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October 2007

Rambles through Catalunya

Galaktioni and I
Yesterday, I was sick, I was dying, Now Zozia must have me on her mind. There's a demon in Galaktioni But there's an angel in me. Every day I receive precious letters. I must go to the garden,…
Translated from Georgian
Waiting Room
The love you didn't expect is always more pure. It is a gift of compassion where time, more austere and uncertain, more absolute, seems to stop on the dime of your silences. Knowing that you are there…
Translated from Catalan
The Other Life
By Sergi Pàmies
I had to die to find out whether anybody loved me. When alive, I was never very popular, and it was a real problem for me that I fought very vigorously and quite without success. At home, if I didn’t…
Translated from Catalan by Peter Bush
We Were Just Talking about You
By Sergi Pàmies
A little after three p.m. on 13 March, 2006, my wife said: “Sit down.” She didn’t look me in the eye and, as if she’d been rehearsing this move, made it fairly plain that we should…
Translated from Catalan
I Have Nothing to Wear
By Quim Monzó
The man faces the mirror. He has just shaved and taken a shower. With one hand he pinches the little spare tire in his waist, observes it in the mirror, and clucks his tongue.He hesitates about what to…
Translated from Catalan by Josep Miquel Sobrer
Afternoon at the Cinema
By Mercè Rodoreda
Sunday, 2 JuneRamon and I went to the Rialto this afternoon. We had quarreled earlier and I was almost in tears when he was buying the tickets. It was over something stupid, I know. It started like this.…
Translated from Catalan by Martha Tennent
The Not-So-Perfect Crime
By Teresa Solana
My brother Borja’s name isn’t Borja. It’s Pep (or Josep). And his surname isn’t Masdéu Canals Sáez de Astorga. We’re both Martínez on our father’s side and Estivill…
Translated from Catalan by Peter Bush
Sun in an Empty Room, 1963
In this bedroom devoid of furniture and unpolluted the action is set. It is filled with sunlight admitted by the window and my footsteps resound as if someone were walking with me. I stand up straight,…
Translated from Catalan
Summer Evening, 1947
Being a couple is twice the fun. Being a couple is twice the cost. Being a couple doubles your earning power and your frustrated dreams. Being a couple means a unity stops you from being the indivisible…
Translated from Catalan
Summer in the City, 1949
The man is looking for trouble, thrills, sublime ecstasies, places devoid of folklore, deals, calculated approximations, objects of desire that hold your attention and help you keep your cool, the latest…
Translated from Catalan
The Invention of the Aspirin
By Empar Moliner
To think that by just using her imagination, they could all be hers, bores her stiff.
Translated from Catalan by Peter Bush
Self-Portrait, 1925-1930
By Ernest Farrés
On the spot where I write all this hodgepodge of verses     stands Edward Hopper, in fact, who engenders them     and who, neatly transcending space-time, sends…
Translated from Catalan by Lawrence Venuti
What Time Is It?
Now, no doubt, the hour must be late . . . Despair has settled for the night in my heart, Tortured once more by bitter regret— What time is it? What time is it? Beyond the window where I stand,…
Translated from Georgian
Black and White
By Pilar Simó
March twenty-second. Friday night. Everything is in place. The soft metallic chimes of the living room clock strike ten with mathematical precision as you begin the second course; the exact same scene…
Translated from Catalan by Lisa M. Dillman
By Gabriela Adamesteanu
Don’t you hear—the door of the next compartment just opened? It has to be a ticket taker. Who else gets the words out like that? Everything so clear and distinct:—Gutten Tag, geben Sie mir bitte!Feverish,…
Translated from Romanian by Jean Harris & Constantin Virgil Banescu