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30 de juny 2016

'Better to have a corrupt [Spain] than a broken one'

 Update (January 2017):  The final document of "RAUCIP 2017: Recent Advances in Undermining Catalonia's Independence Process. 1st International Conference" (Madrid Dec 28, 2016 - Jan 7, 2017) (website) is now available in PDF formatp. 5–30. 

English transation of an article, "Antes corrupta que rota", by Ferran Sáez Mateu, published in Ara on June 28 2016, at 19:28. 

Let me start with a worn cliché: life is strange. Very strange. When the daily newspaper Público began to explain an alleged conspiracy between the [Spanish interior] minister Fernández Díaz and the director of the Anti-fraud Office to discredit Catalan politicians with false data, many thought, "The PP are going to take a hammering!". It turns out, however, that on those same dates, 48 ​​hours before the Spanish elections, the prospects for the PP began to improve. Everyone attributed it to Brexit. In fact, on Sunday night I heard this strange theory a dozen times but the truth is that none of those that held to it were able to credibly explain that relationship, probably because it does not exist. I mean, it is rather unlikely that a man in Carrión de los Condes or a woman in La Almunia de Doña Godina who intended to vote Pablo Iglesias suddenly chose to vote for Rajoy as a result of something that happened in the UK. 

However, other things - more important to most Spaniards - happened before Sunday. Two patriots, Sr. Fernández Díaz and Sr. Daniel Alfonso, had risked their careers and - and, depending on how things eventually work out, other things as well - to defend the indissoluble unity of Spain. "I am Spanish above all", said Alfonso. The first part of the sentence is very respectable; note, however, the addition: "above all". Does that "above all" refer to the existing laws? Sr. Carrión de los Condes or Sra. La Almunia de Doña Godina, on hearing this, realized clearly that the only way to erect a barrier to hold back Catalan independence was to once again vote for the testicular PP, with the stink of a sol y sombra liquor mix and a toothpick behind one's ear. Even those who had moved over to vote for Ciudadanos thought better, which is why the number of votes gained by the PP and lost by Rivera's party are almost exactly, even grotesquely, the same. Iglesias [Podemos] lost steam for the same reason: even after having clarified the issue of the [Catalan] referendum, his potential voters changed their minds.  

For the time being Spain is a country that pats the back of people that claim to have destroyed the Catalan public health system 

The big loser was Pablo Iglesias, despite having retained his MPs. The PSOE's results [Socialists] also fit in with the explanation that we have given: voting for them meant risking Podemos being allowed into the government, or even to lead it. The cases of Andalusia and Extremadura, which are the communities that would be most affected by the independence of Catalonia, are especially significant. Despite the leftist singsong of their leaders, especially Susana Díaz, southern Spain has voted for the moth-eaten, rotten right (in the case of Extremadura, with 40% of votes). 'Better to have a corrupt [Spain] than a broken one...' 

The direct conclusion is as follows: in the present circumstances, Spain cannot be reformed. Maybe in a generation or two, this might be possible, but for the time being Spain is a country that pats the back of people that claim to have destroyed the Catalan public health system. But there is one other conclusion. It is an indirect or secondary one, but it is not banal: as long as Spain fails to resolve its territorial issue, each and every one of its policy initiatives will de conditioned. Without the Catalan question on the table, Spain on Sunday would not have voted for the PP. It would have made no sense, for a host of reasons. As long as the whole of the political agenda is engrossed in this subject no long-term project is conceivable.  

Without the Catalan question on the table, Spain on Sunday would not have voted for the PP. It would have made no sense, for a host of reasons 

There can be no future without first deciding who it is going to affect, and who not. Whether wrongly or not, the Scots took a decision with the approval of the rest of the British, and the British have just taken another very risky - and surely incorrect - path, but in any case it stems from a legitimate collective decision. In Spain such things not even considered, usually on account of temerous inertia related to the absence of a true democratic tradition. 

The PP and the other groups have taken this all in. The message is tough: the best way of solving problems is to prevent political dialogue and to play possum; the exhaustion of the adversary does the rest. From a Catalan perspective, the message is even tougher, for this leaves no other option than expeditious, unilateral decisions. I say it is tougher because, when all is said and done, this would have consequences that, in all probability, not everyone is willing to face. Moreover, things are clear in Spain, while here we continue to fuss over (especially anti-systemic) aesthetics.

