Tuesday, October 7, 2014

An Excerpt of Roberto Bolaño's Prosa del otoño en Gerona


“This could be hell for me.”
The kaleidoscope shifts
with the serenity and boredom of each day.
For her, in the end, there was no hell...
She simply avoided living here.
Simple solutions guide our acts.
Sentimental education has only one motto: don’t suffer.
He who distances himself can be called a desert,
a rock with an appearance of man,
the tectonic thinker.


— Roberto Bolaño


The above Roberto Bolaño poem was translated by Tim Pilcher and originally intended to appear at La Universidad Desconocida. It is an excerpt from Prosa del otoño en Gerona from the 2000 poem collection Tres.

Please visit La Universidad Desconocida to learn more about Roberto Bolaño and to read Tim's translations of Bolaño's poetry. The original Spanish version of Bolaño's poem follows. Both versions of the excerpt have been reformatted.


“Esto podría ser el infierno para mí.”
El caleidoscopio se mueve con la serenidad y el aburrimiento de los días.
Para ella, al final, no hubo infierno.
Simplemente evitó vivir aquí.
Las soluciones sencillas guían nuestros actos.
La educación sentimental sólo tiene una divisa: no sufrir.
Aquello que se aparta puede ser llamado desierto,
roca con apariencia de hombre,
el pensador tectónico.


— Roberto Bolaño