Category Archives: Short stories

In Ñspel: A Muɖr, bî Jemz Jôs

(A transcription into Ñspel of the short story “A Mother” from Dubliners, by James Joyce)

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Mr. Hoḷhn, asistnt secṛtri v ɖ E’ra Abu Ssayti, hd bn wōcñ p n dǎn Dublin fr nirli a munʈ, wɖ hiz handz n pocits fl v drti pìsz v pepr, arenjñ abt ɖ siriz v conṣts. H hd a gem leg n fr ɖs hiz frendz cōld him Hopi Hoḷhn. H wōct p n dǎn constntli, std bî ɖ aur at strītcornrs argywñ ɖ pônt n md nots; bt in ɖ end it wz Msz Cirni hu arenjd evrʈñ.

Mis Devlin hd bcm Msz Cirni ǎt v spît. Ś hd bn edycetd in a hî-clas convnt, ẃr ś hd lrnt Frenć n ḿzic. Az ś wz naćṛli pel n unbndñ in manr ś md fy frendz at scūl. Ẃn ś cem t ɖ ej v marij ś wz snt ǎt t mni hǎzz ẃr hr pleyñ n îṿri manrz wr mć admîrd. Ś sat amd ɖ ćili srcl v hr acumpliśmnts, wêtñ fr sm sūtr t brev it n ofr hr a briłnt lîf. Bt ɖ yuñ men hūm ś met wr ordnri n ś gev ɖm no incurijmnt, trayñ t consol hr r’mantic dzîrz bî ītñ a gret dīl v Trciś Dlît in sīcrit. Hvr, ẃn ś drù nir ɖ limit n hr frendz bgan t lūsn ɖer tuñz abt hr, ś sîḷnst ɖm bî mariyñ Mr. Cirni, hu wz a būt-mcr on Orṃnd Cì.

H wz mć oldr ɖn ś. Hiz convseśn, ẃć wz sirịs, tc ples at inṭvlz in hiz gret brǎn bird. Aftr ɖ frst yir v marid lîf, Msz Cirni psivd ɖt sć a man wd wer betr ɖn a r’mantic prsn, bt ś nvr pt hr ǒn r’mantic îdīaz awe. H wz sobr, ʈrifti n pays; h wnt t ɖ ōltr evri frst Frîde, smtmz wɖ hr, of̣nr bî himslf. Bt ś nvr wìcnd in hr rlijn n wz a gd wîf t him. At sm parti in a strenj hǎs ẃn ś liftd hr îbrǎ evr so slîtli h std p t tec hiz līv n, ẃn hiz cof trubld him, ś pt ɖ îdrdǎn qilt ovr hiz fīt n md a stroñ rum punć. Fr hiz part, h wz a modl faɖr. Bî peyñ a smōl sum evri wīc intu a ssayti, h inśurd fr bʈ hiz dōtrz a dǎri v wn hundṛd pǎndz ć ẃn ɖe cem t ɖ ej v twenti-for. H snt ɖ eldr dōtr, Caʈlīn, t a gd convnt, ẃr ś lrnt Frenć n ḿzic, n afṭwd peid hr fiz at ɖ Acaḍmi. Evri yir in ɖ munʈ v Jlî Msz Cirni faund oceźn t se t sm frend:

“Mî gd man z pacñ s of t Sceriz fr a fy wīcs.”

F it wz nt Sceriz it wz Hoʈ or Grêstonz.

Ẃn ɖ Îriś Rvîvl bgan t b aprīśbl Msz Cirni dtrmind t tec advantij v hr dōtr’z nem n bròt an Îriś tīćr t ɖ hǎs. Caʈlīn n hr sistr snt Îriś picćr-poscardz t ɖer frendz n ɖz frendz snt bac uɖr Îriś picćr-poscardz. On speśl Súndez, ẃn Mr. Cirni wnt wɖ hiz faṃli t ɖ pro-cʈīdṛl, a litl crǎd v ppl wd asmbl aftr mas at ɖ cornr v Cʈīdṛl Strīt. Ɖe wr ol frendz v ɖ Cirniz—ḿzicl frendz or Naśṇlist frendz; n, ẃn ɖe hd pleid evri litl cǎntr v gosip, ɖe śc handz wɖ wn anɖr ol tgɖr, lafñ at ɖ crosñ v so mni handz, n sd gdbî t wn anɖr in Îriś. Sn ɖ nem v Mis Caʈlīn Cirni bgan t b hŕd ofn on ppl’z lips. Ppl sd ɖt ś wz vri clevr at ḿzic n a vri nîs grl n, morovr, ɖt ś wz a b’livr in ɖ lanḡj muvmnt. Msz Cirni wz wel cntnt at ɖs. Ɖrfr ś wz nt s’prîzd ẃn wn de Mr. Hoḷhn cem t hr n pṛpozd ɖt hr dōtr śd b ɖ acumṗnist at a siriz v for grand conṣts ẃć hiz Ssayti wz gwñ t gv in ɖ Enćnt Conṣtrūmz. Ś bròt him intu ɖ drw̃rūm, md him sit dǎn n bròt ǎt ɖ dcantr n ɖ silvr biscitbaṛl. Ś entrd hart n soul intu ɖ dītelz v ɖ enṭprîz, advîzd n dswedd; n fîṇli a contract wz drwn p bî ẃć Caʈlīn wz t rsiv et giniz fr hr srṿsz az acumṗnist at ɖ for grand conṣts.

Az Mr. Hoḷhn wz a novis in sć delic̣t matrz az ɖ wrdñ v bílz n ɖ dspozñ v îtmz fr a program, Msz Cirni hlpt him. Ś hd tact. Ś ń ẃt artīsts śd g intu capitlz n ẃt artīsts śd g intu smōl tîp. Ś ń ɖt ɖ frst tenr wd nt lîc t cm on aftr Mr. Mìd’z comic trn. T cīp ɖ ōdịns cntińli dvrtd ś slipt ɖ dǎtfl îtmz in btwn ɖ old feṿrits. Mr. Hoḷhn cōld t si hr evri de t hv hr advîs on sm pônt. Ś wz inverịbli frendli n advîzñ—homli, in fact. Ś pśt ɖ dcantr twdz him, seyñ:

“Nǎ, hlp yrslf, Mr. Hoḷhn!”

N ẃl h wz hlpñ himslf ś sd:

“D’nt b afred! D’nt b afred v it!”

Evrʈñ wnt on smuɖli. Msz Cirni bòt sm luvli bluś-pnc śarmŕz in Brǎn Toṃs’z t let intu ɖ frunt v Caʈlīn’z dres. It cost a priti peni; bt ɖr r oceźnz ẃn a litl xpns z jusṭfaybl. Ś tc a duzn v tū-śilñ ticits fr ɖ fînl conṣt n snt ɖm t ɖoz frendz hu cd nt b trustd t cm uɖ̇wz. Ś fgot nʈñ n, ʈancs t hr, evrʈñ ɖt wz t b dn wz dn.

