Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Antonio Gala announces he has cancer

(Photo: C.Miralles)
MADRID (El Mundo) Many of our readers will know that Antonio Gala is one of Spain's best known writers. His command of Spanish is ... well, it sometimes sets Prospero's hairs on end. Neither he nor El Mundo, the newspaper he writes for daily, have given us permission to do so but we're going to attempt a translation into English of the announcement he made on Tuesday about his cancer, which, although it doesn't say so, is believed to be of the bladder ands apparently inoperable. We (and TranslationHELP, who is sponsoring this item) apologise in advance for the clumsiness of what is a very beautiful piece of writing from Gala's heart (We post the original in Spanish, too.).>>>
"La enfermedad nunca es una forma de tristeza ni una metáfora ni una melancolía: es un camino incómodo, que lleva o no a la muerte con o sin rapidez. Hasta ahora fui sometido a toda clase de salvamentos quirúrgicos. Nadie me consideró más interesante por eso, pero su éxito me salvó. Hasta ahora. Ahora padezco un cáncer de difícil extirpación. Y estoy sometido, para tratar de librarme, a un largo puteo, que es igual que una guerra de la que soy el campo de batalla. ¿Con un doble aliado: la quimioterapia y la radioterapia? Espero que conmigo sean más beneficiosas que el cáncer: matar es el fin de los tres. ¿Quizá demasiado tarde para recomenzar? Estoy en buenas manos: lo suficiente como para no querer pasar a las Mejores. Todo parece, así, interminable, monótono, invasivo... Menos la vida: no tenía edad ya de nuevas experiencias. Hubiera preferido el quirófano como tajante campo de batalla. Soy mal aliado de mí mismo: impaciente, poco soportador e insoportable: la anestesia total es mi aliada. Las nuevas experiencias me llegan tarde. Trataré, con todo, de defraudar a la muerte una vez más: la última".
"Illness is never a form of sadness, nor is it a metaphor, nor a melancholy: it is an uncomfortable road that may or may not lead to death speedily, or not. Until now I have been subjected to all manner of surgical rescuing. Nobody thought I was more interesting because of it, but success saved me. Until now. Now I have a cancer that is difficult to remove. And I am submitted, in order to be free of it, to a long nasty process, which is the same as my being the battlefield in a war. With a double allies: chemotherapy and radiotherapy? I hope that they will benefit me more than the cancer: to kill is all of their objectives. Maybe too late to restart? I am in good hands: enough not to be wanting to pass on to Better ones. Thus, it all looks interminable, monotonous, invasive... Except for life: I am not of an age for new experiences. I would have preferred the surgical theatre as a more defining battlefield. I am a bad ally to myself: impatient, intolerant and intolerable: total anaesthesia is my ally. New experiences are arriving too late. Neverthless, I will try to disappoint Death one more time: the last."

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