Javier Montes

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Spain | 2011

Javier Montes (Madrid, 1976) received the José María Pereda Prize for his first novel, Los penúltimos (Pre-Textos, 2008) and has just published his second Segunda parte (Pre-Textos, 2010). Together with Andrés Barba, he received the Anagrama Prize for the book La ceremonia del porno (Anagrama, 2007). They also co-edited the anthology of contemporary short stories After Henry James (2009). He collaborates with Spanish newspapers and magazines such as El País, ABC, Letras Libres, Revista de Libros or Revista de Occidente. His work has been included in a number of anthologies and in 2010 was selected for The Best Young Spanish Language Writers issue of Granta Magazine.

Report 2011

Soneto alla Turca para Beatrice

En el vasto vestíbulo reciben las ranas Y Alice nos ladra como fiel centinela. Al fondo del jardín espera la albarrana Torre que preside la oculta ciudadela. Custodia el salón la oriental cortesana, Las cosas se revisten de aires de novela: Alcobas de Bizancio, de Iznik la porcelana, El div´n alla turca, las lindas bagatelas. En las horas que pasan con dulzura italiana Se imparten las lecciones de la vieja escuela: Sobre gusto y lecturas y tertulias urbanas La anfitriona dispensa su airosa tutela. De noche las luciérnagas deslíen su acuarela. Cada tarde es eterna, gentil cada mañana. Día a día los grillos ensayan cantinelas En honor de Beatrice, constantinopolitana.  

Sonnet alla Turca for Beatrice

The frogs receive us in their vast rooms, and Alice barks, a faithful sentinel. Waiting in the farthest garden looms the tower, which presides over this hidden citadel. The Oriental courtesan watches over the salon, and everything takes on a novel’s character: the Byzantine alcoves, the Iznik porcelain, the trinkets and the divan alla Turca. The hours pass with an Italian softness, from the best school we receive lessons on taste and books, in long tertulias; the hostess imparts her gracious instruction. Nightly the fireflies unveil watercolour, the evenings, eternal; the mornings, gentle, and the crickets day by day rehearse a choral song for her: Beatrice, constantinopolitana. Translated by Anne McLean and Emma Jones.