Ɖ conṣts wr t b on Wenzde, Ʈrzde, Frîde n Saṭde. Ẃn Msz Cirni arîvd wɖ hr dōtr at ɖ Enćnt Conṣtrūmz on Wenzde nît ś dd nt lîc ɖ lc v ʈñz. A fy yuñ men, wẹrñ brît blu bajz in ɖer cots, std îdl in ɖ vsṭbyl; nn v ɖm wòr īvnñdres. Ś pást bî wɖ hr dōtr n a qc glans ʈru ɖ opn dor v ɖ hōl śoud hr ɖ cōz v ɖ stywdz’ îdlnis. At frst ś wundrd hd ś mstecn ɖ aur. No, it wz twenti minits t et.

In ɖ dresñrūm bhnd ɖ stej ś wz intṛdyst t ɖ secṛtri v ɖ Ssayti, Mr. Fitspatric. Ś smîld n śc hiz hand. H wz a litl man, wɖ a ẃît vecnt fes. Ś notist ɖt h wòr hiz soft brǎn hat cerlisli on ɖ sîd v hiz hed n ɖt hiz axnt wz flat. H hld a program in hiz hand n, ẃl h wz tōcñ t hr, h ćùd wn end v it intu a môst pulp. H sīmd t ber dis’pôntmnts lîtli. Mr. Hoḷhn cem intu ɖ dresñrūm evri fy minits wɖ rports fṛm ɖ box-ofis. Ɖ artīsts tōct amñ ɖmslvz nrṿsli, glanst fṛm tîm t tîm at ɖ mirr n rold n unrold ɖer ḿzic. Ẃn it wz nirli haf-past et, ɖ fy ppl in ɖ hōl bgan t xpres ɖer dzîr t b enttend. Mr. Fitspatric cem in, smîld vecntli at ɖ rūm, n sd:

“Wel nǎ, lediz n jntlṃn. I s’poz w’d betr opn ɖ bōl.”

Msz Cirni rwordd hiz vri flat fînl siḷbl wɖ a qc stér v cntmt, n ɖen sd t hr dōtr incuṛjñli:

“R y redi, dir?”

Ẃn ś hd an oṗtyṇti, ś cōld Mr. Hoḷhn asd n asct him t tel hr ẃt it mnt. Mr. Hoḷhn dd nt nǒ ẃt it mnt. H sd ɖt ɖ Cmiti hd md a mstec in arenjñ fr for conṣts: for wz tù mni.

“N ɖ artīsts!” sd Msz Cirni. “V cors ɖe r dwñ ɖer bst, bt riyli ɖe r nt gd.”

Mr. Hoḷhn admitd ɖt ɖ artīsts wr no gd bt ɖ Cmiti, h sd, hd dsîdd t let ɖ frst ʈri conṣts g az ɖe plizd n rzrv ol ɖ taḷnt fr Saṭde nît. Msz Cirni sd nʈñ, bt, az ɖ mīdiocr îtmz foloud wn anɖr on ɖ platform n ɖ fy ppl in ɖ hōl grù fywr n fywr, ś bgan t rgret ɖt ś hd pt hrslf t eni xpns fr sć a conṣt. Ɖr wz smʈñ ś dd’nt lîc in ɖ lc v ʈñz n Mr. Fitspatric’s vecnt smîl iṛtetd hr vri mć. Hvr, ś sd nʈñ n wêtd t si hǎ it wd end. Ɖ conṣt xpîrd śortli bfr ten, n evrwn wnt hom qcli.

Ɖ conṣt on Ʈrzde nît wz betr atndd, bt Msz Cirni sw at wns ɖt ɖ hǎs wz fild wɖ pepr. Ɖ ōdịns bhevd indecṛsli, az f ɖ conṣt wr an informl dres-rhrsl. Mr. Fitspatric sīmd t injô himslf; h wz qt unconśs ɖt Msz Cirni wz tecñ angri not v hiz conduct. H std at ɖ éj v ɖ scrīn, fṛm tîm t tîm jutñ ǎt hiz hed n xćenjñ a laf wɖ tū frendz in ɖ cornr v ɖ balc̣ni. In ɖ cors v ɖ īvnñ, Msz Cirni lrnt ɖt ɖ Frîde conṣt wz t b abandnd n ɖt ɖ Cmiti wz gwñ t muv hevn n rʈ t s’kr a bumpr hǎs on Saṭde nît. Ẃn ś hŕd ɖs, ś sòt ǎt Mr. Hoḷhn. Ś butnhould him az h wz limpñ ǎt qcli wɖ a glas v leṃned fr a yuñ ledi n asct him wz it tru. Yes, it wz tru.

“Bt, v cors, ɖt dz’nt oltr ɖ contract,” ś sd. “Ɖ contract wz fr for conṣts.”

Mr. Hoḷhn sīmd t b in a huri; h advîzd hr t spīc t Mr. Fitspatric. Msz Cirni wz nǎ bginñ t b alarmd. Ś cōld Mr. Fitspatric awe fṛm hiz scrīn n tld him ɖt hr dōtr hd sînd fr for conṣts n ɖt, v cors, acordñ t ɖ trmz v ɖ contract, ś śd rsiv ɖ sum orijiṇli stipyletd fr, ẃɖr ɖ ssayti gev ɖ for conṣts or nt. Mr. Fitspatric, hu dd nt cać ɖ pônt at iśu vri qcli, sīmd unebl t rzolv ɖ dificlti n sd ɖt h wd brñ ɖ matr bfr ɖ Cmiti. Msz Cirni’z angr bgan t flutr in hr ćīc n ś hd ol ś cd d t cīp fṛm ascñ:

“N hu z ɖ Cometi pre?”

Bt ś ń ɖt it wd nt b ledilîc t d ɖt: so ś wz sîḷnt.

Litl bôz wr snt ǎt intu ɖ prinsipl strīts v Dublin rli on Frîde mornñ wɖ bundlz v hanbílz. Speśl pufs apird in ol ɖ īvnñpeprs, rmîndñ ɖ ḿzic-luvñ public v ɖ trīt ẃć wz in stor fr it on ɖ folowñ īvnñ. Msz Cirni wz smẃt ri’śurd, bt ś ʈt wel t tel hr huzbnd part v hr sspiśnz. H lisnd cerf̣li n sd ɖt phps it wd b betr f h wnt wɖ hr on Saṭde nît. Ś agrìd. Ś rspctd hr huzbnd in ɖ sem we az ś rspctd ɖ Jenṛl Post-ofis, az smʈñ larj, s’kr n fixt; n ɖo ś ń ɖ smōl numbr v hiz taḷnts ś aprīśietd hiz abstract valy az a mel. Ś wz glad ɖt h hd sjstd cmñ wɖ hr. Ś ʈt hr planz ovr.

