El seminario en la Boston University fue ocasión para volver a hablar junto con Esther Allen sobre los retos de la traducción de mi Enciclopedia de una vida en Rusia al inglés. Esther leyó un excelente texto gracias al cual, y como siempre ocurre, aprendí nuevas cosas sobre el libro, y yo hablé sobre mi larga experiencia como traductor y también autor traducido. Ambos respondimos luego a las muchas preguntas del público presente. Aquí aparecemos en la foto junto con Margaret Litvin, organizadora del evento y autora del excelente libro Hamlet’s Arab Journey: Shakespeare’s Prince and Nasser’s Ghost”, y con mi traductor al ruso Pavel Grushko, que reside hoy día en Boston. Grushko es un traductor legendario que ha vertido al ruso a escritores como García Lorca y a Pablo Neruda, entre muchos otros. Entre los cubanos sostuvo una larga amistad con Eliseo Diego y es un gran conocedor de la literatura y la poesía latinoamericana. Es autor también de muchos volúmenes de poesía y de varios libretos muy exitosos para teatro, incluido rock operas. Grushko trabajó también en la filmación de la hoy día muy conocida película “Soy Cuba”.
Lounge Event: Reading with Writer José Manuel Prieto
Thursday, June 16, 2011
680 Park Avenue
New York, NY
Map of location
|José Manuel Prieto. Photograph by Raúl M. González.
In conjunction with Consuelo Castañeda’s For Rent lounge, Cuban born and New York-based author and translator José Manuel Prieto will read from his latest novel Voz humana. Prieto is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship award and has served as a fellow at The New York Public Library Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers. In addition, he has taught at Princeton and Cornell University.
Prieto is also serving as the guest creative editor of Review: Literature and Arts of the Americas, no. 82 (Cuba Inside and Out, Spring 2011).
About the exhibition: For Rent: Consuelo Castañeda is the first of three exhibitions devoted to mid-career artists from Latin America, the Caribbean, and Canada to be presented annually from 2011 to 2013 by Americas Society’s Visual Arts program in our gallery.
The concept of For Rent proposes an innovative approach to our exhibition space—located in a landmark building at 680 Park Avenue—that consists of temporarily transferring the use and symbolic value of the gallery to the artists. As a point of departure for the project, Americas Society’s curatorial team proposes a topic to each artist. He or she then develops an in situ installation or environment that will become part of the organization’s institutional history. An expert on site-specific art will serve as an interlocutor to ensure the transparency of the process.
Consuelo Castañeda’s response to this call takes place at the intersection of her personal history as a Cuban artist and émigré, and Americas Society’s exhibition history. The subject proposed to Consuelo Castañeda was the Cold War. Using multiple strategies, Castañeda postulates the existence of an intellectual, social landscape meaningful to diverse groups of people. She asserts the possibility of an art venue as a trans-cultural, social space, and invites the public to lounge and contemplate the galleries and their history. She excavates art history to unearth visual formats and systems that serve her goal of ordering information in such a way that generates knowledge about propaganda generated in both the “east” and “west”.
This exhibition includes a retrospective. The artist’s career is described through the reproduction of her work in wallpaper, arranged in light of her cross-disciplinary practice that began and flourished in the academic setting of post-revolutionary Cuba and evolved in Diaspora during her time in Mexico and now Miami. A radical curatorial intervention informs this project: it occurs as an invitation to Scottish filmmakers David Harding and Ross Birrell to present their twin screen installation Guantanamera at the exhibition’s center. Through arrangements of signs, branded symbols, and iconic cultural forms, Castañeda and her colleagues reframe the modes by which these images circulate and assume meaning in free-market and communist systems.
The interlocutor working on this project alongside Castañeda is Yasmeen Siddiqui in collaboration with Gabriela Rangel.
Americas Society is part of ¡Sí Cuba! Festival, a New York celebration of Cuban arts & culture. For the complete line-up of ¡Sí Cuba! Festival events around the city, please visit SiCuba.org.
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*Americas Society culture programs are open to the public and free of charge.
The exhibition For Rent: Consuelo Castañeda and related public programs are made possible in part with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a State agency, and by a grant from The Christopher Reynolds Foundation, Inc. Americas Society’s Visual Arts program is also supported by Sharon Schultz Simpson and in part by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council. In-kind support graciously provided by Glasgow School of Art.
Este es el texto que leí en la mesa redonda Two Worlds durante el Festival del PEN acompañado por Salman Rudshie, Eduardo Lago, Adam Gopnik y Anne Ladsman.
American books I read as a child in Castro’s Cuba
In the summer of 2007 I was invited to a dinner that the Paris Review organized in the city of New York in honor of Norman Mailer. The novelist had recently published what would be his last novel, The Castle in the Forest, and would hold a conversation with E. L. Doctorow. I went with the grand illusion of listening to these two greats of North American letters that would speak about their most recent books and their friendship of years. Nevertheless, what I did not yet know was that thanks to the generosity of a friend I shared the table with Norman Mailer himself. So when I saw him enter the room and come up to our table with his very recognizable demeanor, that of a man once strapping and square, but who was now supporting himself with two canes, I could not help but become emotional. I stood up to greet him and after responding to me with a rapid gesture of his head, he asked me to take his two canes (beautifully adorned with silver handles) from him and arrange them. …He looked around: “there, by the window.” Something, which I didfull of happiness. During the dinner that followed his electrifying dialogue with Doctorow, I had the opportunity to speak with him.. I spoke to him – what else do you say in these cases? — about my admiration for his books that I began to read when very young, many years ago. At the center of the table were some copies of his novels, courtesy of the publishers, and I asked him to autograph a copy of The Naked and the Dead, which he kindly did. While he signed it, I mentioned to him how much reading this book in particular as a young person in Cuba had impacted me. He grumbled something, calculated in which year it ought to have been: “Yes, he admits, it’s a powerful book for teens” and he autographed it for me plainly: “For José, from Norman Mailer”.
That was all. About that dinner, nothing else was particularly memorable. I returned with that copy which I placed next to the most precious books in my living room. Days later, I had some people over for dinner and I showed my friend the autographed copy. He asked me a question that left me a bit perplexed. “But how,” he reacted surprised. “You read Norman Mailer in Cuba?” And added, “Iwould guess that North American writers were prohibited on the island.”
His commentary took me by surprise, and I couldn’t understand the reason for it till I figured out what he meant (…)