(Published in 1948; my wife got me this wonderful edition)
"A Brusca" corresponds to a project with a less systematized approach, with the eponymous title of the first tale, with its forty pages. These tales are linked by the title, which reproduces the name of a site, a ruralism in connection with the portuguese territory contemplated already in "Mundo Fechado" (Closed World) (first novel published in 1948), and especially in "The Sibyl" (1954).
Portuguese is a very plastic language, difficult and ceremonial, but also very surprising for being so baroque. I can feel this baroqueness in all of Agustina's fiction. Is it possible to fully translate it to other languages? To my knowledge Agustina has never been translated into English. I think only the novel "A Sibila" was translated into German ("Die Sybille")
How will Agustina sound in English and German?
An excerpt from the tale "A Provinciana" (A Woman from the Sticks/Eine Frau aus der Provinz) to check it.
"A provinciana, em qualquer nação ou continente, é ainda fonte de surpresas, medida de invenção, reserva de cultura - porque a cultura, senhoras e senhores, não é outra coisa senão a frescura de imaginar, quando os outros comemoram coisas passadas. A cultura não se constrange à moldura duma civilização. É livre, obstinada no seu risco e na sua experiência."
("The provincial, in any nation or continent, is still a source of surprises, a measure of invention, a reserve of culture - because culture, ladies and gentlemen, is nothing more than the freshness of imagining, when others celebrate past things. Culture is not constrained to the frame of reference of a particular civilization. It is free, stubborn in its risk and in its experience.")
("Eine Frau aus der Provinz, egal in welchem Land oder Kontinent, ist noch immer ein Anlass zu Überraschungen, ein Appell an die Phantasie, ein Hort der Kultur - denn Jultur, meine Damen und Herren, ist nichts anderes als die Frische Fähigkeit, sich etwas Neues vorzustellen, wenn andere an Vergangenem festhalten. Die kultur zwängt sich nicht in den Rahmen einer bestimmten Zivilisation. Sie ist unabhängig, eigensinnig in ihrem Wagemut und in ihrer Experimentierfreude.")
You be the judge. Was it possible to translate Agustina's baroqueness?
This collection of tales is not the best representation of Agustina's work, but it's still a fine addition to her fiction. I just wish more people would read her in Portuguese. Maybe the fact that the Portuguese Publishing House "Relógio D'Água" bought her entire back catalogue will change things, and we'll start seeing her work being translated into other languages, namely English and German.