Ɖ nît v ɖ grand conṣt cem. Msz Cirni, wɖ hr huzbnd n dōtr, arîvd at ɖ Enćnt Conṣtrūmz ʈri-qortrs v an aur bfr ɖ tîm at ẃć ɖ conṣt wz t bgin. Bî il luc it wz a reni īvnñ. Msz Cirni plest hr dōtr’z cloɖz n ḿzic in ćarj v hr huzbnd n wnt ol ovr ɖ bildñ lcñ fr Mr. Hoḷhn or Mr. Fitspatric. Ś cd fînd nɖr. Ś asct ɖ stywdz wz eni membr v ɖ Cmiti in ɖ hōl n, aftr a gret dīl v trubl, a stywd bròt ǎt a litl wmn nemd Mis Beirn t hūm Msz Cirni xplend ɖt ś wontd t si wn v ɖ secṛtriz. Mis Beirn xpctd ɖm eni minit n asct cd ś d enʈñ. Msz Cirni lct srćñli at ɖ oldiś fes ẃć wz scrùd intu an xpreśn v trustflnis n inʈyziazm n ansrd:

“No, ʈanc y!”

Ɖ litl wmn hopt ɖe wd hv a gd hǎs. Ś lct ǎt at ɖ ren untl ɖ meḷnc̣li v ɖ wet strīt ifest ol ɖ trustflnis n inʈyziazm fṛm hr twistd fīćrz. Ɖen ś gev a litl sai n sd:

“Ā, wel! W dd ǎr bst, ɖ dir nz.”

Msz Cirni hd t g bac t ɖ dresñrūm.

Ɖ artīsts wr arîvñ. Ɖ beis n ɖ secnd tenr hd olrdi cm. Ɖ beis, Mr. Dugn, wz a slendr yuñ man wɖ a scatrd blac mstaś. H wz ɖ sun v a hōlportr in an ofis in ɖ siti n, az a bô, h hd suñ pṛloñd beis nots in ɖ rzǎndñ hōl. Fṛm ɖs humbl stet h hd rezd himslf untl h hd bcm a frst-ret artīst. H hd apird in grand oṗra. Wn nît, ẃn an oṗratic artīst hd fōḷn il, h hd unḍtecn ɖ part v ɖ cñ in ɖ oṗra v Maritana at ɖ Qīn’z Ʈiytr. H sañ hiz ḿzic wɖ gret fīlñ n volym n wz wormli welcmd bî ɖ gaḷri; bt, unforćṇtli, h mard ɖ gd impreśn bî wîpñ hiz nǒz in hiz gluvd hand wns or twîs ǎt v ʈtlisnis. H wz un’symñ n spouc litl. H sd yuz so softli ɖt it pást uņotist n h nvr dranc enʈñ strongr ɖn milc fr hiz vôs’z sec. Mr. Bel, ɖ secnd tenr, wz a fer-herd litl man hu cmpitd evri yir fr prîzz at ɖ Feis Ceoil. On hiz forʈ trîl h hd bn awordd a bronz medl. H wz xtrimli nrṿs n xtrimli jeḷs v uɖr tenrz n h cuvrd hiz nrṿs jeḷsi wɖ an ibŭłnt frendlinis. It wz hiz hymr t hv ppl nǒ ẃt an ordīl a conṣt wz t him. Ɖrfr ẃn h sw Mr. Dugn h wnt ovr t him n asct:

“R y in it tù?”

“Yes,” sd Mr. Dugn.

Mr. Bel laft at hiz felo-sufrr, hld ǎt hiz hand n sd:

“Śec!”

Msz Cirni pást bî ɖz tū yuñ men n wnt t ɖ éj v ɖ scrīn t vy ɖ hǎs. Ɖ sīts wr biyñ fild p rapidli n a pleznt nôz srkletd in ɖ ōḍtorịm. Ś cem bac n spouc t hr huzbnd prîṿtli. Ɖer convseśn wz evidntli abt Caʈlīn fr ɖe bʈ glanst at hr ofn az ś std ćatñ t wn v hr Naśṇlist frendz, Mis Hīli, ɖ cntralto. An uņoun solitri wmn wɖ a pel fes wōct ʈru ɖ rūm. Ɖ wimin foloud wɖ cīn îz ɖ fedd blu dres ẃć wz strećt upn a mīgr bodi. Smwn sd ɖt ś wz Madm Glin, ɖ s’prāno.

“I wundr ẃr dd ɖe dig hr p,” sd Caʈlīn t Mis Hīli. “I’m śr I nvr hŕd v hr.”

Mis Hīli hd t smîl. Mr. Hoḷhn limt intu ɖ dresñrūm at ɖt momnt n ɖ tū yuñ lediz asct him hu wz ɖ uņoun wmn. Mr. Hoḷhn sd ɖt ś wz Madm Glin fṛm Lundn. Madm Glin tc hr stand in a cornr v ɖ rūm, holdñ a rol v ḿzic stifli bfr hr n fṛm tîm t tîm ćenjñ ɖ d’rex́n v hr startld gêz. Ɖ śado tc hr fedd dres intu śltr bt fél revengefully intu ɖ litl cup bhnd hr colrbon. Ɖ nôz v ɖ hōl bcem mor ōḍbl. Ɖ frst tenr n ɖ baṛton arîvd tgɖr. Ɖe wr bʈ wel drest, stǎt n cmplesnt n ɖe bròt a breʈ v opyḷns amñ ɖ cumṗni.

Msz Cirni bròt hr dōtr ovr t ɖm, n tōct t ɖm emịbli. Ś wontd t b on gd trmz wɖ ɖm bt, ẃl ś strouv t b p’lît, hr îz foloud Mr. Hoḷhn in hiz limpñ n dīvịs corsz. Az sn az ś cd ś xkzd hrslf n wnt ǎt aftr him.

“Mr. Hoḷhn, I wont t spīc t y fr a momnt,” ś sd.

Ɖe wnt dǎn t a dscrit part v ɖ coṛdor. Msz Cirni asct him ẃn wz hr dōtr gwñ t b peid. Mr. Hoḷhn sd ɖt Mr. Fitspatric hd ćarj v ɖt. Msz Cirni sd ɖt ś dd’nt nǒ enʈñ abt Mr. Fitspatric. Hr dōtr hd sînd a contract fr et giniz n ś wd hv t b peid. Mr. Hoḷhn sd ɖt it wz’nt hiz biznis.

