For those of you who haven’t read Johannes Möeping’s review of Luis Fuñnel’s San Estebon in Winter, here’s the synopsis you don’t really deserve.
The book to which the review refers is, in fact, the 1997 translation of a book originally written in 1956; the similarly titled San Estebon in Winter – a mediocre melodrama by Guillermo Merentes. Möeping ponders: how did Fuñnel, a mere translator, come to be more famous than Merentes, the actual author? Could it be through the supreme poetic delicacy of his English adaptation?
No – it was instead by the means of a code he had concealed, with strange skill, within his text, discovered in due course by another translator, the famous Scottish fruitloop Malcolm Harding (most famous for his translations of Fabio Muzakaki’s work) who went on to write his own book about Fuñnel’s work, published in 2000. This revealed, amongst other things, that Funnel’s translation contained a secret message regarding the facist leader Felipe Elverde (aka ‘The Great Green’). It also revealed, in my opinion, that the majority of translators are, quite frankly, mad.
As noted, you can and should read more about this here.
What I hope to do sometime over the next week, meanwhile, is to take a look at what Luis Fuñnel has been up to in the last decade. What were the implications of Harding’s discoveries? Is he still translating? Does he really support Felipe Elverde? How did he react to seeing his name on my list of Greatest European Novels by Contemporary Writers?
All of this – and more – to come.