“Fou diumenge passat” / “Last Sunday”

By J.V. Foix

Translated from the Catalan by Lawrence Venuti

From Daybook 1918: Early Fragments

 

Fou diumenge passat, a les tres de la tarda, sobre el pont del passeig, que un embriac occí una dona per amor d’una rosa que l’homicida abandonà damunt el toll de sang. Ja el diumenge abans hom havia assenyalat un fet idèntic al mateix indret i a la mateixa hora. Pressento per a avui un crim equivalent. Em cal, doncs, advertir el taverner i avisar la policia. Però, Déu meu, i si fos jo l’assassí? Vet ací el meu got vessant de vi, el carmí dels teus llavis, del teu si, del teu sexe, reflectit dins la tèrbola beguda roja. Aboqueu més vi, Rafel!, són dos quarts de tres; al pont del passeig hi ha una dona amb una rosa a la mà i el meu coltell és fi com l’aresta d’un estel.

 

black dot

 

Last Sunday, at three in the afternoon, on the bridge over the boulevard, a drunken man killed a woman for the love of a rose which the murderer abandoned in the pool of blood. The previous Sunday, in fact, someone had noted that an identical act would occur at the same place and the same time. I have the foreboding that an equivalent crime will be committed today. I must therefore warn the owner of the taverna and notify the police. But, my God, what if I am the assassin? Here before me stands a glass brimming with wine, the carmine of your lips, your nipples, your sex, reflected in the turbid red drink. Pour out my wine, Rafael! It is half past two. On the bridge over the boulevard stands a woman with a rose in her hand, and my knife is as sharp as the edge of a star.

 

 

daybook-1918J. V. FOIX (1893–1987) was an influential poet, essayist, journalist, and figure in Catalan letters. He was active in the Catalan nationalist movement and instrumental in introducing the modernist avant-gardes into Catalonia. His poetry is distinguished by an experimentalism that synthesizes medieval literary traditions with modern tendencies like surrealism.

LAWRENCE VENUTI, a professor of English at Temple University, is a translation theorist and historian as well as a translator from Italian, French, and Catalan. He is the author, editor, or translator of twenty-five books, including The Translator’s Invisibility: A History of Translation, The Translation Studies Reader, and Antonia Pozzi’s Breath: Poems and Letters.

English translation, introduction, notes, and selection of texts copyright © 2019 by
Lawrence Venuti. Published 2019 by Northwestern University Press.
All rights reserved.

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