“Ẃ z’nt it yr biznis?” asct Msz Cirni. “Dd’nt y yrslf brñ hr ɖ contract? Enwe, f it’s nt yr biznis it’s mî biznis n I mīn t si t it.”

“Y’d betr spīc t Mr. Fitspatric,” sd Mr. Hoḷhn distntli.

“I d’nt nǒ enʈñ abt Mr. Fitspatric,” rpitd Msz Cirni. “I hv mî contract, n I intnd t si ɖt it z carid ǎt.”

Ẃn ś cem bac t ɖ dresñrūm hr ćīcs wr slîtli s’fyzd. Ɖ rūm wz lîvli. Tū men in ǎtdor dres hd tecn pześn v ɖ fîrples n wr ćatñ fmiłrli wɖ Mis Hīli n ɖ baṛton. Ɖe wr ɖ Frīmn man n Mr. O’Madn Brc. Ɖ Frīmn man hd cm in t se ɖt h cd nt wêt fr ɖ conṣt az h hd t rport ɖ lecćr ẃć an Americn prīst wz gvñ in ɖ Manśnhǎs. H sd ɖe wr t līv ɖ rport fr him at ɖ Frīmn ofis n h wd si ɖt it wnt in. H wz a gre-herd man, wɖ a plōẓbl vôs n cerfl manrz. H hld an xtnḡśt sgar in hiz hand n ɖ aroma v sgar smoc flotd nir him. H hd nt intndd t ste a momnt bcz conṣts n artīsts bord him cnsidṛbli bt h rmend līnñ agnst ɖ mantlpìs. Mis Hīli std in frunt v him, tōcñ n lafñ. H wz old inuf t sspct wn rīzn fr hr p’lîtnis bt yuñ inuf in spirit t trn ɖ momnt t acǎnt. Ɖ wormʈ, fregṛns n culr v hr bodi apild t hiz snsz. H wz plezntli conśs ɖt ɖ bŭzm ẃć h sw rîz n fōl slǒli bnʈ him rouz n fél at ɖt momnt fr him, ɖt ɖ laftr n fregṛns n wilfl glansz wr hiz tribyt. Ẃn h cd ste no longr h tc līv v hr rgretf̣li.

“O’Madn Brc wl rait ɖ notis,” h xplend t Mr. Hoḷhn, “n I’l si it in.”

“Ʈanc y vri mć, Mr. Hendric,” sd Mr. Hoḷhn, “y’l si it in, I nǒ. Nǎ, w’nt y hv a litl smʈñ bfr y g?”

“I d’nt mînd,” sd Mr. Hendric.

Ɖ tū men wnt alñ sm torćs paṣjz n p a darc sterces n cem t a s’cludd rūm ẃr wn v ɖ stywdz wz uncorcñ botlz fr a fy jntlṃn. Wn v ɖz jntlṃn wz Mr. O’Madn Brc, hu hd faund ǎt ɖ rūm bî instñt. H wz a swāv, eldrli man hu baḷnst hiz impozñ bodi, ẃn at rest, upn a larj silc umbrela. Hiz magniḷqnt wstn nem wz ɖ moṛl umbrela upn ẃć h baḷnst ɖ fîn probḷm v hiz fnansz. H wz wîdli rspctd.

Ẃl Mr. Hoḷhn wz enttenñ ɖ Frīmn man Msz Cirni wz spīcñ so aṇmetidli t hr huzbnd ɖt h hd t asc hr t lowr hr vôs. Ɖ convseśn v ɖ uɖrz in ɖ dresñrūm hd bcm strend. Mr. Bel, ɖ frst îtm, std redi wɖ hiz ḿzic bt ɖ acumṗnist md no sîn. Evidntli smʈñ wz roñ. Mr. Cirni lct stret bfr him, strocñ hiz bird, ẃl Msz Cirni spouc intu Caʈlīn’z ir wɖ sbdyd emf̣sis. Fṛm ɖ hōl cem sǎndz v incurijmnt, clapñ n stampñ v fīt. Ɖ frst tenr n ɖ baṛton n Mis Hīli std tgɖr, wêtñ tranqli, bt Mr. Bel’z nrvz wr gretli ajtetd bcz h wz afred ɖ ōdịns wd ʈnc ɖt h hd cm lêt.

Mr. Hoḷhn n Mr. O’Madn Brc cem intu ɖ rūm. In a momnt Mr. Hoḷhn psivd ɖ huś. H wnt ovr t Msz Cirni n spouc wɖ hr rṇstli. Ẃl ɖe wr spīcñ ɖ nôz in ɖ hōl grù lǎdr. Mr. Hoḷhn bcem vri red n xîtd. H spouc vołbli, bt Msz Cirni sd crtli at inṭvlz:

“Ś w’nt g on. Ś mst gt hr et giniz.”

Mr. Hoḷhn pôntd despṛtli twdz ɖ hōl ẃr ɖ ōdịns wz clapñ n stampñ. H apild t Mr. Cirni n t Caʈlīn. Bt Mr. Cirni cntinyd t stroc hiz bird n Caʈlīn lct dǎn, muvñ ɖ pônt v hr ny śu: it wz nt hr fōlt. Msz Cirni rpitd:

“Ś w’nt g on wɖt hr muni.”

Aftr a swift strugl v tuñz Mr. Hoḷhn hobld ǎt in hest. Ɖ rūm wz sîḷnt. Ẃn ɖ stren v ɖ sîḷns hd bcm smẃt penfl Mis Hīli sd t ɖ baṛton:

“Hv y sìn Msz Pat Cambl ɖs wīc?”

Ɖ baṛton hd nt sìn hr bt h hd bn tld ɖt ś wz vri fîn. Ɖ convseśn wnt no frɖr. Ɖ frst tenr bnt hiz hed n bgan t cǎnt ɖ lincs v ɖ gold ćen ẃć wz xtndd acrs hiz weist, smîlñ n humñ randm nots t obzrv ɖ ifct on ɖ fruntl sîṇs. Fṛm tîm t tîm evrwn glanst at Msz Cirni.

Ɖ nôz in ɖ ōḍtorịm hd rizn t a clamr ẃn Mr. Fitspatric brst intu ɖ rūm, foloud bî Mr. Hoḷhn, hu wz pantñ. Ɖ clapñ n stampñ in ɖ hōl wr puñćuetd bî ẃiṣlñ. Mr. Fitspatric hld a fy bancnots in hiz hand. H cǎntd ǎt for intu Msz Cirni’z hand n sd ś wd gt ɖ uɖr haf at ɖ inṭvl. Msz Cirni sd:

“Ɖs z for śilñz śort.”

