By Vicent Andrés Estellés
This feature of the verse of Valencian poet Vicent Andres Estelles (1924-1993) is observed by means of a translation into English from the unique Catalan. The layout of an leading edge discussion with classical authors — a cornerstone of Estellesian expression — constitutes an creative invocation and parodic observation 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 offers a parallel to the Franco dictatorship and the ancient framework surrounding those writers presents the neophyte a chance for ideological denunciation, inventive wit and lyrical grace in addition to righteous anger on the oppressive pettiness of lifestyles lower than autocracy. The translators have tried to deliver 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 group via its personal oppressed language.
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Extra resources for After the Classics: A translation into English of the selected verse of Vicent Andrés Estellés
Furtava els fruits dels arbres. me’ls menjava dins el dacsar, fresc com un celler aleshores. i sentia llunyana, pels carrers del meu poble, la veu del meu pare que venia peix i cridava les veïnes. era molt grat romandre allí. m’envaïa una tristesa i una peresa. de vegades venies tu i t’agafava els pits, que m’agradaven més, ens amuntegàvem i rodolàvem dins el solc. m’oblidava de tot llavors, se’m feia de nit. ja no oïa la veu del meu pare. lladrava algun gos en alguna alqueria. Horacianes: after Horace xv if i may, i will recall the days of my childhood.
Vaig veure ahir la seua dona; ella fingia interés per una cistella, com si no em volgués veure, parlar amb mi. Horacianes: after Horace vi water runs over my body, it cleanses me, and i’m happy in water. but i also think of my dearly beloved filthiness. it’s been days, years, that i’ve lived with her, sweated with her like with a woman. my poor old daily muck prompts an elegy, if you will, an exponto, as ovid would say. by the way, i know nothing of him. i saw his wife yesterday; she pretended to look in a basket, as if she didn’t want to see me, or talk to me.
I sing, then, distracted, talk with the virgin oil, with the produce of the soil. i love roast pepper, but not overdone, which spoils it, just with that soft flesh it has when you peel off the toasted crust. i undress it on the plate in inciting strips, i garnish it in virgin oil with a pinch of salt and dip my bread in it, like poor folk do, in the oil, now salted, with the flavour of roast pepper. later, with a pinch between thumb and index finger, with a bit of bread, i grab a piece of pepper, i hold it up avidly, eucharistically, i look at it in the air.