gary.maclennan1 at gmail.com
Tue Aug 22 22:15:58 MDT 2017
Thanks for this
On Wed, Aug 23, 2017 at 12:46 PM, Louis Proyect via Marxism <
marxism at lists.csbs.utah.edu> wrote:
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> Written by Humberto Costantini
> Translated by Sharlene Newman
> I am not going to say that I was in the best possible world
> but at least I had an archive
> with all of its moons perfectly sorted,
> the primrose folded four ways in the center drawer
> here and there absurdities rest
> off to the side of the bureau.
> I do not claim to have been in the best possible world
> but at least three or four friends delighted in my wine,
> and three or four lovers delighted in my bed,
> and my publisher truly believed in my novel,
> and at a quarter to six
> the timid ghosts quietly returned to chat with me.
> I will not say that I was in the best of all possible worlds
> but my future went on for at least a week out
> wherein one could foresee one hundred and twenty lines written,
> at least one insignificant inebriation,
> as well as five minutes of daily exercise.
> I was not, I will admit, in the best world possible
> but generally things were reasonably clear;
> fireflies did not hang from the roof as they do now,
> nor did trains keep a wakeful vigil until dawn,
> nor did September arrive declaring its presence
> the wind did not show up in order to laugh to death at my face.
> I do not wish to say that I was in the best of possible worlds
> but this giant, trembling moon,
> this unusual smitten moon,
> this terrible red stop light of a moon,
> this moon made of insomnia and small verses…
> how maddening Lord,
> how barbaric.
> Escrito por Humberto Costantini
> Traducido por Sharlene Newman
> Yo no voy a decir que estaba en el mejor de los mundos
> pero al menos tenía un bibliorato
> con todas las lunas perfectamente clasificadas,
> la primavera plegada en cuatro en el cajón del medio
> y alguno que otro disparate
> a un costadito del bargueño.
> Yo no digo que estaba en el mejor de los mundos
> pero tres o cuatro amigos apreciaban mi vino,
> y tres o cuatro amantes apreciaban mi cama,
> y mi editor creía firmemente en la novela,
> y a las seis menos cuarto
> dócilmente volvían a platicar conmigo los fantasmas.
> Yo no diré que estaba en el mejor de los mundos
> pero tenía un futuro hasta de una semana
> donde estaban previstos ciento veinte renglones,
> alguna intrascendente borrachera,
> y hasta los cinco minutos diarios de gimnasia.
> Yo no estaba, lo admito, en el mejor de los mundos
> pero en general las cosas eran juiciosamente claras;
> no colgaban luciérnagas del techo como ahora,
> ni velaban los trenes hasta la madrugada,
> ni septiembre llegaba con nombre y apellido
> ni el viento venía para morirse de risa de mi cara.
> Yo no quiero decir que estaba en el major de los mundos
> pero esta enorme luna estremecida,
> esta insólita luna enamorada,
> esta terrible luna rojo stop de semáforo,
> esta luna de insomnios y versitos…
> qué trastorno Señor,
> qué cosa bárbara.
> Humberto "Cacho" Costantini (April 8, 1924 – June 7, 1987) was an
> Argentine writer and poet whose work is filled with the rich slang
> (porteño) of Buenos Aires. Except for his years of exile in Mexico, his
> life was lived in and around Buenos Aires.
> Costantini was born and died in Buenos Aires, the only child of Italian
> Jewish immigrants who lived in the barrio of Villa Pueyrredon. From his
> marriage to Nela Nur Fernandez, he had three children: Violeta, Ana and
> Daniel. After he finished his university studies, he became a medical
> veterinarian. He practiced his profession in the fields near the city of
> Lobería, in the province of Buenos Aires, where he moved with his wife.
> There his two daughters were born.
> In 1955 he returned to Buenos Aires, and his son was born shortly
> thereafter. He worked in various jobs: veterinarian, salesman, potter,
> medical researcher, etc. Because of a fierce discipline, working "nailed to
> the chair", he was able to write and rewrite everyday.
> Costantini was the victim of political persecutions and blacklists. That
> posture of confronting the powerful that "Cacho" exercised naturally,
> without fuss, as the only possible road by which to travel through life,
> created both hatred and profound loyalty among many toward him. With
> Costantini nothing was ever wishy-washy; one was either honest or one was
> deceitful. He made it known that he wouldn't forgive any kowtowing.
> From his youth he was politically active: in his student days he
> confronted the Fascists of the Alianza Libertadora Nacionalista and was
> politically active in the Communist Party until serious divergencies of
> opinion with the bureaucratic and pro-Soviet leadership caused him to break
> away. His "doing what is right in the eyes..." moved him to admire
> profoundly Ernesto Che Guevara. In the 1970s he was politically active on
> the revolutionary left, together with other writers, such as Harold Conti
> and Roberto Santoro, who were imprisoned by the criminal dictatorship of
> Videla, and to this day are still disappeared. His novel De Dioses,
> hombrecitos y policías was written between scary moments and escapes, in
> clandestine houses at unthinkable hours. This novel was awarded the Casa de
> Las Américas Prize by an international jury and published in Mexico (later
> it was translated as The Gods, The Little Guys and the Police, translated
> by Toby Talbot and published in New York to excellent reviews). About this
> novel and other work of Costantini, Julio Cortázar said, "I love what
> Humberto Costantini does, and am full of confidence in his work. He is, for
> me, a very important writer."
> In 1976 Humberto Costantini was forced into exile and went to Mexico.
> There he continued his writing that was to win important prizes. He
> suffered in an exile that obliged him "to glance through the lists for his
> loved ones, as if the city had been hit with a typhoon". He conducted
> narrative workshops regularly, made programs for radio and for television
> and he fell in love. As he said on his return: "In short, I lived". Another
> of his passions was the tango. An admirer of Osvaldo Pugliese, Anibal
> Troilo ("Pichuco") and Eduardo Arolas, he was a singer and dancer,
> knowledgeable in the lyrics and the history of the tango. In get-togethers
> with friends, there was always some guitar to accompany his voice, resonant
> with passion, as he would sing the milonga Marieta or El adios de Gabino
> Ezeiza. He composed milongas and tango lyrics, some of which were published
> and recorded.
> In 1983, after seven years, seven months and seven days of exile, he
> returned to Buenos Aires. There he lived the democratic springtime. He
> walked through the city, conversed with the streets of his barrio and with
> old friends of his infancy, knocked around, flabbergasted through his
> Buenos Aires. His work is published in many languages in addition to
> English, among them: Czech, English, Finnish, German, Hebrew, Polish,
> Russian and Swedish. His second novel, appeared in English as The Long
> Night of Francisco Sanctis, translated by Norman Thomas di Giovanni.
> He died on the morning of 7 June 1987 from an illness that he had
> contracted much earlier. The night before, taking advantage of the slight
> well-being between chemotherapy treatments, he worked—as he had each day—on
> his novel La Rhapsodía de Raquel Liberman of which he managed to complete
> two volumes. This work remains unpublished.
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