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« Vampires and Vampirism | Main | The Sacrifice »

Continuidad de los parques

A translation of a very short story ("Continuity of the parks") by this author.  You can read the original here.

He had started reading the novel a few days before.  Urgent business made him abandon it for a time; but he returned to its pages while on his way back to the farmland estate.  He gradually let himself become interested in the plot, in the characters.  That evening, after writing a letter to his representative and discussing a matter of sharecropping, he took up the book again in the tranquility of his study which gazed out upon the park of oak trees.  As he lounged in his favorite chair with his back to the door that would have bothered him with the irritating potential for intrusions, he let his left hand stroke the green velvet once then again, and he began to read the final chapters.

His memory retained with no effort the names and appearances of the main characters, and so the novelistic illusion came upon him almost immediately.  He took an almost perverse pleasure in letting himself tear through line after line of what surrounded him.  All at once he felt his head relaxing comfortably in the velvet of the old recliner, cigarettes persisting within reach of his hands, and, beyond the large windows, the evening air dancing below the oaks.  Word for word, absorbed by the heroes’ sordid dilemma, he cast himself adrift towards the images which concerted and acquired color and movement, evidence of the last meeting in the mountain cabin.  First the woman came in, mistrustful.  Then her lover arrived, his face hurt from the whiplash of a branch.  Admirably she clotted the blood with her kisses, but her caresses were rejected: he had not come to repeat the rituals of a secret passion protected by a world of dry leaves and furtive paths.  The dagger grew warm against his chest, and below beat cowering liberty.  A breathy dialog ran through the pages like a stream of serpents, which felt as if it had always been so.  Even as these caresses swirled around the lover’s body as if trying to hold him and dissuade him, they drew at the same time the abominable shape of another body which had to be destroyed.  Nothing had been forgotten: alibis, mishaps, possible mistakes.  From this hour forth, each moment would have its use, minutely detailed.  The merciless re−inspection was hardly interrupted for a hand to caress a cheek.  It began to get dark.

No longer looking, bound rigidly to the task which was awaiting them, they separated at the door of the cabin.  She had to follow the trail that led north.  From the opposite trail, he turned for a moment to watch her run with her hair flowing loosely.  He then ran in turn, taking shelter beneath the trees and hedges until, in the mallow mist of twilight, he was able to make out the avenue that led to the house.  The dogs were not supposed to bark; and they didn’t.  The majordomo would not be in at this hour; and he wasn’t.  He climbed the three stairs of the porch and went in.  In the blood swishing between his ears rang the words of the woman: first a blue room, then a gallery, then a carpeted staircase.  Upstairs, two doors.  No one would be in the first room, no one in the second.  The door of the living room, and then the dagger in his hand, the light of those large windows, the old recliner with green velvet seat, the head of a man reading a novel.

Reader Comments (109)

very clever. disturbing, too. won't be falling asleep while reading any time soon.


the 'green velvet seat' reminds me of this (it was Bloomsday, after all):

the snotgreen sea. the scrotumtightening sea.

June 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMelancholy Korean

Many thanks. Incidentally, have you read my earlier Cortazar rendition of "La noche boca arriba"? Won't improve your sleep a smidgen.

June 17, 2008 | Registered Commenterdeeblog

I've read them both. FANTASTIC translations! They have helped me immensely. Thanks!

May 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterChris

Much appreciated, Chris! Glad to be of help.

May 3, 2009 | Registered Commenterdeeblog

Thanks for this, it will help me ace my quiz tommorrow

May 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMarcus

Marcus, you're very welcome and good luck!

May 4, 2009 | Registered Commenterdeeblog

THANKS! Great translation! It was a massive help!

May 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterZ

Z, you're welcome and thanks for commenting.

May 5, 2009 | Registered Commenterdeeblog

Awesome translation! This was a great help.

May 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterB

Glad to be of help, B, and thanks for your kind comments!

May 11, 2009 | Registered Commenterdeeblog

thanks so much for the translation.

May 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKenny

You're welcome, Kenny, and thanks for your comments.

