The re-publication of novel reviews from my Greatest European Novels List continues apace over at Underneath the Bunker, with the latest title being Luis Funńel’s (or is it Guillermo Merentés’s?) San Estebon in Winter. This review picks up on a theme explored two posts ago, relating to the sometimes insurmountable challenges of translating an experimental text. If you don’t already know the strange story of Luis Funńel, I advise you read Johannes Möeping’s review as soon as you can. If you do, but would like to read it again, allow me to cover your metaphorical feet with metaphorical kisses. If you’re simply unsure, here is an appetite-whetting taster:
If we compare the ‘penultimate text’ to the ‘ultimate text’ we can see easily enough (with the help of the underlining) that the latter is in fact contained within the former, but interrupted by an influx of new words. In short, the ‘penultimate text’ is merely the ‘ultimate text’ repeated, but with five words added in-between each original word. This pattern repeats itself in the third text, but the interval is now based on the next two digits of the phone numbers: the ‘6’ and the ‘4’. The text expanded upon in this third variation is not the ‘ultimate text’ but the ‘penultimate text’ (within which, as we already know, the ‘ultimate text’ is contained).
In the meantime, for those pondering the correct placing of the accent in Luis Funńel’s name, you may be interested to know that you are not the first (nor, I’m sure, the last). Sources close to the artist (a second cousin, I am told) continue to claim that his name should have no accent at all. For the sake of consistency, if nothing else, I have decided to plough on with a tilde on the second n. Until the author himself informs me that I am a certified nincompoop, I have no interest in changing my ways.