Bt Caʈlīn gaɖrd in hr scrt n sd: “Nǎ, Mr. Bel,” t ɖ frst îtm, hu wz śecñ lîc an aspn. Ɖ sñr n ɖ acumṗnist wnt ǎt tgɖr. Ɖ nôz in ɖ hōl daid awe. Ɖr wz a pōz v a fy secndz: n ɖen ɖ piano wz hŕd.

Ɖ frst part v ɖ conṣt wz vri s’xesfl xpt fr Madm Glin’z îtm. Ɖ pur ledi sañ Cilarni in a bodilis gaspñ vôs, wɖ ol ɖ old-faśnd maṇrizmz v inṭneśn n pṛnunsieśn ẃć ś b’livd lent eligns t hr sññ. Ś lct az f ś hd bn reẓrectd fṛm an old stej-wordrob n ɖ ćīpr parts v ɖ hōl md fun v hr hî weilñ nots. Ɖ frst tenr n ɖ cntralto, hvr, bròt dǎn ɖ hǎs. Caʈlīn pleid a s’lex́n v Îriś erz ẃć wz jenṛsli aplōdd. Ɖ frst part clozd wɖ a stŕñ petriotic reṣteśn dlivrd bî a yuñ ledi hu arenjd aṃćr ʈiatriclz. It wz dzrvidli aplōdd; n, ẃn it wz endd, ɖ men wnt ǎt fr ɖ inṭvl, cntnt.

Ol ɖs tîm ɖ dresñrūm wz a hîv v xîtmnt. In wn cornr wr Mr. Hoḷhn, Mr. Fitspatric, Mis Beirn, tū v ɖ stywdz, ɖ baṛton, ɖ beis, n Mr. O’Madn Brc. Mr. O’Madn Brc sd it wz ɖ most scandḷs xbiśn h hd evr witnist. Mis Caʈlīn Cirni’z ḿzicl c’rir wz endd in Dublin aftr ɖt, h sd. Ɖ baṛton wz asct ẃt dd h ʈnc v Msz Cirni’z conduct. H dd nt lîc t se enʈñ. H hd bn peid hiz muni n wśt t b at pīs wɖ men. Hvr, h sd ɖt Msz Cirni mt hv tecn ɖ artīsts intu cnsiḍreśn. Ɖ stywdz n ɖ secṛtriz dbetd hotli az t ẃt śd b dn ẃn ɖ inṭvl cem.

“I agri wɖ Mis Beirn,” sd Mr. O’Madn Brc. “Pe hr nʈñ.”

In anɖr cornr v ɖ rūm wr Msz Cirni n hr huzbnd, Mr. Bel, Mis Hīli n ɖ yuñ ledi hu hd t rsît ɖ petriotic pìs. Msz Cirni sd ɖt ɖ Cmiti hd trītd hr scandḷsli. Ś hd sperd nɖr trubl nr xpns n ɖs wz hǎ ś wz rpeid.

Ɖe ʈt ɖe hd onli a grl t dīl wɖ n ɖt, ɖrfr, ɖe cd rîd ruf-śod ovr hr. Bt ś wd śo ɖm ɖer mstec. Ɖe wd’nt hv derd t hv trītd hr lîc ɖt f ś hd bn a man. Bt ś wd si ɖt hr dōtr got hr rîts: ś wd’nt b fūld. F ɖe dd’nt pe hr t ɖ last farɖñ ś wd mc Dublin rñ. V cors ś wz sori fr ɖ sec v ɖ artīsts. Bt ẃt els cd ś d? Ś apild t ɖ secnd tenr hu sd h ʈt ś hd nt bn wel trītd. Ɖen ś apild t Mis Hīli. Mis Hīli wontd t jôn ɖ uɖr grūp bt ś dd nt lîc t d so bcz ś wz a gret frend v Caʈlīn’z n ɖ Cirniz hd ofn invîtd hr t ɖer hǎs.

Az sn az ɖ frst part wz endd Mr. Fitspatric n Mr. Hoḷhn wnt ovr t Msz Cirni n tld hr ɖt ɖ uɖr for giniz wd b peid aftr ɖ Cmiti mītñ on ɖ folowñ Tyzde n ɖt, in ces hr dōtr dd nt ple fr ɖ secnd part, ɖ Cmiti wd cnsidr ɖ contract brocn n wd pe nʈñ.

“I hv’nt sìn eni Cmiti,” sd Msz Cirni angṛli. “Mî dōtr hz hr contract. Ś wl gt for pǎndz et intu hr hand or a ft ś w’nt pt on ɖt platform.”

“I’m s’prîzd at y, Msz Cirni,” sd Mr. Hoḷhn. “I nvr ʈt y wd trīt s ɖs we.”

“N ẃt we dd y trīt m?” asct Msz Cirni.

Hr fes wz inndetd wɖ an angri culr n ś lct az f ś wd atac smwn wɖ hr handz.

“I’m ascñ fr mî rîts.” ś sd.

“Y mt hv sm sns v dīsnsi,” sd Mr. Hoḷhn.

“Mt I, indd?… N ẃn I asc ẃn mî dōtr z gwñ t b peid I c’nt gt a sivl ansr.”

Ś tóst hr hed n asymd a hōti vôs:

“Y mst spīc t ɖ secṛtri. It’s nt mî biznis. I’m a gret felo fol-ɖ-didl-I-du.”

“I ʈt y wr a ledi,” sd Mr. Hoḷhn, wōcñ awe fṛm hr abrupli.

Aftr ɖt Msz Cirni’z conduct wz cndemd on ol handz: evrwn apruvd v ẃt ɖ Cmiti hd dn. Ś std at ɖ dor, haġd wɖ rej, argywñ wɖ hr huzbnd n dōtr, jstikletñ wɖ ɖm. Ś wêtd untl it wz tîm fr ɖ secnd part t bgin in ɖ hop ɖt ɖ secṛtriz wd aproć hr. Bt Mis Hīli hd cîndli cnsntd t ple wn or tū acumpnimnts. Msz Cirni hd t stand asd t alǎ ɖ baṛton n hiz acumṗnist t pas p t ɖ platform. Ś std stil fr an instnt lîc an angri ston imij n, ẃn ɖ frst nots v ɖ soñ struc hr ir, ś còt p hr dōtr’z clǒc n sd t hr huzbnd:

“Gt a cab!”

H wnt ǎt at wns. Msz Cirni rápt ɖ clǒc rnd hr dōtr n foloud him. Az ś pást ʈru ɖ dorwe ś stopt n glerd intu Mr. Hoḷhn’z fes.

“I’m nt dn wɖ y yt,” ś sd.

“Bt I’m dn wɖ y,” sd Mr. Hoḷhn.

Caʈlīn foloud hr muɖr mīcli. Mr. Hoḷhn bgan t pes p n dǎn ɖ rūm, in ordr t cūl himslf fr h flt hiz scin on fîr.

