Suffice it to say that when you read Espriu in Spanish instead of Catalan with the idea that you are reading a close approximation of his work, you lose the entire context in which he was writing. His writing, as well as his sense of tradition, was against the cultural grain of Spanish, which rather ironically led to a style of Catalan writing that was often hermetic; not more clear but less. Like painting it is something you often have to stand back from in order to best appreciate. Also like painting, Espriu’s work can make a fool out of the dutifully literal thinker.
Over at the Paris Review, Rowan Ricardo Phillips, translator of Ariadne in the Grotesque Labyrinth, has written about Salvador Espriu. [via The Paris Review]