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29 de juny 2016

Bloomsday 2016, Barcelona

Two Catalan translations of James Joyce's Ulysses (extract)

18. Penelope

Yes because he never did a thing like that before as ask to get his breakfast in bed with a couple of eggs since the City Arms hotel when he used to be pretending to be laid up with a sick voice doing his highness to be made interesting to that old faggot Mrs Riordan that he thought he had a great leg of and she never left us a farthing for all masses for herself and her soul greatest miser ever was actually afraid to lay out 4d for her methylated spirit telling me all her ailments she had too much old chat in her about politics and earthquakes and the end of the world let us have a bit of fun first God help the world if all the women were her sort down on bathing-suits and low-necks of course nobody wanted her to wear them I suppose she was pious because no man would look at her twice I hope I’ll never be like her a wonder she didn’t want us to cover our faces but she was a well-educated woman certainly and her gabby talk about Mr Riordan here and Mr Riordan there I suppose he was glad to get shut of her and her dog smelling my fur and always edging to get up under my petticoats especially then still I like that in him polite to old women like that and waiters and beggars too he’s not proud out of nothing but not always if ever he got anything really serious the matter with him it’s much better for them to go into a hospital where everything is clean but I suppose I’d have to dring it into him for a month yes and then we’d have a hospital nurse next thing on the carpet have him staying there till they throw him out or a nun maybe like the smutty photo he has she’s as much a nun as I’m not yes because they’re so weak and puling when they’re sick they want a woman to get well if his nose bleeds you’d think it was O tragic and that dyinglooking one off the south circular when he sprained his foot at the choir party at the sugarloaf Mountain the day I wore that dress...

18. Penelope

Catalan translation by Joaquim Mallafré (1980)

Sí perquè ell no havia fet mai una cosa com això de demanar que li portessin l’esmorzar al llit amb un parell d’ous des de l’hotel City Arms quan es feia el malmirrós amb una veu decaiguda tot un personatge per fer-se l’interessant amb aquell fardot de Mrs Riordan que es pensava que s’hi faria l’arròs i no ens va deixar ni cinc tot per a misses per a ella i la seva ànima més rància que s’hagi vist mai que quan s’havia de gastar 4 penics per l’esperit de cremar ja no sabia què li passava corda per a no acabar mai que si la política i els terratrèmols i la fi del món més val que ens ho agafem una mica bé mentrestant que Déu ens guardi si totes les dones fossin com ella contra els vestits de bany i els vestits escotats és clar que ningú no tenia gens d’interès que ella se’ls posés suposo que era una beata perquè cap home no se la devia haver mirat dues vegades espero no ser mai com ella ja és estrany que no ens fes tapar la cara i tot però era una dona ben educada això sí i tota la seva xerrameca que si Mr Riordan per aquí i que si Mr Riordan per allà suposo que estava content d’haver-se’n desempallegat i el seu gos ensumant-me les pells i sempre ficant-se’m per sota les faldilles especialment llavors encara que a mi m’agrada que sigui així amable amb les velles i els cambrers i els captaires i tot no és un pretensiós per no res però no sempre si mai es trobava en una és molt millor anar a l’hospital on ho tenen tot net però suposo que hauria d’estar un mes per a donar-li entenent sí i després de seguida tindríem una infermera de l’hospital en dansa s’estaria allí fins que el traguessin o una monja potser com la fotografia pornogràfica que té és tan monja com jo sí perquè són tan poca cosa i tan ploramiques quan estan malalts que necessiten una dona per a posar-se bons si els surt sang del nas diríeu que és oh una tragèdia i allò que semblava que es moria carretera South Circular enllà quan es va torçar el peu a la festa de la coral a la muntanya del pa de sucre...

