Interviews 2010

Viggo Mortensen: "I put the alfajores aside"

Source: Clarín

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Balada de Ausente - Juan Carlos Onetti

Ballad of the Missing (translated by Ollie)

So don't give me a reason please
Don't give a conscience to nostalgia,
Desperation and the game.
To think of you and not see you
To suffer in you and not cry out
To ponder alone,which thanks to you, was my fault,
On the only thing that can be
Thoroughly considered.
To call out voiceless because God ordained
That if He has commitments
If God himself prevents him from answering
With two fingers the daily,
Unavoidable, nocturnal greeting
It´s necessary to accept solitude,
To comfort oneself in brotherhood
With the smell of a dog, on those humid southern days,
On any return
At any changeable twilight hour
Your silence
And the indifferent steps of God who neither sees nor says hello
Who doesn't answer to the mourning hat
Tapping at the knees
Who fears God and worries
About what he thinks, condemns, grumbles, imposes.
Give me no conscience, need or order, I cry.
I'm naked and far away, what I was left with
I turn towards the world and its mossy secret,
Towards the painful clarity of the world,
Naked, alone, unarmed
I sway my emaciated body
I stumble and move on
Maybe I approach a frontier
A useless hatred, its increasing misery
And that sweet illusion of peace and combat
Is not a consolation either
Because distance
Is no more, it dissolves in the amusing,
Incomprehensible hope of helping me
Live and wait.
Not another country and forever.
My left foot on the bronze bar
Joined to it.
The waiter who understands, helps on the waiting, believes what he ignores.
All bets are on:
Eternity, hell, adventure, stupidity
But I am old
I no longer believe
In breaking mirrors
In the night
And licking blood from my fingers
As if it had been brought from there
As if the salty lie would get thicker
As if the blood, little sharp pain,
Brought me closer to what remains alive, soft and agile.
Killed by distance and time
And I lose them, both, give my life
In exchange for another's old age and ambitions
Each day more ancient, disgustingly greedy and strange
To return and I won't do it, to let go and I can't.
To rest the shoe on the bronze bar
Wait unhurried for its old age, its otherness, its minute unbeing.
Peace and later, happily, immediately, nothing.
I will be there. Time will not touch my hair, invent wrinkles, puff my cheeks.
There I will be waiting for an impossible appointment, a meeting that won't take place.


Ballad of the Missing
(translated by Sage)

So don't give me a reason, please.
Don't bring nostalgia to life
or desperation, or games.

To know your suffering from within and not cry out,
to ruminate alone, thanks to you, on my guilt
on that one thing that can be
entirely considered.

To call with no voice, because God ordained
that if He has commitments,
if God prevents himself from answering,
even with a two-fingered sign of benediction,

Then every day, every inevitable night
it is necessary to accept loneliness,
to find comfort entwined
with the smell of a dog, in these humid southern days

On any return
in any changeable twilight hour
your silence
and the indifferent pace of a God who neither sees nor acknowledges us,
makes no answer to the veiled heads of mourners
or to the knocking knees
of those who fear God and are worried
about what he thinks, condemns, damns, decrees.

Give me no awareness, I cry, give me neither necessities nor orders.

Naked and far away, I am left
to spin a world from the secrets of moss
made of the painful clarity of the world,
naked, alone, unarmed,
swaying my thin body
stumbling and advancing

Bringing myself to the edge
of a useless hatred, of its growing cruelty,
and this sweet illusion of peace and war
is no consolation.

Because distance
no longer exists, it dissolved in the ridiculous,
incomprehensible waiting, in helping me
to live and to wait.

Without a country, forever.

My left foot on the bronze bar,
welded to it.

The boy who understands, helps me to wait, believes what he ignores
takes all bets:
eternity, hell, adventure, stupidity

But I am older

I can no longer believe
in breaking mirrors
in the night
and in licking blood from my fingers
as if blood brought with it
as if its salt thickened the lie
as if the blood, the small sharp pain
brought me closer to what stays alive, soft and agile.

Deadened by distance and time
and I, I lose it, I offer my life
in exchange for the ills of old age and the ambitions of others
every day more ancient, obscenely greedy, and strange.

I will not return and I cannot stay.

Rest a shoe on the bronze bar
and wait unhurried for your old age, your strangeness, your tiny self to vanish.

Peace, and later, luckily, immediately, nothing.

I will remain. Time will not touch my hair, will not wrinkle me, will not puff my cheeks.

I will remain, waiting for an impossible appointment, a meeting that will never be achieved.


Ballad of the Missing
(translated by Zooey)

So don't give me a reason, please
Don't contrive nostalgia
Desperation and the game.
To think of you and not see you
To suffer in you and not cry out
To ruminate alone, thanks to you, on my sins,
On the one thing that can be
Thoroughly considered.
To call with no voice because God ordained
That if he has commitments,
If God himself prevents him from answering
With the habitual, nightly, routine
Two finger salute,
It's necessary to accept loneliness,
To find comfort entwined
With the smell of a dog on those humid southern days.
On any return
At any changeable twilight hour
Your silence
And the indifferent passing of God who neither sees nor acknowledges
Who doesn't answer the one in the mourning hat
Falling to his knees
Who fears God and worries
About what he thinks, condemns, damns, decrees.
Give me no consciousness, I cry, necessity or order
I am naked and far away; what I'm left with
I turn toward the world and its mossy secret
Toward the painful clarity of the world,
Naked, alone, unarmed
My emaciated body reeling,
I stumble and move on
Maybe I reach the edge
Of a useless hatred, of its growing cruelty
And that sweet illusion of peace and combat
It's not a consolation either
Because distance
No longer exists; it dissolved in the ridiculous
Incomprehensible waiting, in helping me
To live and to wait.
No other country, ever.
My left foot forged with her
Onto the bronze bar.
The boy who understands helps with the waiting, believes what he ignores.
All bets accepted:
Eternity, hell, adventure, stupidity
But I am older
I no longer continue to believe
In breaking mirrors
In the night
And licking blood from my fingers
As if it had been brought from there
As if it waited for the salty lie
As if the blood, little sharp pain,
Brought me closer to what is still alive, soft and agile.
Dead to distance and time
And I, the lost one, I give my life
In exchange for old age and another's ambitions
Each day more ancient, disgustingly greedy and strange.
I will not return and I cannot stay
To rest a shoe on the bronze bar
And wait unhurried for your aging, your alienation,your tiny self to be no more.
Peace and later, luckily, immediately, nothing.
I will be there. Time has not touched my hair, created wrinkles or stuffed my cheeks.
I will be there waiting for an impossible appointment, a meeting that will not be fulfilled.

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Last edited: 1 July 2010 06:57:35
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