“Ɖt’s a nîs ledi!” h sd. “Ô, ś’z a nîs ledi!”

“Y dd ɖ propr ʈñ, Hoḷhn,” sd Mr. O’Madn Brc, pôzd upn hiz umbrela in apruvl.

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In Ñspel: Îvide in ɖ Cmitirūm, bî Jemz Jôs

(A transcription into Ñspel of the short story “Ivy Day in the Committee Room” from Dubliners, by James Joyce)

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Old Jac rêct ɖ sindrz tgɖr wɖ a pìs v cardbord n spred ɖm jdiśsli ovr ɖ ẃîṭnñ dom v colz. Ẃn ɖ dom wz ʈinli cuvrd hiz fes lapst intu darcnis bt, az h set himslf t fan ɖ fîr agn, hiz crǎćñ śado asndd ɖ oṗzit wōl n hiz fes slǒli riimrjd intu lît. It wz an old man’z fes, vri boni n hẹri. Ɖ môst blu îz blinct at ɖ fîr n ɖ môst mǎʈ fél opn at tîmz, munćñ wns or twîs mcanicli ẃn it clozd. Ẃn ɖ sindrz hd còt h leid ɖ pìs v cardbord agnst ɖ wōl, said n sd:

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In Ñspel: A Penfl Ces, bî Jemz Jôs

(A transcription into Ñspel of the short story “A Painful Case” from Dubliners, by James Joyce)

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Mr. Jemz Dufi livd in Ćaṗliẓd bcz h wśt t liv az far az poṣbl fṛm ɖ siti v ẃć h wz a sitizn n bcz h faund ol ɖ uɖr subrbz v Dublin mìn, modn n pritnśs. H livd in an old sombr hǎs n fṛm hiz windoz h cd lc intu ɖ dsyzd dstiḷri or upwdz alñ ɖ śalo rivr on ẃć Dublin z bilt. Ɖ lofti wōlz v hiz uncarṗtd rūm wr fri fṛm picćrz. H hd himslf bòt evri articl v frnićr in ɖ rūm: a blac ayn bedsted, an ayn wośstand, for cen ćerz, a cloɖzrac, a colscutl, a fndr n aynz n a sqer tebl on ẃć le a dubl desc. A bc̣es hd bn md in an alcov bî mīnz v ślvz v ẃît wŭd. Ɖ bed wz cloɖd wɖ ẃît bedcloɖz n a blac n scarlit rug cuvrd ɖ ft. A litl handmirr huñ abv ɖ wośstand n jrñ ɖ de a ẃît-śêdd lamp std az ɖ sol orṇmnt v ɖ mantlpìs. Ɖ bcs on ɖ ẃît wŭdn ślvz wr arenjd fṛm b’lo upwdz acordñ t bulc. A cmplit Wrdzwrʈ std at wn end v ɖ lǒist ślf n a copi v ɖ Menūʈ Caṭcizm, soun intu ɖ cloʈ cuvr v a not-bc, std at wn end v ɖ top ślf. Raitñ mtirịlz wr olwz on ɖ desc. In ɖ desc le a mańscripțrnzleśn v Hoptman’z Mîcl Cremr, ɖ stejd’rex́nz v ẃć wr ritn in prpl ñc, n a litl śīf v peprz hld tgɖr bî a bras pin. In ɖz śīts a sntns wz inscrîbd fṛm tîm t tîm n, in an îronicl momnt, ɖ hedlîn v an advrtismnt fr Bîl Bīnz hd bn pestd on t ɖ frst śīt. On liftñ ɖ lid v ɖ desc a fent fregṛns iscept—ɖ fregṛns v ny sīdrwŭd pnslz or v a botl v gum or v an ovŗîp apl ẃć mt hv bn left ɖr n fgotn.

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From Portuguese: With Muffled Drum, by Machado de Assis

(My translation of the short story Marcha Fúnebre by Machado de Assis)

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ne night in August 1866, Senator Cordovil was having difficulty sleeping. He’d come away early from the Fluminense Casino, soon after the Emperor had left, and had felt perfectly well, both mentally and physically. Indeed it had been an excellent evening, especially as one of his enemies, who had a heart problem, had died at about ten o’clock, the news arriving at the Casino shortly after eleven.

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From Portuguese: Our Song, by Machado de Assis

(My translation of the short story Cantiga de esponsais by Machado de Assis – 1839-1908)

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magine it’s 1813. You’re in the Carmelite Church, listening to one of those marvellous old masses that used to be the essence of public entertainment and musical artistry. You know what a sung mass is; you can imagine what a sung mass would have been in those far-off times. I’m not asking you to concentrate on the priests and sacristans, nor the sermon, nor the eyes of the Cariocan girls (already beautiful in those days), nor the mantillas of the dour senhoras, nor the shoes, hairdos, pelmets, lights, incense… none of that. I’m not even talking about the orchestra (which is excellent). I’m just pointing out the white-haired old man who—with all his devoted soul—is conducting the orchestra.

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In Ñspel: A Hōntd Hǎs │ Vjińa Wŭlf (A Haunted House │ Virginia Woolf)

(A short story by Virginia Woolf, transcribed into Ñspel)

tvr aur y woc ɖr wz a dor śutñ. Fṛm rūm t rūm ɖe wnt, hand in hand, liftñ hir, oṗnñ ɖr, mcñ śr—a gostli cupl.

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From Portuguese: Looking after, by Machado de Assis

(My translation of the short story O enfermeiro by Machado de Assis)

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o you think what happened to me in 1860 warrants a few pages? Fair enough, but on condition you don’t let anyone see it until I’m dead. You won’t have to wait long, maybe a week, if not less; I don’t have any illusions about that.

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In Ñspel: Cle, bî Jemz Jôs

(A transcription into Ñspel of the short story “Clay” from Dubliners, by James Joyce)

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Ɖ metṛn hd gvn hr līv t g ǎt az sn az ɖ wimin’z ti wz ovr n Mrīa lct fwd t hr īvnñ ǎt. Ɖ cićn wz spic n span: ɖ cc sd y cd si yrslf in ɖ big copr bôlrz. Ɖ fîr wz nîs n brît n on wn v ɖ sîdteblz wr for vri big barmbracs. Ɖz barmbracs sīmd uncut; bt f y wnt closr y wd si ɖt ɖe hd bn cut intu loñ ʈic īvn slîsz n wr redi t b handd rnd at ti. Mrīa hd cut ɖm hrslf.

