Senez 31 (2006)
You hold in your hands a special and monographic issue of the journal Senez: the fruit of the Writer’s and Translators’ Workshop organized this fall by EIZIE [Association of Translators, Correctors and Interpreters of the Basque Language] and the result of the face-to-face collaboration between translators and an author, winner of the preceding year’s Basque Literature Prize. You hold in your hands “Batere valsik gabe amaituko da narrazio hau ere” [“No waltz at the end of this story either”], from Harkaitz Cano’s Neguko Zirkua [Winter Circus], presented here in five different languages.
We do not give gestures the importance they have. A serious mistake, sometimes, since our entire fortune can consist of a gesture. Not a coin, or even a word, but a gesture.
Harkaitz Cano opens his text with these words. And in applying them to our daily life, I would have to say that he is right. We take note of large projects. Carefully examine the facts. Value the response of the press… and often inadvertently allow the small gestures to pass us by, to escape us.
This workshop, which was held this year for the third time, is also a small gesture, a slight gesture that took place without much recognition. But it was a lovely gesture, and one of luxury. This year, as in previous years, the word we heard over and again was luxury. A luxury for the writer to work closely with his translators. A luxury for the translators to work in close association with their writer. A luxury for all. A small gesture of luxury.
Although this special issue of Senez cannot capture it fully, we would have liked somehow to communicate to you the experience that the workshop participants enjoyed in Irun, an experience of breaking down borders between languages. Since it is impossible to put such an experience into words, please allow us to present here instead the results of their work: Harkaitz Cano’s “Batere valsik gabe amaituko da narrazio hau ere” in Galician, translated by Isaac Xubin, in English, translated by Kristin Addis, and in French, translated by Kattalin Totorika. We also include in these pages Harkaitz’s own translation to Spanish. Harkaitz’s text will thus take wing and soar over many borders, both real and virtual.
Two years ago we embarked on this journey at the Translators’ Center in Tarazona with Pello Lizarralde’s story “Un Ange Passe” [“An Angel Passes By”]. Last year, we continued with Jokin Muñoz’s narration “Hausturak” [“Ruptures”]. This year is the third. A sign of a strengthening initiative? I believe that it is. In any case, let us not make the serious mistake of not giving gestures the importance they have, because although it may be small, this small gesture between writer and translators is great.
No waltz at the end of this story either