lunes, 17 de noviembre de 2008

Bolaño conquista EE.UU

La novela póstuma de Roberto Bolaño, traducida al inglés, invadirá por fin mañana todas las librerías de Estados Unidos, cuatro años después de su publicación en español.

La crítica ha calificado al chileno como la nueva estrella de la literatura latinoamericana, por lo que la expectativa alrededor del libro ha sido memorable, pese a que los gringos no son fanáticos de las traducciones. Los detectives salvajes ya había impactado el año pasado a los lectores estadounidenses.

2666 no había sido publicado aún cuando Time lo había calificado como el mejor libro de 2008, "una obra maestra". The New York Times dedicó hace poco su suplemento literario a 2666, afirmando que Bolaño es "un talismán en la cultura literaria de Estados Unidos". Para la revista New York, es "uno de los dioses más coloridos en el panteón de los mitos de la literatura internacional" y 2666 liderará el ranking de los regalos navideños.

La editorial Farrar, Straus and Giroux se ha encargado de la publicación de 2666. Su traductora, Natasha Wimmer, dijo hoy a EFE: "Bolaño crea una nueva geografía mental para los lectores estadounidenses. Hace que una nueva literatura latinoamericana tome forma en sus mentes como algo urbano, cerebral y global, en lugar de rural, mágico y local", "aquí se lee a Bolaño como a una especie de vidente, de alguien que ha estado en los inmundos márgenes del mundo industrializado y ha visto el futuro real que le depara".

En la web de Farrar, Straus and Giroux hay una lista de preguntas y respuestas hechas a Natasha Wimmer sobre su experiencia de traducir 2666:

How was this book a different experience from translating The Savage Detectives?
"It's almost always easier to translate a second book by the same author, because the translator benefits from experience. And although it might not seem so on the surface, 2666 is in some ways a simpler book than The Savage Detectives. Instead of being written from 40-some different perspectives, it is written from a single omniscient perspective. True, there are five different sections, but Bolaño maintains a consistent narrative coolness and formality throughout (except perhaps in the Amalfitano section, which wouldn't be out of place in The Savage Detectives). This doesn't mean there were no challenges. The novel is full of pastiche and homage - most notably the Fate section (hardboiled crime) and the Part About the Crimes (police procedural). Then, too, Bolaño revels in some obscure subjects - species of seaweed, methods of divination, Soviet science fiction - that required a fair bit of research. On a more personal level, I was worried that it might be grueling to spend months translating all the Santa Teresa crime scenes, but it wasn't. I found that I enjoyed the challenge of the forensic language, and the experience was more bracing than depressing".

The five distinct sections of 2666 range over North America and Europe, with quite a lot of slang and a panoply of voices. Did this present any challenges? Were there instances when the spirit of the book ran counter to the letter?
"As I indicated, there are actually fewer distinct voices in 2666 than in The Savage Detectives. But there were more than enough to keep me busy. There was Lola, the crazy mother of Amalfitano's daughter Rosa; Reinaldo, the gay talk show host; Florita, the Santa Teresa seer; Haas, the suspected serial killer; Azucena Esquivel Plata, the avenging angel and member of congress. Slang, of course, is always near-impossible to translate. But again, there was less of that in 2666. The most challenging section in that regard was the Fate section, whose protagonist is an African-American reporter based in Harlem. Bolaño didn't speak much English and had never been to the U.S., so the section was more a product of his imagination than a representation of anything approaching reality. My feeling was that it would be perilous to try to make the dialogue sound more quote-unquote authentic to U.S. readers, so I just tried to represent it as I read it, which was as a mix of hardboiled homage and Bolañoesque weirdness".

Lastly, how did you come to discover Roberto Bolaño?
"Belatedly and with delight. FSG sent me a copy of The Savage Detectives to read, maybe in 2002, several years after it came out in Spanish, and I couldn't put it down. As I read, I kept anticipating disappointment, but it never came, and by the end I was convinced that it was the best and most important novel in any language that I had read in years".

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