Friday, September 21, 2007

21st September
A slow week, trying to finish my translation of Lorca's BLOOD WEDDING.
Each week, I promise myself I'll have it finished by the Friday;
and each week Friday comes and I still am nowhere near the end.
At the moment I'm working on the wedding scene of act two.
The difficulty with this scene are the songs. The endless, endless songs.
In the Spanish they are very beautiful: they evoke a timeless world of fecund connection with nature.
In English, I find myself grappling with:
"The bride cannot sleep in the grapefruit groves"
"Wake white dove!
The dawn clears away
The deep bells of shadow"
"Let the bride wake up
For the wedding is coming
Snaking through the fields
Leaving trails of dahlias
And loaves of glory"
Every page now is criss crossed with crossings out. And new versions. Also crossed out.

I learnt this week that the Donmar Warehouse are planning a production of LIFE IS A DREAM, a Calderon play I translated in the late nineties.
They weren't saying which translation they were going to use; so I asked my agent to find out.
They said they "liked the Clifford" best of all the versions "out there".
But no, they weren't going to use it.
They'll commission another one, from a "name" who almost certainly will know no Spanish.
And almost certainly, i say in my (hopefully justified) arrogance, will not produce anything as good.

It is the most frustrating aspect of my working life just now, this lack of a marketable name.

I used to have one. How did it go? How can I get it back?

I remind myself: these things come and go. It's as meaningless as the chsanging of the wind.

I am lucky to be where I am.

I go back to finding an equivalent for dahlias.
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