martes, 24 de noviembre de 2015

ALEX EPSTEIN [17.605] Poeta de Israel

Alex Epstein 

Nació en Leningrado (San Petersburg) en 1971 y migró a Israel a la edad de ocho años. Ha escrito cuatro colecciones de historias breves y tres novelas. Su obra ha sido traducida a al inglés, francés, español, ruso, griego, holandés, croata e italiano. Obtuvo en 2003 el Premio Primer Ministro de Literatura. En 2007 participó en el programa internacional de escritura en la Universidad de Iowa. En 2010 fue escritor residente en la Universidad de Denver. Enseña escritura creativa en Tel Aviv.

El angel soñado por Brod y Kafka

Una vez Max Brod soñó con un ángel que sólo tenía el ala derecha. El ángel tocó la puerta de Brod y le preguntó donde vivía Kafka. Brod le indicó cómo llegar. Pensó, en su sueño, que nunca había visto en su vida algo tan atroz como este ángel de ala única. El día después Brod se encontró con Kafka. Kafka le contó que la noche previa había soñado con un ángel sin alas que le pidió la dirección de Max Brod.

(Traducción de Leonardo Valencia)

La luna real

Una vez, en Venecia, fotografié el cielo. Era invierno y su textura amarillenta se asemejaba a la tierra seca y quebrada. Ahora no tengo cómo probar que se trataba efectivamente de Venecia y que no estaba enamorado. Ni siquiera puedo asegurar la veracidad de esta otra breve historia: en un zoológico un niño de cuatro o cinco años corre hasta el letrero en el que han dibujado un elefante y exclama: “¡miren, un elefante!”. Sus padres no logran convencerlo para que mire a los elefantes que se pasean más allá de la zanja. “Miren, un elefante...” - susurra. Permanece por más de una hora junto al letrero. Cuando llega, por fin, el momento de marcharse, se alza en puntas de pie y besa la frente del animal.

Traducción: Gerardo Lewin

Otro encuentro bajo la lluvia

...y el viajero en el tiempo prosiguió hasta llegar al día de su propio funeral. Le habían advertido acerca de las paradojas por lo que, a la salida del cementerio, sólo le susurró esto a su anciana esposa: mañana volveré a enamorarme de ti a primera vista.

Traducción: Gerardo Lewin

Alex Epstein was born in Leningrad (St. Petersburg) in 1971 and moved to Israel when he was eight years old. He is the author of four collections of short stories and three novels; his work has been translated into English, French, Spanish, Russian, Greek, Dutch, Croatian, and Italian. In 2003 he was awarded Israel’s Prime Minister’s Prize for Literature. In 2007 he participated in the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa. In 2010 he was writer in residence at the University of Denver. He teaches creative writing in Tel Aviv.

Blue Has No South and Lunar Savings Time, his collections of short-short stories, are available now in English, from Clockroot Books.

From Lunar Savings Time, Clockroot Books, translated from the Hebrew by Becka Mara McKay:

On the Power of Russian Literature

My great-grandmother once shut a book by Tolstoy so hard that a spark came from its pages, and the spark climbed up the curtains, and ignited a fire, and our summer house went up in flames. I did not inherit this talent of my great-grandmother’s, but once I did try to write a story in which everything took place in reverse: the summer house goes up in flames, the curtain burns, a spark catches in the pages of Anna Karenina, and so on: my great-grandmother shut the book so hard that the fire was extinguished.

How the iPad Saved the Short Story

The truth of the matter is that the iPad did not save the short story, and in any case this was not the reason that one man, fed up with his life, jumped from the window of his apartment on a high enough floor. And then, in the middle of the journey to the sidewalk, he suddenly discovered he could actually fly. He began to hover above the city streets, and flew up and down and forgot that he had just jumped from the window to die, and even cautiously approached the utility lines (without which the world is demilitarized from sadness). After a few minutes, when he turned in the general direction of his window, he could no longer fly. He started to fall, managed only to think he should ascend one last time, but it was no use, he spun through the air, plummeting and crashing on the road just a few minutes’ walk from his home. What a brief and bizarre kind of grace this was. But grace nonetheless.


My grandmother Rosa—I’ve changed a few details in this story—kissed Yuri Gagarin in 1961 in an elevator in Moscow. Which is to say, this wasn’t Gagarin, this wasn’t in an elevator, and above all in 1961 my grandmother was already living in St. Petersburg. More than once in my childhood, I saw my grandfather floating next to her in their apartment, a few centimeters above the parquet floor. I never saw a man float higher.

On the Painter of Doors

And so this painter used to go into residential buildings, jam a match into the light switch in the hall, drag his easel up the stairwell in search of another door he would paint, and so on. (Sometimes he would stay and work in the stairwell in the classic silence of night.) He painted, in oil on canvas, more than three hundred doors. It’s not unreasonable to assume that all his life he has loved the same woman.

From Blue Has No South, Clockroot Books, translated from the Hebrew by Becka Mara McKay:

A Wayward Text Message

From time to time, even though all the batteries were supposed to be sent to another warehouse, a short tune bursts from one of the phones in the used cell phone warehouse. The sleepy guard locates the defiant device and erases another love message that will go unclaimed.

More Names for Rain

The monk’s students asked him, what is Zen? He answered: It will rain in a moment; his students hurried to shelter him with umbrellas. The monk said: Now the rain has ceased.

All the Positions of Sleep

The spaceship drifted into deep space many years ago. Her transmissions grew more and more infrequent. The cosmonaut sends a greeting to his wife, and reports that even in conditions of weightlessness, in his dreams he always wakes up beside her in a different position than the one he fell asleep in.

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