Literature Without Balls: "A General Theory of Oblivion" by José Eduardo Agualusa, Daniel Hahn (translator)
Published 2015 (English Edition), published 2012 (Portuguese Edition)
“If I had the space, the charcoal, and available walls, I could compose a great work about forgetting: a general theory of oblivion.”
I read this in the original Portuguese when it came out in 2012. And as soon as I got the English edition, I just had to re-read it, not because the book is a masterpiece (far from it), but because I was curious to know how Daniel Hahn had been able to render the Portuguese into English. And so on with the task of reading both editions in parallel. When I got to the 3rd chapter, something jarred my reading of the English edition. I'll transcribe the text from the Portuguese edition first:
“Monte regressou ao carro. Os soldados empurraram os portugueses até ao muro. Afastaram-se alguns metros. Um deles tirou uma pistola da cintura e, num gesto quase distraído, quase de enfado, apontou-a e disparou três vezes. Jeremias Carrasco ficou estendido de costas. Viu aves a voarem no céu alto. Reparou numa inscrição, a tinta vermelha, no muro manchado de sangue, picado de balas:
O luto continua.”
If you're interested in literature in translation and the above text does not make you uncomfortable, read on.