Franz Kafka

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

"Bad Weather," by Anton Chekhov, full text, full version, English translation by Constance Garnett, from "The Chorus Girl and other stories," by Anton Chekhov

LiteraryJoint is proud to present the full text edition of "The Chorus Girl and other stories," a collection of short stories by Anton Pavlovich Chekhov, many of them not yet very well known by the general public. Every month, we will commit one of our weekly post to these stories, in their English translation by Constance Garnett. After My Life, On the Road, The Chorus Girl, VerotchkaAt a Country House, A Father, Rothschild's Fiddle, Ivan Matveyitch, and Zinotchka , "we now continue with "Bad Weather," which will be followed by: A Gentleman Friend and A Trivial Incident.

Ships in Distress in a Heavy Storm, or The man-of-war ‘Ridderschap and Hollandia on the rocks during a storm in the Strait of Gibraltar, by Ludolf Bakhuizen, circa 1690, oil on canvas, Rijksmuseum Amsterdam.

BIG raindrops were pattering on the dark windows. It was one of those disgusting summer holiday rains which, when they have begun, last a long time—for weeks, till the frozen holiday maker grows used to it, and sinks into complete apathy. It was cold; there was a feeling of raw, unpleasant dampness. The mother-in-law of a lawyer, called Kvashin, and his wife, Nadyezhda Filippovna, dressed in waterproofs and shawls, were sitting over the dinner table in the dining-room. It was written on the countenance of the elder lady that she was, thank God, well-fed, well-clothed and in good health, that she had married her only daughter to a good man, and now could play her game of patience with an easy conscience; her daughter, a rather short, plump, fair young woman of twenty, with a gentle anemic face, was reading a book with her elbows on the table; judging from her eyes she was not so much reading as thinking her own thoughts, which were not in the book. Neither of them spoke. There was the sound of the pattering rain, and from the kitchen they could hear the prolonged yawns of the cook.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

A few words on "A Late Walk" by Robert Frost, with a version in Italian, translated by LiteraryJoint.

"A Late Walk" carries all of the signs of Robert Frost's symbolism, as the reminiscence of a life that is dwindling is brought to the dimming light of dusk.
    In the last days of Fall, the farmer-poet returns home crossing the "mowing fields." Harvest is done, life almost accomplished, and what is left to see resembles the aftermath of an ancient battle: the headless "aftermath", which also refers to the second, or last haying of the year.
    All around, the entire Nature is seemingly mourning, for the poet forebodes where its path is actually leading him to. Yet, love endures and lives on, and has the power to take a man through the secluded, lonely walls, to allow him into the inner garden - the house comforted by warmth -, and re-encounter each other again, in this life and in its aftermath.

Robert Frost's "A Boy's Will", cover of a 1915 edition, Publisher: Henry Holt

A Late Walk

When I go up through the mowing field,
The headless aftermath,
Smooth-laid like thatch with the heavy dew,
Half closes the garden path.

And when I come to the garden ground,
The whir of sober birds
Up from the tangle of withered weeds
Is sadder than any words.

A tree beside the wall stands bare,
But a leaf that lingered brown,
Disturbed, I doubt not, by my thought,
Comes softly rattling down.

I end not far from my going forth
By picking the faded blue
Of the last remaining aster flower
To carry again to you.

By Robert Frost, from the collection "A Boy's Will", 1913

An Italian version:

A Late Walk (Una camminata sul tardi)

Quando risalgo traverso il campo falciato,
Quel che resta, mozzato dall'ultima fienagione,
Giace liscio come un tetto di paglia carico di rugiada,
Quasi chiude il sentiero dell'orto.
E quando giungo al quadro di terra,
Il sobrio fremere d'ali dei passeri
Che sale dal groviglio di erbe rinsecchite
E' più triste di qualunque parola.

Un albero accanto al muro si erge nudo,
Ma una foglia imbrunita che vi era ancora sospesa,
Disturbata, non dubito, dai miei pensieri,
Con un crepitio cade leggera.

