I am fortunate enough to have a good friend in Puerto Rico. We first became acquainted several years ago through our mutual appreciation of literature. Over these years, we have shared many interesting discussions on literary works and their authors. Being Puerto Rican, she has been a great resource when questions have arisen regarding the brilliant and intriguing works of the Spanish / Hispanic canon. Among the wonderful writers on whom she has enthused is Carlos Fuentes. I had to admit to being largely ignorant of his work. To help address this lack in my reading, my friend organised for the delivery of a small volume by him. It duly arrived in my letterbox, here in Melbourne. To my surprise (and that of my friend) I discovered that the new book, prefaced with a biographical note and introduction written in scholarly English prose, had its main body of text written in Spanish.
I’m afraid that I can’t claim to be much of a Spanish speaker. Au contraire. However, on reflection, my initial surprise and frustration made way to excited anticipation. After all, what better way to read an author’s work than in the voice in which it was imagined, and then captured? How better to get the feeling of rhyme and metre, of colour and cadence? Here I have been presented with not only an opportunity to enjoy the language of Carlos Fuentes, but to learn a little of it as well.
I am so excited with the prospect of meeting Senor Fuentes…
Here is my own English translation of the Spanish text:
Aura – The translation