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TRANS: El suicida (homage to Borges)

From:FFlores <fflores@...>
Date:Thursday, August 26, 1999, 0:00
It's been a while since anyone posted a translation
exercise, so I was looking forward to present you with
something to do (as if you didn't have anything to do :)

Since yesterday (August 24) was the 100th anniversary
of Jorge Luis Borges' birth, I decided to pay homage to
his memory and at the same time try Drasel=E9q at a difficult
poem (not *really* difficult to understand, but to
translate properly -- I can count about three rhetoric
figures per line).

I didn't have any Borges on me, but I just found this
poem in the newspaper. So here it is, first in Spanish,
then in Drasel=E9q.


El suicida

No quedar=E1 en la noche una estrella.
No quedar=E1 en la noche.
Morir=E9 y conmigo la suma
del intolerable universo.
Borrar=E9 las pir=E1mides, las medallas,
los continentes y las caras.
Borrar=E9 la acumulaci=F3n del pasado.
Har=E9 polvo la historia,
polvo a polvo.
Estoy mirando el =FAltimo poniente.
Oigo el =FAltimo p=E1jaro.
Lego la nada a nadie.


El  suicida
the suicide(person).MASC

No  quedar=E1      en la  noche una estrella.
not remain.3sFUT in the night one star

No  quedar=E1      en la  noche.
not remain.3sFUT in the night

        I think Borges is playing with the words here.
        _No quedar=E1 en la noche_ is grammatically absurd,
        *unless* _en la noche_ is taken as a whole, the
        chance of a thing to be in the night.

Morir=E9    y   conmigo la  suma
die.1sFUT and with_me the addition

del    intolerable universo.
of_the unbearable  universe

Borrar=E9     las pir=E1mides, las medallas,
erase.1sFUT the pyramids   the medals

los continentes y   las caras.
the continents  and the faces

Borrar=E9     la  acumulaci=F3n  del    pasado.
erase.1sFUT the accumulation of_the past

Har=E9       polvo la  historia,
make.1sFUT dust  the history

polvo a  polvo.
dust  to dust

Estoy mirando    el  =FAltimo poniente.
be.1s looking_at the last   west

Oigo    el  =FAltimo p=E1jaro.
hear.1s the last   bird

Lego        la  nada    a  nadie.
bequeath.1s the nothing to no-one

 *  _i_ (here, genitive or object of verb)
ACC accusative/destination
ACT actual present
AGT agent suffix <-on>
AP  active participle
CAU causative prefix <en->
FUT future
LOC locative
NEG negative
RFX reflexive
UNQ unique singular


        No word for 'suicide', and this popped out
        immediately in my head.

Farthaqai       luam=FCr    det dins.
NEG.exist.3sFUT night.LOC one star

Farthaqai       luam=FCr.
NEG.exist.3sFUT night.LOC

Thr=F3sasat rin  sar niobandel
die.1sFUT with I   CAU.crumble.AP

olmon i tankloras.
world * gross_total

        _niobandel_ 'that makes (sthg) crumble'
        No world for universe, made do with _olmon_.
        _tankloras_ from <tan-> 'all, whole' and <klor->
        'sum, addition'.

Git=F3rasat   siquranthn, b=E4ldavnainth,
erase.1sFUT castles.ACC reminders.ACC

        _siquran_ lit. 'fortified castle, fortress'
        (supposed to last for a long time, metonimic
        instead of original 'pyramids').
        _b=E4ldavnai_ lit. 'reminder, reminding object'
        (esp. like a commemorative stone).

mi  dhriththen mi  qanthn.
and lands.ACC  and faces.ACC

        No word for 'continent', since it's too technical.

Git=F3rasat   nolt sk=E1ilek=ECmen.
erase.1sFUT old  annals(col.).ACC

        I use 'old annals' instead of 'accumulation of the
        past'. The word for 'annals' means 'gathered data,
        compilation, papers in a heap', and it's borrowed in
        its archaic form. A normal derivation is found in
        _skelek_ 'book'.

Na i tolqith enqesat      k=F3nsimrins,
to * dust history.UNQ.ACC

        'I will cause history to be(come) dust'.
        The root of _k=F3nsimrins_ means 'reality, a fact,
        an obvious thing', and it derives from another
        root which means 'strong, firm' (that is, facts
        are firm, they stand by themselves). So that
        a history (a record of facts) is _k=F3nsimar_.
        Now *History* with uppercase H takes the unique
        singular suffix, <-is>: _k=F3nsimris_. The -n-
        is ACC.

na tolqith tolqith.
to dust    dust

        I translated literally. Nothing to do with the English
        formula. I don't know what Borges meant to say here.
        For sure it was no ornament.

I n=E1lebsel bais reiat.
* last     sun  look.1sACT

        The original read _poniente_, poetic word for 'west',
        from _ponerse_ 'to set' (the sun). I couldn't translate

I n=E1lebsel hal  garbat.
* last     bird hear.1sACT

        Note: perception verbs mark their objects with _i_,
        unless the action is emphatically volitional (in which
        case they use ACC).

I freth   f=FCng=E9nts    fr=FCnth.
* nothing bequeath.1s no-one.ACC

        _f=FCngentsen_ 'to bequeath' comes from *_funengentsen_,
        from <fun-> 'ahead, on, advancing', <en-> (causative),
        _gentsen_ 'to pass, to leave' (intr.). So it literally
        means 'to cause (sthg) to pass on (to someone)'. It's
        a ditransitive verb with direct object marked by _i_,
        and indirect object by ACC.

Phew! That was a lot of work!

--Pablo Flores