“The air was so damp that fish could have come in through the doors and swum out the window, floating through the atmosphere in the rooms. One morning Úrsula woke up feeling that she was reaching her end in a placid swoon and she had already asked them to take her to Father Antonio Isabel, even if it had to be on a stretcher, when Santa Sofía de la Piedad discovered that her back was paved with leeches.” pg. 340
—One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez
En español: “La atmósfera era tan húmeda que los peces hubieran podido entrar por las puertas y salir por las ventanas, navegando en el aire de los oposentos. Una mañana despertó Úrsula sintiendo que se acababa en un soponcio de placidez, y ya había pedido que le llevaran al padre Antonio Isabel, aunque fuera en andas, cuando Santa Sofía de la Piedad descubrió que tenía la espalda adoquinada de sanguijuelas.”
I added the original Spanish text in order to point out some good bits lost in translation:
Author’s Word------------------------------Translator’s Choice
“húmeda” (humid)------------------------- “damp”
Changing “humid” to “damp” is not such a huge deal, but when “navigating” becomes “floating” the personification (and a lot of the magic) is lost. The English reader loses the lovely image of a bunch of fishes manning a mental boat through the air-seas of someone’s bedroom.
García Márquez, my favorite author in the entire universe, turns visual into a magical realist science that has the power to put me there… air-sailing with fishes… feeling leeches stuck to my back… experiencing each tale as he tells it. His writing is deliciously revealing, and it comes garnished with intelligent mind-licking humor.
I’ve been enjoying PetoskeyStone’s 2 quotes, 1 visual so much that I invited myself to play ;-)
What about you, my Luvs, care to share a quote or 3 from your latest reading venture?
Not the edition I’m rereading, but I’m enchanted by this cover. It whispers of Frida Kahlo’s work...