May 20, 2009 | Registered Commenterdeeblog

Thank you so much. This was a huge help!!

May 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterC

C, you're very welcome and thanks for your comments.

May 25, 2009 | Registered Commenterdeeblog

Thanks for the great translation. I'll definitely use this site again soon.

May 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAllie

Thanks, Allie, for your kind comments!

May 25, 2009 | Registered Commenterdeeblog

Wow, this was soooo useful! Thank youuuuuuuuuuu!

October 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSpencer Sellers

You're very welcome, Spencer, and thanks for your comments!

October 6, 2009 | Registered Commenterdeeblog

Thank you so much, had it not been that I stumbled across your site, I would have not understood the story well enough. As I was reading it in spanish, I did not get what was actually happening - until now. :)

October 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterChristine

You're very welcome, Christine, and thanks for your comments!

October 25, 2009 | Registered Commenterdeeblog

Thanks so much for this translation! I feel much better knowing what happens.

November 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterZeZe1

You're welcome, Zeze, and thanks for your comments!

November 8, 2009 | Registered Commenterdeeblog

The translation was excellent. thank you so much!

November 9, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterveej

You're welcome, veej, and thanks for your comments.

November 9, 2009 | Registered Commenterdeeblog

Spanish 5 Socratic Seminar...Dominated.. Wicked accurate translation! THANKS

November 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKyle

You got it, Kyle, and thanks for your feedback.

November 10, 2009 | Registered Commenterdeeblog

Thanks so much for the translation. This was a complicated enough story to comprehend in English, let alone Spanish.

November 15, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJosh

You're very welcome, Josh, and thanks for writing in!

November 15, 2009 | Registered Commenterdeeblog

this helped SOOOO much! thank you very much :)

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterIB

Thanks for your comments, IB!

November 17, 2009 | Registered Commenterdeeblog

What does the title have to do with it? significance?

November 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEmily

Thanks for your comments, Emily. You might think of the line: "He took up the book again in the tranquility of his study which gazed out upon the park of oak trees," and have the book and park merge in the reader's (both the reader of the story and the reader in the story) imagination.

November 24, 2009 | Registered Commenterdeeblog

Thanks for the great translation. Really helpful. I'm still having a little trouble understanding whats going on. Who kills the reader and why? What was the whole scene in the forest?

December 1, 2009 | Unregistered Commentercasey

Hi Casey, thanks for your comments. Perhaps the most sustainable interpretation would have the woman in the story be the reader's wife, in which case her lover would have every intention of slaying his rival. The merging of the reader and the reading would then become the continuity of the title and the story's rather nasty circularity.

December 1, 2009 | Registered Commenterdeeblog

good translation, i read the spanish version also and you did a good job getting the meanings translated to english

December 9, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjoe

Thanks for your comments, Joe!

December 10, 2009 | Registered Commenterdeeblog

This is an awesome translation!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH :D

April 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSean

You're very welcome, Sean, and thanks so much for your kind comments!

April 6, 2010 | Registered Commenterdeeblog

this translation is damn good...thanks for posting it!

November 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRakesh

A very well done translation, it really helped me pull the story together. Thank you!!

November 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterK

Rakesh and K, you're very welcome and thanks for your kind words!

November 11, 2010 | Registered Commenterdeeblog

Thanks so much for the translation, it helped immensely!

February 23, 2011 | Unregistered Commenter1221

Glad to be of help, 1221, and thanks for your comments!

February 24, 2011 | Registered Commenterdeeblog

this was awesome, thanks! tough read even in English...

March 1, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterisaac

You're welcome, Isaac, and thanks for your comments!

March 1, 2011 | Registered Commenterdeeblog

thanks dude, you da bestest

March 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMarissa

You're welcome, Marissa, and thanks for the comments!

March 8, 2011 | Registered Commenterdeeblog

Thanks for this translation. It really helped :)

March 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEJ

Thanks for your feedback, EJ!

March 11, 2011 | Registered Commenterdeeblog

Thanks deeblog. My Spanish teacher didn't give my class a translation of this story, only her favorite class. This helps me with three nights of homework.

March 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAndy

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