Dal mio procedere mi scosto poco lontano
Cogliendo il blu ormai tenue
Dell'ultimo fiore d'astro che resta
Per portarlo ancora a te.

Robert Frost, dalla raccolta "A Boy's Will", 1913. Traduzione in Italiano a cura di Literary Joint.

Monday, November 10, 2014

"Anxiety," a Poem from the Collection "Midnight 30, American Poems"

Anxiety, by Edvard Munch, 1894, Munch Museum, Oslo, Norway


Thus, I had a recollection
That we were as good as dead already
Dwelling in our seething megalopolis
Suffocating as we gasped for a breath
Going crazy with the noise
Unbearably crisscrossing paths and streets
Teeming with beings and desires.

Death, grim death,
Was all over us like mushroom clouds
Inexplicably holding us down
The fierce claw of the eagle
Clutching our thumbing limbs
Beating the living hell out of a body
Relentlessly and unforgivably.

Though I knew not the word that opened up
The way, yet I sought for salvation as
The brooding, tarred sky closed down upon the earth
The galaxies ripped open and the cold stars blinked
Thus, I had a recollection
That immortal was all
That never lived and never will.

From the Collection "Midnight 30, American Poems," by A. Baruffi,  published by LiteraryJoint Press, available as e-book on Amazon Kindle, iBookstore, NOOK Book, Kobo, and Lulu.

Midnight thirty: half-hour past "Geisterstunde," as it is still called in the broody hillsides hamlets of inner, rural Pennsylvania. In the deep stillness of the night, the tongue is loose, the eye quick, the ear alert, and the mind finally conducive to grasp all that in daylight is hidden. It is only at that time that truth is said, or whispered...
"In this surprising work of modern American literature, like a shimmering, wild creek under the full moonlight, the vein of poetry taps into the inexhaustible resources and riches of the land, and runs with inspiration and wisdom..."

Thursday, November 6, 2014

O Caminho do Mar, a short Poem (Portuguese) inspired by Jorge Amado's novel Jubiabá (1935)

A cover of Jorge Amado's novel, Jubiabá, 1935.
"Lembra-se de Viriato, o anão, que um dia entrou pelo caminho do mar, como aquele outro velho que foi retirado da água numa noite em que os homens do cais carregavam um navio sueco. Será que Viriato encontrou sua casa?"

Jorge Amado, Jubiabá, 1935

O Caminho do Mar

No brilho da noite sem fim,
fria e cruzada de estrelas,
atirei-me, entrando
pelo caminho do mar.

Só foram a me encontrar
as mudas gaivotas operosas,
correndo-se atrás, em vão,
sob os céus purpúreos.

Barcelona, October 2014
Visit the Author's Bookstore

Saturday, November 1, 2014

"Non recidere, forbice, quel volto" by Eugenio Montale, translated in English (English version by LiteraryJoint), "Do not chop away, shears, that face" by Eugenio Montale

Edvard Munch, Lady from the sea, 1896,  Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, USA

"Montale's Essential: The Poems of Eugenio Montale in English," published by LiteraryJoint Press, 2017, available on Amazon and Kobo.

Do not chop away, shears, that face

Do not chop away, shears, that face,
alone in the mind that is dispersing,
do not turn her big, listening face
into my fog of always.

A chill comes down... The hard blow snaps
and the wounded acacia shakes off 
the cicada's husk
in the first slime of November.  

By Eugenio Montale, from the collection "Le Occasioni", 1939.
Version in English translated by LiteraryJoint.

Original Italian version:

Non recidere, forbice, quel volto

Non recidere, forbice, quel volto,
solo nella memoria che si sfolla,
non far del grande suo viso in ascolto
la mia nebbia di sempre.

Un freddo cala... Duro il colpo svetta.
E l'acacia ferita da sé scrolla 
il guscio di cicala
nella prima belletta di Novembre.

Eugenio Montale,  dalla raccolta"Le Occasioni", 1939.