Wilson Bueno via Erín Moure : Mer Paraguayenne

août-octobre 2015 : intervention textuelle de Andrew Forster avec Erín Moure.

D’août 2014 et jusqu’à ce que les pluies l’emportent, l’écrivaine Erín Moure et l’artiste Andrew Forster enveloppent la galerie-vitrine L’endroit indiqué et son édifice d’un ruban de texte extrait de la traduction d’Erín, en franglais et guarani, du livre magnifique Mar Paraguayo de l’écrivain brésilien Wilson Bueno.

From August 2014 until the rains bear it away, writer Erín Moure joins forces with artist Andrew Forster to wrap the window-gallery L’endroit indiqué and its building with magnificent text in Frenglish and Guaraní taken from her translation of the late Brazilian writer Wilson Bueno’s Paraguayan Sea.

Wilson Bueno (Jaguapita, Paraná, Brésil, 1949—Curitiba, Brésil 2010) est l’auteur de nombreux livres fondamentaux de la littérature moderne brésilienne : Bolero’s Bar (1986), Manual de Zoofilia (1991), Cristal (1995), Pequeño Tratado de Brinquedos (1996), Jardim Zoológico (1999), A Cavalo (2000), Amar-te a ti nem sei se com Carícias (2004) et Cachorros do Céu (2005).  Son ouvrage Mar Paraguayo (1992) est un cas particulier, il s’agit de la seule œuvre de Bueno écrite dans un mélange de trois langues: portugais, castillan et guarani. La première édition de Mar Paraguayo a été publiée par Iluminuras (Brésil, 1992) avec un prologue de Néstor Perlongher. Le livre a été republié dans sa version originale au Chili (Intemperie, 2001), en Argentine (Tse-Tsé, 2005) et au Mexique (Bonobos, 2006).  L’écrivaine et traductrice montréalaise Erín Moure en complète présentement une traduction en franglais qui sera publiée aux États-Unis afin de faire connaitre ce texte magnifique au nord des Amériques.

Wilson Bueno (Jaguapita, Paraná, Brazil, 1949—Curitiba, Brazil 2010) was well-known in Brazil, and wrote several books fundamental to contemporary Brazilian literature, such as: Bolero’s Bar (1986), Manual de Zoofilia (1991), Cristal (1995), Pequeño Tratado de Brinquedo” (1996), Jardim Zoológico (1999), A Cavalo (2000), Amar-te a ti nem sei se com Carícias (2004) and Cachorros do Céu (2005).  His Mar Paraguayo (1992) is a special case, the only work of Bueno written in a mixture of three languages: Portuguese and Spanish (or Portunhol) and Guaraní. The first editoin of Mar Paraguayo was published in 1992 in Brazil by Iluminaras, with a prologue by Néstor Perlongher. The book was republished in its original version in Chile, (Intemperie, 2001); Argentina (Tse-Tsé, 2005) and in Mexico (Bonobos, 2006).  Montreal writer and translator Erín Moure is completing a translation into Frenglish (leaving the Guaraní) for publication in the USA, so that this magnificent text can be read in the north of the Americas.

Erín Moure est à la fois poète, traductrice, éditrice, collaboratrice, essayiste, cycliste et cuisinière. Elle vit à Montréal et travaille un peu partout. Elle parle l’anglais, le français et le galicien. Elle traduit en anglais, généralement à partir du galicien, mais aussi du castillan et du portugais. Son ouvrage Insecession et sa traduction de Secession de Chus Pato on été publiés par BookThug en 2014.

Erín Moure is a poet, translator, editor, collaborator, essayist, cyclist and cook. She lives in Montreal and works all over. Her languages are English, French, and Galician and she normally translates into English; from her knowledge of Galician, she is also able to translate from Castilian Spanish and Portuguese. Her most recent book is Insecession, published in 2014 by BookThug in one voluem with her translation of Secession by Chus Pato.


extrait :

one dusk après une autre I sit ici on this sofa diagonal to the window, and in sitting it’s presque as if everything’s crumbling into bits: cramps in the guts: setting sun weaving humid nuances: spaces from où move déjà les occupations cérémoniales of light and lune: between the crowns of sombreros or entre les durs vides of the fig tree that devastate into shadow and suspicion in the crépuscule of the sea resort: figuier, couronne, sombreros: la ancestral speech of fathers and grands-pères that infinitely vanishes into memory, they entertain all speech et tricot: these Guaraní voices simplement eternalize as they go on weaving: ñandu: there is no better fabric than the web des feuilles tissées all together, ñándu, together and between the arabesques that, symphonique, interweave, checkerboard of green and bird et chant, in the happy amble of a freedom: ñanduti: ñandurenimbó:

Paraguayan Sea Soup

original introduction by Néstor Perlonguer, São Paulo, 1992, translated and intertweeted from Spanish by Erín Moure

Paraguayan Sea, by Wilson Bueno, is an exceptional event, of the kind that are usually so quiet they are almost imperceptible, detected only by those in the know. But once they happen, it’s as if they were always meant to exist. Everything’s the same yet, subtly, all is altered. The event pokes holes in our habits, and in the rhythms of the cosmos; its perturbations are tinged with an indescribable glint of the irreversible, of the definitive.