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From Portuguese: The Clairvoyant, by Lima Barreto

(My translation of the short story A Cartomante, by Lima Barreto, which was published in Histórias e Sonhos in 1951)

No doubt about it: only the evil eye could explain all the trials and tribulations of the past five years. Whenever he tried to achieve anything, it all went wrong. Take, for instance, his application for the public health job; no sooner had he secured the backing of a government bigwig than politics did a flip-flop. And if he bought a lottery ticket, it would always be the next group of numbers or the one just before. Everything seemed to be telling him he’d never get on in life again. If it wasn’t for his wife’s sewing, they’d really have been in dire straits. It was five years since he’d earned anything at all; and on the rare occasions he’d had such a thing as a banknote in his pocket it had been at the cost of grovelling to friends and acquaintances.

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From Czech: Midnight Mass, by Jan Neruda

(My translation of the short story Svatováclavská mše by Jan Neruda, which was published in Povídky malostranské in 1877)

Portrait by Jan Vilímek

I was sitting at the bottom of the steps leading up to the choir lofts and could hardly breathe. Through the iron grill of the door, which stood ajar, I had a good view of the nave – as far as the silver tomb of St Jan on the right and the sacristy on the left. Benediction had finished a long time ago and St Vít’s cathedral was empty except for two people: my mother, who was kneeling at the tomb, lost in prayer; and the old sacristan, who was making his last round before locking up. He walked past me, only a few paces away, and turned to the exit under the royal oratory, where I could hear him turning the key in the door and then trying the handle to make sure it was locked. Then he carried on and, as he did so, my mother got to her feet, made the sign of the cross and walked off beside him, and both of them were soon hidden from view by the tomb. For a few moments I could only hear the echo of their footsteps and snatches of conversation before they reappeared over by the sacristy. I heard him shut the door and, once again, there was the sound of locking and making sure with the handle. Then they continued to the exit on the right. There were two metalic clicks, after which I was alone in the cathedral and unable to get out. A wave of heat seemed to sweep across my back – a strange feeling, but not unpleasant.

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In Ñspel: A Litl Clǎd, bî Jemz Jôs

(A transcription into Ñspel of the short story “A Little Cloud” from Dubliners, by James Joyce)

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Et yirz bfr h hd sìn hiz frend of at ɖ Norʈ Wōl n wśt him godspīd. Gaḷhr hd got on. Y cd tel ɖt at wns bî hiz travld er, hiz wel-cut twīd sūt, n firlis axnt. Fy feloz hd taḷnts lîc hiz n fywr stl cd rmen unspôld bî sć s’xes. Gaḷhr’z hart wz in ɖ rît ples n h hd dzrvd t win. It wz smʈñ t hv a frend lîc ɖt.

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In Ñspel: Đ Bōrdñhǎs, bî Jemz Jôs

Msz Mūni wz a bćr’z dōtr. Ś wz a wmn hu wz qt ebl t cīp ʈñz t hrslf: a dtrmind wmn. Ś hd marid hr faɖr’z fōrmn n opnd a bćr’z śop nir Sprñ Gardnz. Bt az sn az hiz faɖr-in-lw wz ded, Mr. Mūni bgan t g t ɖ devl. H dranc, plundrd ɖ til, ran hedloñ intu dét. It wz no ys mcñ him tec ɖ plej: h wz śr t brec ǎt agn a fy dez aftr. Bî fîtñ hiz wîf in ɖ prezns v custmrz n bî bayñ bad mìt h ruind hiz biznis. Wn nît h wnt fr hiz wîf wɖ ɖ clīvr n ś hd t slīp in a nebr’z hǎs.

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In Ñspel: Tū G’lants, bî Jemz Jôs

Ɖ gre worm īvnñ v Ōġst hd dsndd upn ɖ siti n a mîld worm er, a meṃri v sumr, srkletd in ɖ strīts. Ɖ strīts, śutrd fr ɖ rpoz v Súnde, swormd wɖ a gêli culrd crǎd. Lîc ilumind prlz, ɖ lamps śon fṛm ɖ sumits v ɖer tōl polz upn ɖ livñ txćr b’lo, ẃć, ćenjñ śep n hy unsīsñli, snt p intu ɖ worm gre īvnñ er an unćenjñ unsīsñ mrmr.

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From Czech: The Lost Letter, by Karel Čapek

(My translation of the short story Ztracený dopis, which was published in Povídky z jedné kapsy in 1929.)

 

“Boženka,” said the minister of state to his wife as he took another generous helping of salad, “I got a letter this afternoon that I think will interest you. I’ll have to present it to the council of ministers. If people get to know about it, a certain political party will find itself in a pretty pickle. Take a look at it yourself.”

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In Ñspel: Aftr ɖ Rês, bî Jemz Jôs

Ɖ carz cem scudñ in twdz Dublin, runñ īvnli lîc pelits in ɖ grūv v ɖ Nās Rod. At ɖ crest v ɖ hil at Inćicor sîtsiyrz hd gaɖrd in clumps t woć ɖ carz c’rirñ homẉd n ʈru ɖs ćanl v poṿti n inax́n ɖ Continnt sped its wlʈ n inḍstri. Nǎ n agn ɖ clumps v ppl rezd ɖ ćir v ɖ gretf̣li oprest. Ɖer simṗʈi, hvr, wz fr ɖ blu carz—ɖ carz v ɖer frendz, ɖ Frenć.

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In Ñspel: Toḅmori, bî Saci

It wz a ćil, ren-wośt afṭnun v a lêt Ōġst de, ɖt indefiṇt sīzn ẃn partṛjz r stl in s’kṛti or cold storij, n ɖr z nʈñ t hunt—unls wn z bǎndd on ɖ norʈ bî ɖ Bristl Ćanl, in ẃć ces wn me lwf̣li gaḷp aftr fat red stagz. Ledi Blemli’z hǎsparti wz nt bǎndd on ɖ norʈ bî ɖ Bristl Ćanl, hns ɖr wz a fl gaɖ̇rñ v hr gests rnd ɖ tītebl on ɖs ptiklr afṭnun. N, in spît v ɖ blancnis v ɖ sīzn n ɖ trîtnis v ɖ oceźn, ɖr wz no tres in ɖ cumṗni v ɖt ftīgd restlisnis ẃć mīnz a dred v ɖ pịnola n a sbdyd hanc̣rñ fr ōx́nbrij. Ɖ undisgîzd opn-mǎɖd atnśn v ɖ intîr parti wz fixt on ɖ homli neġtiv prṣnaḷti v Mr Cornīłs Apin. V ol hr gests, h wz ɖ wn hu hd cm t Ledi Blemli wɖ ɖ vegist repyteśn. Smwn hd sd h wz “clevr,” n h hd got hiz invteśn in ɖ modṛt xpcteśn, on ɖ part v hiz hostes, ɖt sm porśn at līst v hiz clevrnis wd b cntribytd t ɖ jenṛl enttenmnt. Untl tītîm ɖt de ś hd bn unebl t dscuvr in ẃt d’rex́n, f eni, hiz clevrnis le. H wz nɖr a wit nr a crocećampịn, a hipnotic fors nr a bgetr v aṃćr ʈiatriclz. Nɖr dd hiz xtirịr sjst ɖ sort v man in hūm wimin r wilñ t pardn a jenṛs meźr v mntl dfiśnsi. H hd sbsîdd intu mir Mr Apin, n ɖ Cornīłs sīmd a pìs v trnspaṛnt baptizml bluf. N nǎ h wz clemñ t hv lōnćt on ɖ wrld a dscuṿri bsd ẃć ɖ invnśn v gunpǎdr, v ɖ printñpres, n v stīmloc̣mośn wr incnsidṛbl trîflz. Sayns hd md bwildrñ strîdz in mni d’rex́nz jrñ rīsnt decedz, bt ɖs ʈñ sīmd t b’loñ t ɖ dmen v miṛcl rɖr ɖn t sạntific aćivmnt.