18. Penelope

Catalan translation by Michael Strubell (unpublished, 2016)
Sí perquè mai abans havia fet una cosa així com ara demanar que li pugessin l'esmorzar al llit amb un parell d'ous des del City Arms Hotel quan solia fer veure que estava fotut amb una veu de malalt amb les impostures per fer-se l'interessant amb aquella fòssil de Mrs. Riordan que es creia qui hi tenia un gran ascendent i ell mai no ens va deixar ni un ral tot per a misses per a ella i la seva ànima la garrepa més gran de la història li feia autèntica por gastar-se quatre penics pel seu alcohol de farmàcia explicant-me totes les seves xacres massa xerrameca tenia amb tots els vells tòpics de la política i dels terratrèmols i la fi del món deixa'ns divertir-nos una mica primer que Déu s'apiadi del món si totes les dones fossin com ella fotent-se amb els banyadors i els escots és clar que ningú volia que ella se'ls posés suposo que era piadosa perquè cap home se la miraria dos cops espero no arribar a ser mai com ella és un miracle que no ens fes tapar-nos la cara però era una dona formada certament s'omplia la boca de Mr. Riordan d'això suposo que ell se'n va alegrar quan se'n va desfer i el gos d'ella vinga flairar el meu abric de pell i sempre insinuant-se per posar-se dret sota la meva faldilla sobretot llavors de tota manera m'agrada això d'ell sempre cortès amb les senyores grans m'agrada i els cambrers i els captaires també no és massa orgullós per a res però no sempre si mai es posés malalt de debò és molt millor que l'ingressin en un hospital on tot és polit però suposo que li hauria d'anar insistint durant un mes sí i llavors tindríem una infermera d'hospital i la disciplina i el farien quedar-s'hi fins que el fessin fora o potser una monja com la foto guarra que té ella té tant de monja com jo no sí perquè són tan dèbils i ploramiques quan estan malalts necessiten una dona per refer-se si sagna pel nas diries que era Oh tràgic i aquella mirada de moribund per sota de la variant del sud, quan es va tòrcer el peu a la festa de la coral a la sala Sugarloaf Mountain...


