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The Romanian Connection: Alberti, Neruda, Lara


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This dissertation examines the Spanish translations of Romanian poetry written by Rafael Alberti and Pablo Neruda after their travels to Romania (1958-1968), and by Omar Lara during his exile in Bucharest after the military coup in Chile (1974-1981). These translations were commissioned by the Romanian authorities at a time when socialist Romania took up again its ties with the West. Nevertheless, these works compensate for an identical problem of insularity that Mircea Eliade and Eugene Ionesco, among other writers, had brought up from an opposite ideological position. For example, Tudor Arghezi, a foremost twentieth-century Romanian poet, is promoted through during the socialist regime and also through Eugene Ionesco by the Romanian Embassy in Paris during the Vichy government. At the same time, prologues, memoirs, and unpublished correspondence offer evidence of personal affinities that go beyond the translators political engagement. In Marin Sorescus poems, for instance, Lara finds the humorous tone and seemingly irreverent language of Nicanor Parra. Benjamin Fondane is closer to Jorge Teillier, poet of the hearth in the south of Chile, than to his own literary tradition, in his fragmented way of evoking small-town life in Romania. I argue that Alberti, Neruda, and Laras translations originated under aesthetic impulses that complement, rather than exclude the political drives of the translators.


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