Monthly Archives: December 2012

Translation, Writing, and Memory

otra suelta vol. 2A new edition of otra suelta: latin american literature in translation, is online at (click on the cover image at left, scroll down, and click again on the desired title). Volume 2 includes, among other noteworthy stories, my translation — “Wheel”  — of the young Guatemalan author Denise Phé-Funchal’s “Rueda”,  a “heart-wrenching” story which, as the editors write, “offers a dark peek into the life of a scheming mother and her victim son.” It is a deeply moving tale, if not remotely happy. And the search for holiday cheer notwithstanding, I hope you’ll check it out.

Denise Phé-Funchal

Denise Phé-Funchal

Meanwhile, I am preparing for a new translation job that promises some income as early as the latter half of this month, as well as in the approaching new year. It is an extremely exciting project of both popular and literary merit but whose exact nature I am not yet able to reveal. In any case, it represents a turn for me into new professional territory which, after a slightly more than two-decades-long career in public-school teaching, I hope will be the beginning of a modestly prosperous second career.

Aside from that, after my 2003 publication of one Young Adult novel (A Bride Called Freedom), I am contemplating the composition of a couple of new ones. At the same time, I am working on the long-term project of transcribing my voluminous and mostly hand-written journals into an electronic format that my children and grandchildren might eventually use. My own stab, I suppose, at least within the family line, at immortality. Though likewise it is helping me to gather, however fragmentary and incomplete, the substance of my own historical past; and proving to me the transitory and imperfect nature of human memory: “Well, this is the way I remember it,” is the best I can really say, and the written record might just as well further confuse matters as clarify them.