18/12/10

Pues va a ser que no me libro...


Compré hace tiempo Gaudete de Ted Hughes por impulso, supongo. Sabía que era poeta, que había estado casado con la poetisa suicida Silvia Path (que probablemente es más famosa que él, aunque una absoluta desconocida para mí hasta ahora, de momento, y en el futuro próximo, ya que no tengo intención de leer sus poemas) y… creo que me gustó el color de papel de estraza del librito. Si, creo que fue eso.

El caso es que, tras terminar la biografía de Speer, ando leyendo relatillos varios, cosillas que me prestan. Una de ellas es Los caminantes, de Carlos Sisi (es el apellido, no una reduplicación ni repetición…), un libro de zombies. Y, además, estoy viendo The walking dead, serie de zombies. Y, en verdad, esto es mucho zombie. Así que el otro día cogí de la librería Gaudete de Ted Huges con la esperanza de dejar de lado este olor a sangre.

Y cuál es mi sorpresa al descubrir que la cosa sigue oliendo a sangre… Algo me persigue, lo sé…

Me he molestado en transcribir las primeras páginas de esta versión bilingüe que, of course, estoy leyendo en inglés, para dos cosas: la primera, compartir el asombro de que los muertos me persigan (el relato de Hughes, que narra el último día en la vida de un “impostor”, comienza con un “prólogo” mitad verso libre, mitad prosa alucinatoria, de poderoso carácter simbólico que se asemeja a un guión cinematográfico para un film de zombies); la segunda, compartir mi asombro con un idioma que llevo currándome desde la infancia para, por primera vez, disfrutar con él. Si. Es la primera vez que no traduzco e intento comprender, que no lo utilizo… , tan solo he descubierto una música y fuerza propias, un impulso matérico y un ritmo que se pierden completamente en la traducción al español. Lumen, que lo ha hecho muy bien, creo que ha traducido casi literalmente para respetar el origen (incluyendo la versión original) y tan solo ayudar en directo con aquellas palabras que no entendemos. Por esta razón (y porque pienso en mí, en mi tiempo, mi cena y mi cama, pero también en vosotros) me niego a transcribir la traducción al español. Literalmente “nada” versus “todo”. Siempre digo que leí El cementerio marino de Paul Valéry traducido porque, aunque mi francés es peor que el de un bebé de año y medio, tenía que leerlo. Pero sé que jamás podré decir que lo he hecho mío. Y esto, es lo que pasa con las traducciones de la poesía (o aquello que se asemeja a ella).

The Reverend Nicholas Lumb walks hurriedly over cobbles through the oppressive twilight of an empty town, in the North of England.

He has no idea where he is going. Or where he is.
Is it dusk or is it eclipse?
He urges himself, as it towards solid ground.
He concentrates on the jolt of his reaching stride and the dragging
[flap of his cassock.

The sky is darkening.
The charred black chimneys jag up into the yellowish purple.
The stillness is every minute more awful
Like the dust in a desert.

He walks with deliberate vigour, searching in himself for control
[and decision.

He turns abruptly into a side-street
And is immediately stumbling.
He draws back to the wall.

All the length of the street, dead bodies are piled in heaps and
[strewn in tangles everywhere between the heaps.
Incredulous, he touches hands and faces.

He looks for wounds.
The jaws loll, as he lifts strengthless heads, which drop back slack-
[necked.

Layered, interlocked, double-jointed, abandoned,
The corpses stare up into the purpled sky
Or at the black walls, or deeply into each other
As in the bottom of a mass-gave.

A mass-gave! The whole street is a mass-gave!

They were herded in here, then all killed together.
As they embraced each other, or fought to be free of each other, or
[clutched at each other.
Babies lie, tumbled separate, like refugee bundles.

He turns again to find the empty street where he first walked. But directions have shifted. And the street he comes into is carpeted with corpses - the same. He clambers over corpses, from street to street, turning and turning among the streets, and every street is the same - a trench of fresh corpses. Finally, he simply stands, listening to the unnatural silence. He realises he is lost. The whole town is a maze of mass-graves.

He begins to run.
He runs regardless of the soft hands, the spread hair.
As if he might outrun the swift developing cunning of this maze,
Or the narrowing purpose of this twilight,
Or the multiplying corpses.

He begins to shout.
He shouts to strengthen his running.
And falls, and gets up from the dead, and shouts.

And as he runs he hears another shout, in among his own shouts. He stops and listen and shouts. Ant the shout which answers is no echo. He shouts again, listening joyfully. At this moment he thinks only of another like himself, a lost man in the same plight, a comrade. And he hears the shout searching through streets towards him. He runs, shouting, to head if off, and to meet it.

And suddenly out of the twilight of corpses
A flapping shape -
A wild figure gyrating toward him.
A flailing-armed chimpanzee creature, bounding over the bodies
[and shouting.

Lumb has stopped.
This swirling apparition is something horrible.
A horrible revelation is hurtling towards him.
That shout is nothing but a mockery of his own shout.
The blackest clot of the whole nightmare has found a shape and is
[leaping towards him.

Lumb’s shout becomes a roar.

And the other stops, as if weightless.
A surprisingly small hunched figure.

---Going forward Lumb finds an old man, in scarecrow rags, gasping for breath - and laughing. Gasping not as if he had exhausted himself with running, but as if he had laughed himself helpless. Still gasping, and quaking with laughter, he glances up at Lumb from tear-streaming eyes. A small aged face, wild as a berry - the scorched, bristly, collapsed face of a tinker.
---Lumb stares down at him, too astonished to speak. He waits for some explanation of the hilarity, and as if in obedience the old man becomes solemn. He tells Lumb he has been searching for him everywhere.
---The voice is startling, abrupt, like a cattle-drover’s. A rough-snagged shillelagh of voice, hard and Irish. But courteous, apologetic, almost affectionate. Lumb will have to accompany him for some little distance.
---But what about these corpses? What about these dead people all over the town? What has happened? Lumb’s questions erupt. The old man turns away and starts walking.

In a firelit, domed, subterranean darkness
Lumb stands, numbed
By a drum-beat, the magnification of heart-beat
Who is the whoman tangled in the skins of wolves, on the rock floor,
[under the dome of rock?
And who is the aged aboriginal crouching beside her, stroking her
[brow, stroking the hair off her brow, with glistening fingers,
[with a trembling tenderness?
Shadows wrestle overhead in the dome gouged with shadows.
Flames leap, glancing on the limbs of watchers under the walls.
The firelight jerks in their eyes. Who are those watchers?

Lumb bends low
Over the face half-animal
And the half-closed animal eyes, clear-dark back to the first
[creature
And the animal mane

The animal cheekbone and jaw, in the fire’s flicker
The animal tendon in the turned throat
The upper lip lifted, dark and clean as a dark flower
Who is this woman
And who is the ancient creature beside her?
...

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