[-empyre-] translation of Alicia Migdal's text

Ana Valdés agora158 at gmail.com
Mon Mar 12 13:30:58 EST 2012

Please friends I am swimming in deep waters here :(, translating by myself
(a Non-Native English speaker) texts written  by two writers I admire for
their language skills :( It means my English is not going to make their
texts justice but it's only a way to facilitate for those of you who can't
read Spanish at all.
Bear with me! :)

Dear all, I am Alicia Migdal, Uruguayan writer, film and literary critic. I
work as academic dean of the Theater School Margarita Xirgu, managed by the
Montevideo’s municipality. I am a friend to Ana since many years and thank
to what I call her tireless ”mental activism”, which act upon all us in a
viral way J, I am here and allow myself a literary sidepath.Estimados todos,

Loneliness is always a urbane situation. For us being congenital urbane is
not thinkable as a subjective situation the loneliness of peopoe living in
not urban places.
I am remembering the short story ”Wakefield”, written by Nathaniel
Hawthorne. I associate it always with the short story ”Bartleby”, written
by Herman Melville, quoted here by Ricardso Dominguez here the other day.
And Kafka’s Gregor Samsa, the clerk becoming an insect looking at the
lights of the city from his room. All of them represent urban situations
impossible to think upon outside the polis.

All of those has always being associated for me with ”The Man of the
Crowd”, a short story written by Edgar Allan Poe quoted by Walter Benjamin
connecting him with Charles Baudelaire and his condition of ”flaneur”.

In this literary triangle the common denominator is the city and it’s
anonymity. The famous poem of Baudelaire ”A une passante” put in scene the
shock of the ephemerous image:  a man was struck at the fugitive image of a
woman passing in front his eyes and losing herself in the crowd. She was
impossible to find and all possible relation between the poet and the
woman, bound to be mysterious and furtive.

Benjamin analyzed in detail in his essays on Baudelaie the new role of the
urban grid represented by Paris as capital of the 19th century. He
dedicated his book ”The Arcades Project” to Paris and it’s life. He studied
the passages, galleries, the inside and the outside implicated by the new
architectonic conceptions of social life.

There is a short story by Julio Cortázar, ”The Other Sky”, describing it
around the Gallery Vivienne in Paris. Galerie Vivienne de París y and
Pasaje Güemes in Buenos Aires, where the times and the characters merge and
the count of Lautreamond and a serial killer live simultaneusly.
By the way the serial killers go from city to city, at least the most
famous, or make it’s own map in the urban wave where they live, as showed
in the film ”Zodiac”.

And in other analyze Fredric Jameson has investigated the disjunction
between the self and the constructed space starting on Hotel Bonaventure in
his essay on capitalism’s late postcultural logic.

But I continue on other day.


mobil/cell +4670-3213370

"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with
your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been and there you will always
long to return.
— Leonardo da Vinci
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