die 2oste eeu se ‘great dirty minds’), romantiek, armoede en hongersnood.

Maar Garner is ooglopend nie juis beïndruk nie. “To remark that most of the poems in The Unknown University, which have been fluently translated from the Spanish by Laura Healy, are not major work is not to remark that they are actively bad or painful to read. They are merely larval. Many are vignettes, full of play, written almost like journal entries.”

By wyse van illustrasie plaas ek enkele van die gedigte wat deur Garner aangehaal word in sy bespreking. Oordeel gerus maar self, of bestel solank die boek …

Read the old poets, my son
and you won’t regret it
Between the cobwebs and rotten wood
of ships stranded in Purgatory
that’s where they are
singing!
ridiculous and heroic! 

*

Father, in the Kingdom of Heaven
that is communism,
is there a place for homosexuals?
Yes, he said.
And for impenitent masturbators?
For sex slaves?
For sex fools?
For sadomasochists, for whores, for those obsessed
with enemas,
for those who can’t take it anymore, those who really truly
can’t take it anymore?
And Cardenal said yes.

*

No one sends you letters now  Under the lighthouse
at dusk  Lips parted by wind
They’re making a revolution to the East  A cat
sleeps in your arms
Sometimes you’re incredibly happy

© Roberto Bolaño (1953-2003)

Vertaling deur Laura Healy

 

 

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