In this case, the event involves the invention of a language. Imitation and invention, says Gabriel Tarde, are the greatest of human passions (practices). Maybe it was Wilson Bueno who actually “invented” Portunhol (a Portunhol dappled with Guaraní which deploys from beneath, in the pulsing marrow of the language, something Argentinian—or Correntine— poet Francisco Madariaga invoked from above in his luxuriously humidly surrealist gaucho-Bedouin-Afro-Hispanic-Guaraní) or else, from his artistic Altazor, Bueno plucked it out, or snitched it from small talk, warm bowl in hand and the gringa keeping the maté topped up from the pot, outside behind the kitchen in wicker chairs in the yard. He grabbed it in Spanish and Portuguese, let it enter one ear without it escaping the other. It might seem a stretch but Wilson Bueno has something of Manuel Puig, whose writings, based in conversation, also shoot the breeze, and something of the commentator as well, because he absorbs then broadcasts in a common parlance. For almost all Hispano-Americans in Brazil express themselves in an inconsistent, precarious and fickle mix of languages.

This mixture, well entrenched, is not structured as a predetermined code of signification; it’s faithful only to its own capriciousness, deviance and error.

Portunhol is immediately poetic. Between the two major languages, there’s a vacillation, a tension, a constant oscillation: one is, at once, the “error” of the other and its possible destiny, uncertain and improbable. A singular fascination arises from this clash of deviances (as a linguist with a legal bent might say). There’s no rule of law: there’s grammar but it’s unruly; there’s orthography, but it’s erratic: chuva and lluvia in Spanish and Portuguese (spelled whichever way) coexist in the same paragraph, to mention but one of innumerable examples.

As aberrant mixture, Paraguayan Sea is akin to Paraguayan soup, a dish that, contrary to expectations, does not invite a soup spoon, but is a kind of sui generis omelet or corn bread. The waves of the Sea are tottering: who knows where they’ll topple, they lack harbour and itinerary; everything in them bobs in baroque suspension between prose and poetry, becoming-animal and becoming-woman.

Out of the breadth of this blooming Paraguayan Sea—which recalls a schoolchild’s epic poem by Esteban Echeverría, “incommensurable, open and mysterious from head to toe”—poetry catches us, leaps on us like a puppy—the microscopic Brinks—sometimes playful, sometimes savage. Perhaps it is poetry, for it appears—some critics would say—casually, without determination in the indeterminate.

A continual hilarity, unprovoked and born naturally from the linguistic amalgam, marks Bueno’s disquieting text. An avant-garde experience, the text can be compared to Catatau by Paulo Leminski (significantly, also from Parana) and, even more daringly, to Julián Ríos’s Larva: they all play with language, inventing and reinventing it. But whereas Catatau rests on the high culture that impregnates its subtext despite collapses, destructions and reconstructions, Bueno’s book is founded on a pathetic burst of laughter, the tragi-comedy of everyday agonies incarnated in the slippage of languages, one of those tragic soap operas that ends badly if at all, though one with more density, depth: it may seem entertaining but is no entertainment.

The merit of Paraguayan Sea lies precisely in the microscopic and molecular labour within its galloping inter-languages (or inter-rivers), within its indeterminations which function as a minor language (to echo Deleuze and Guattari) that mines the preposterous majesty of major languages, through which it wanders as if without intention, without system, completely untimely and surprising, like good poetry, never predictable. The tale is like Bueno’s Guaratuban doll-face who, in giving her dog kilometrically diminutive nicknames (blossoms plucked from Guaraní that irrupt to intensify the poetic temperature of the tale), extends the microscopia of its canine grandeur, to attract and seduce us with the motion of its bifurcated tail, as if it were mermaid pretending to be manatee, or manatee mimicking mermaid, until the sprinkled glitter of its scaly tail drowns us in the irridescent ecstasy of a vast, deep sea.

How, finally, to read Paraguayan Sea? Those with an obsession for plot (which exists but its matter is indecisive and entangled, given its porous composition) who ignore the poetic evolutions and mutations of its language will miss out, like those readers of (badly) translated pulp novels who gravitate toward half-digested plot resumés. Paraguayan Sea may be a torrid tale, but it can’t be turned into a tweet!