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In Ñspel: Aṛbi, bî Jemz Jôs

Norʈ Rićmnd Strīt, biyñ blînd, wz a qayt strīt xpt at ɖ aur ẃn ɖ Crisćn Bruɖrz’ Scūl set ɖ bôz fri. An uninhaḅtd hǎs v tū stōriz std at ɖ blînd end, dtaćt fṛm its nebrz in a sqer grǎnd. Ɖ uɖr hǎzz v ɖ strīt, conśs v dīsnt lîvz wɖn ɖm, gezd at wn anɖr wɖ brǎn imṗtrbbl fesz.

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In Ñspel: An Incǎntr, bî Jemz Jôs

(A transcription into Ñspel of the short story AN ENCOUNTER from Dubliners, by James Joyce)

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It wz Jo Diḷn hu intṛdyst ɖ Wîld Wst t s. H hd a litl lîbrri md p v old numbrz v Ɖ Yńn JacPluc n Ɖ Heṗni Marvl. Evri īvnñ aftr scūl w met in hiz bac gardn n arenjd Indịn batlz. H n hiz fat yuñ bruɖr Lio, ɖ îdlr, hld ɖ loft v ɖ stebl ẃl w traid t cari it bî storm; or w fòt a pićt batl on ɖ gras. Bt, hvr wel w fòt, w nvr wún sīj or batl n ol ǎr bǎts endd wɖ Jo Diḷn’z wordans v vicṭri. Hiz peṛnts wnt t et-o’cloc mas evri mornñ in Gardinr Strīt n ɖ pīsfl ǒdr v Msz Diḷn wz prevḷnt in ɖ hōl v ɖ hǎs. Bt h pleid tù firsli fr s hu wr yungr n mor timid. H lct lîc sm cnd v an Indịn ẃn h ceprd rnd ɖ gardn, an old ti-cozi on hiz hed, bìtñ a tin wɖ hiz fist n yelñ:

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In Ñspel: Ɖ Sistrz, bî Jemz Jôs

(A transcription into Ñspel of the short story “The Sisters” from Dubliners, by James Joyce)

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r wz no hop fr him ɖs tîm: it wz ɖ ʈrd stroc. Nît aftr nît I hd pást ɖ hǎs (it wz vceśntîm) n studid ɖ lîtd sqer v windo: n nît aftr nît I hd faund it lîtd in ɖ sem we, fentli n īvnli. F h wz ded, I ʈt, I wd si ɖ rflex́n v candlz on ɖ darcnd blînd fr I ń ɖt tū candlz mst b set at ɖ hed v a corps. H hd ofn sd t m: “I am nt loñ fr ɖs wrld,” n I hd ʈt hiz wrdz îdl. Nǎ I ń ɖe wr tru. Evri nît az I gezd p at ɖ windo I sd softli t mslf ɖ wrd p’raḷsis. It hd olwz sǎndd strenjli in mî irz, lîc ɖ wrd nomón in ɖ Yclid n ɖ wrd siṃni in ɖ Caṭcizm. Bt nǎ it sǎndd t m lîc ɖ nem v sm mlefisnt n sinfl biyñ. It fild m wɖ fir, n yt I loñd t b nirr t it n t lc upn its dedli wrc.

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From Portuguese: Cazuza’s One and Only Murder, by Lima Barreto

(My translation of the short story O único assassinato de Cazuza, which was published in Contos reunidos in 1949. There’s a strong autobiographical element in this story.)

Hildegardo Brandão, known to his friends as Cazuza, had got to the age of fifty and a bit, and was down but not out. After acute crises of despair, bitterness and resentment brought on by the injustice which had thwarted him in all his worthy ambitions, a sort of grave and calm beatitude had descended on him, as if he were preparing himself for death.

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From Portuguese: Revolver, by Lima Barreto

(My translation of the short story Despesa filantrópica, which was published in Histórias e sonhos in 1920.)

A farmer is talking to Felício, an old college-friend, about an incident at a farm he used to own in the Brazilian outback.

 

Farmer: I had no idea who it was when he arrived at the gate of my house, accompanied by an unpleasant-looking individual. After I’d invited them into the living room and they’d sat down, I ordered coffee. While we were waiting, he told me who he was. It was quite a surprise, I can tell you!

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From Portuguese: Good Idea, by Lima Barreto

(My translation of the short story Boa medida, which was first published in the Careta newspaper in 1921. “Kambalu” = one of Lima’s satirical name’s for Brazil; “Sultan Abbas the First” = Epitácio Pessoa, President of Brazil between 1919 and 1922 – any similarity to the current president of the United States of America is purely coincidental.)

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nce upon a time, Sultan Abbas the First of Kambalu, otherwise known as “The Magnificent,” – who was directly descended from Manuel José Fernandes from Trás-os-Montes in the Kingdom of Portugal, and Japira, a native of the Potiguar tribe, which used to inhabit the Empire of Brazil, but is now no more – seeing the misery of his people and the starvation and plague which were wiping them out, decided to convene the bigwigs of his domains, regardless of their religion or their theories, to help him solve the problem. There duly arrived: a bishop, a wise man from the orient, a learned doctor of medicine, a clairvoyant, a jurist, an engineer and a brahmin.

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From Portuguese: Clara dos Anjos, by Lima Barreto

(My translation of the short story of the same name, which was written in 1919 and published in the collection Histórias e sonhos (1920, 1951, 1956))

Joaquim dos Anjos, the postman, wasn’t one for going out serenading in the streets, but he did like the guitar and modinha songs. He himself played the flute, an instrument more highly regarded in those days than it is now. He even considered himself a musician, because he used to compose waltzes, tangos and accompaniments for modinhas.

Continue reading From Portuguese: Clara dos Anjos, by Lima Barreto