Episode 14. Oxen of the Sun

Explica Frank MacGabhann:
  • Oxen of the Sun
  • Style is that of Joseph Addison (c. 1710)
  • Themes of the episode are Fertility and Gestation (including of the English language)
  • Colour of the episode is white
  • Organ of the episode is the womb
  • In the Odyssey Odysseus' men profane the sacred by slaughtering the Oxen of the Sun, which are sacred cattle. 
  • In Ulysses Stephen's friends profane the sacred by ridiculing fertility and joking about abortion and birth control in a maternity hospital, an institution dedicated to the fulfillment of fertility and to gestation.
  • Alec Bannon has come in search of a condom [colour or cornetcy in the text] for his date with Leopold Bloom's daughter Milly, but he doesn't know who Bloom is yet (nor vice versa). It will only dawn on Bloom gradually to what use it will be put.
Our worthy acquaintance Mr Malachi Mulligan now appeared in the doorway of Holles Street Maternity Hospital accompanied by a friend, Alec Bannon, who had late come to town, it being his intention to buy a colour or a cornetcy1 in the fencibles2 and list for the wars.
414 El nostre il·lustre conegut Mr Malachi Mulligan aparegué ara a la porta de la clínica de la Maternitat de Holles Street acompanyat per un amic, Alec Bannon, que havia últimament arribat a la ciutat amb la intenció d'adquirir un càrrec o una distinció als regiments, i enrolar-se per a les guerres.
Mr. Mulligan recited the British beatitudes: beer, beef, boobs, business, bibles, bulldogs, battleships, and bishops' buggery.
Mr. Mulligan va recitar les beatituds dels britànics: bou, bíblies, bescanvis, bulldogs, barcos de guerra, i bisbes verds.
He was then civil enough to further expound on a project of his own for the cure of the very evil that had been touched upon by Mr. Bannon.
Mr Mulligan fou aleshores prou civil per exposar amb més profunditat un projecte personal seu per a la cura del mal que havia estat esmentat per Mr. Bannon. p. 414
Whereat Mr. Mulligan handed round to the company a set of pasteboard cards which he had had printed that day bearing a legend printed in italics fair:
En aquestes Mr. Mulligan repartí entre tots els presents un joc de targetes de cartolina que s'havia fet imprimir aquell dia amb una inscripció impresa amb una bonica grafia itàlica:
Malachi Mulligan
Fertiliser and Incubator
Lambay Island
Mr Malachi Mulligan,
Fertilitzador i Incubador,
Illa de Lambay
His project, as he went on to expound, was to withdraw from the round of idle pleasures and to devote himself to the noblest task for which our bodily organism has been framed.
El seu projecte, pel que es va veure quan es posà a exposar-lo era retirar-se del cercle de vans plaers i consagrar-se a la noblíssima tasca per a la qual el nostre organisme corporal ha estat constituït.
Mr Mulligan expatiated upon his design and told his hearers that he had been led into this thought by a consideration of the causes of sterility, both the inhibitory and the prohibitory, whether the inhibition in its turn were due to conjugal vexations or to a parsimony of the balance, as well as whether the prohibition proceeded from defects congenital or from proclivities acquired.
Mr Mulligan, estenent-se sobre el seu designi, explicà als seus auditors que havia estat portat a aquest pensament per una consideració de les causes de l'esterilitat, tant la inhibitòria com la prohibitòria, tant si la inhibició al seu torn era deguda a vexacions conjugals o a una parsimònia de lequilibri, com si la prohibició provenia de defectes congènits o de proclivitats adquirides. 414
It grieved him plaguily, he said, to see the nuptial couch defrauded of its dearest pledges: and to reflect upon so many agreeable females with rich jointures a prey to the vilest bonzes in Dublin and elsewhere. These most agreeable females, with, of course, their rich jointures, hide their flambeau in an uncongenial nunnery, or lose their womanly bloom in the embraces of some unaccountable bowsie, when they might multiply the inlets of happiness for their pleasure. In doing so, they are sacrificing the inestimable jewel of their sex while a hundred pretty fellows are at hand to stroke and caress.
Li dolia una pesta, digué, de veure el tàlem nupcial defraudat en les seves més preades fermances I reflexionar sobre tantes femelles agradables tan ben dotades, presa dels bonzes més vils de Dublín i d’altres llocs. Aquestes femelles tan agradables amb, és clar, les seves riques juntures, amaguen la llàntia sota el mesuró en un convent inhòspit o perden la florida femenina amb les abraçades d’algun irresponsable tocacampanes, quan podrien multiplicar els accessos a la felicitat per al seu plaer. En fer-ho sacrifiquen l’inestimable joiell del seu sexe quan tenien a mà un centenar de xicots eixerits per a acariciar-lo. 414-415
This, he assured them, made his heart weep. To curb this inconvenient (which he concluded was due to a suppression of latent heat), he had resolved to purchase in fee simple for ever the freehold of Lambay Island from its holder, Lord Talbot de Malahide, a Tory gentleman of note much in favour with our ascendancy party.
Això, els assegurà, li trencava el cor. Per limitar aquests inconvenients (que, concloïa, eren deguts a una supressió de la calor latent) havia resolt adquirir en absoluta possessió per sempre la propietat de Lambay al seu propietari lord Talbot de Malahide, un cavaller tory no gaire ben vist pel nostre partit predominant.
Mr. BUCK Mulligan proposed to set up there a national fertilising stud farm to be named OmPHALLOS with an obelisk hewn and ERECTED after the fashion of Egypt and to offer his dutiful yeoman services for the fecundation of any female of what grade of life soever who should direct herself to him at the stud farm with the desire of fulfilling the functions of her natural.
Proposà d'establir-hi una granja nacional de fecundació que anomenaria Ómfalos amb un obelisc amb un tall i una erecció fets a la manera d'Egipte i d’oferir-hi els seus serveis inestimables per a la fecundació de qualsevol dona de qualsevol estament social que se li adrecés a la granja de cria amb el desig d'acomplir les funcions de la seva naturalesa.
Money was no object, he said, nor would he take a penny for his pains. The poorest kitchen wench no less than the most opulent lady of fashion, if so be their constructions and their tempers, were warm persuaders for their petitions, and would find in him their man.
Els diners no eren cap impediment, digué, ni tocaria un penic pels seus serveis. Tant la ventafocs més pobra com la més opulenta dama de moda, si tal eren llur constitució i llurs temperaments, serien ardoroses advocades per a llurs peticions, i trobarien en ell el matxo que cercaven.
After this homily which he delivered with much warmth of asseveration Mr Mulligan made court to the scholarly by an apt quotation from the classics:
Després de la seva homilia predicada amb tan calorosa convicció Mr Mulligan obsequià els saberuts amb una apropiada cita dels clàssics:
"Talis ac tanta depravatio hujus seculi, O quirites, ut matresfamiliarum nostrae lascivas cujuslibet semiviri libici titillationes testibus ponderosis atque excelsis erectionibus centurionum Romanorum magnopere anteponunt."
"Such is the depravity of the age, O citizens, that our buxomy Roman maids and matrons much prefer the lascivious titillations of some effeminate Libyan to the gigantic balls and tremendous hard-ons of our magnificent Roman centurions."
«Tal és la depravació de la nostra època, oh ciutadans, que les nostres pitudes noies i matrones romanes prefereixen de molt les sacsejades lascives de qualsevol libi efeminat als gegantins collons i les enormes ereccions dels nostres magnífics centurions romans."
1 Cornetcy - the position or rank of a cornet (rank of commissioned officer) in a cavalry troop.
2 Fencibles: a British militia which could be called up only for service on home soil.