Enter the world as seen through the eyes of Huckleberry Finn—a weary and defeated landscape, but one of inherent hope, where reinvention is possible through the seminal power of words, those elemental beings that are capable of creating realities all their own.
There’s sex, there’s drugs, and there’s rock’n’roll—and all the while, there’s a young man’s search for wisdom through the beauty of literature and love that he finds along the way.
In a style that combines the avant garde tradition with an authentic adventure-style narrative, the poems of Catalan poet Martí Sales’ debut collection Huckleberry Finn usher us in to the primordial experience of giving name to each and every thing, as a means to inaugurate life—or the city of Barcelona, which, in some ways, for Sales and Huckleberry, are one and the same.
Praise for Huckleberry Finn:
“A tour de force, this delving into Barcelona, as Martí Sales digs deep into the psyche of the city, making its darknesses and hidden luminosities inform a poetics that echoes the classics in its elegance and beauty, while inventing a new, ultra modern expression of reality now. This excellent translation of Huckleberry Finn will move all who read it to see Catalan poetry in a different light.” — Beatriz Hausner, author of Enter the Raccoon
Catalan poet Martí Sales works as a freelance writer and translator in Barcelona, Spain, after living for some years in Rome, Cuba, and New York City. Sales has translated the works of John Fante, Kurt Vonnegut, Jim Dodge, Shirley Jackson, and Harold Pinter. He is the author of four books: Huckleberry Finn (the collection of poetry published in Catalan in 2005; winner of the Vila de Lloseta Poetry Prize), Dies feliços a la presó (Happy Days in Prison; prose; 2007), Ara és el moment (Now Is the Hour; essays; 2011), and Principi d’incertesa (Uncertainty Principle; prose; 2015). The English translation of Huckleberry Finn by Elisabet Ràfols and Ona Bantjes-Ràfols, forthcoming from BookThug in the autumn of 2015, is Sales’ first work of poetry to be translated from Catalan into English.
Elisabet Ràfols, a Catalan philologist and literary translator, was born in Barcelona, and after living for two decades in Saskatchewan, recently relocated to Montréal. She translates mainly from English and French into Catalan. Her translations from Catalan are always collaborations, the first one being in 1997 with Anne Szumigalski, Governor General’s Literary Award winner for Vindication of Senyora Clito Mestres by Montserrat Roig. Ràfols’ most recent translation is Penso en Yu by Québécoise playwright Carole Fréchette, which premiered in Barcelona in July 2015.
Ona Bantjes-Ràfols is a Catalan-Canadian who grew up immersed in translation and theatre. She has always been an avid reader, and this love of literature brought her to translation and editing. She has greatly enjoyed the challenge of this poetic collaboration.