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No Dogs Bark by Juan Rulfo
March 19, 2007 9:32 AM   Subscribe

“No dogs bark” by Juan Rulfo is the story of a father carrying his son, a mortally wounded bandit, through the mountains to find a doctor. In Spanish and in English translation.
posted by jason's_planet (18 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
And the title is a mistranslation. It should be "Can't you Hear the Dogs Barking?" I gave it a quick glance and the whole thing seems poorly translated. Perhaps someone else can contribute a better version in English.
posted by micayetoca at 10:18 AM on March 19, 2007


Oh, and sorry for making the first comment on your post be a criticism. Juan Rulfo is great, and that is a cool short story, I just thought I could contribute if I pointed out something that might not be evident to someone who doesn't speak Spanish. Nothing personal, jason's_planet.
posted by micayetoca at 10:21 AM on March 19, 2007


is the story of a father carrying his son, a mortally wounded bandit, through the mountains to find a doctor.

yes. yes it is.
posted by docpops at 10:58 AM on March 19, 2007


It sounds totally intriguing. I, too, would love to read a more - what's a word, resonant? - translation of this. Thanks for bringing him to my attention, j_p.
posted by mykescipark at 11:00 AM on March 19, 2007


I adore Rulfo's Pedro Paramo but always discover that Rulfo is not well-known. For those too lazy to click through the Wikipedia link and wonder who Juan Rulfo is:

[Juan Rulfo] was named alongside Jorge Luis Borges as the best Spanish-language writer of the 20th century in a poll conducted by Editorial Alfaguara in 1999.
...
Pedro Páramo was published in 1955... the book became highly acclaimed and has had considerable influence on Latin American literature. Gabriel García Márquez has said that he felt blocked as a novelist after writing his first four books, and that it was only his life-changing discovery of Pedro Páramo in 1961 that opened his way to the composition of his masterpiece, One Hundred Years of Solitude. García Márquez also noted that all of Rulfo's published writing, put together, "add up to no more than 300 pages; but that is almost as many, and I believe they are as durable, as the pages that have come down to us from Sophocles."

posted by vacapinta at 11:20 AM on March 19, 2007


And the title is a mistranslation.

Traduttore, tradittore. (To translate is to betray.)

Perhaps someone else can contribute a better version in English.

Sure, if it's out there. I looked at Amazon just now and I think the University of Texas version is pretty much the standard for En Llano en Llanas. Not too many competing translations out there. But if it really isn't that great . . . maybe someone would like to take a crack at a better version?

Oh, and sorry for making the first comment on your post be a criticism

No harm done. No offense taken on this end. It's a community of 50,000 people. If I wanted party-line, unconditional praise of every link I posted, I'd get my own blog.

I, too, would love to read a more - what's a word, resonant? - translation of this.

I'm reminded of another saying, to the effect that translations are like spouses, in that the beautiful ones are not faithful and the faithful ones are not beautiful. The feedback here suggests that this translation is probably one of the latter. ;)

Juan Rulfo is great, and that is a cool short story

Thanks!

Thanks for bringing him to my attention, j_p.

You're welcome! You might like his novel Pedro Paramo which provided inspiration to the authors who created magical realism.
posted by jason's_planet at 11:33 AM on March 19, 2007


"Anna on the Neck" by Anton Chekhov is a story about a woman who "married for money a tedious, wearisome man she did not love." In Russian and in English translation.
posted by languagehat at 11:43 AM on March 19, 2007


That is indeed a great story, but this is a poor post. Metafilter is for the best of the web, not the best of short fiction. A link to an interesting, unique collection of stories online would be great. A link to a great story that is only to be found online would be great. But there are plenty of other great short stories out there. Nothing more than a famous short story, a translation, and a wikipedia entry does not make a good FPP, IMO.
posted by gauchodaspampas at 12:31 PM on March 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


"The Last Question" by Isaac Asimov is a story about a computer named Multivac and its struggle with the eternal question, "Can the second law of thermodynamics be reversed?" In English and ...um.. I hope you like it.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 12:38 PM on March 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


"That is indeed a great story, but..." is a Metafilter post about a post that didn't meet gauchodaspampas's standards for a Metafilter post. In Japanese and English translation.
posted by felix at 1:44 PM on March 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


Well, I will second that for the life of me I can't find anything remotely interesting about the linked story. I was hoping someone could point out what I was missing, esp. since I am a fan of short fiction, and oddly enough, just finished another tome that centered on a father-son relationship, Cormac McCarthy's "The Road".
posted by docpops at 1:57 PM on March 19, 2007


If only I had left a snarky comment instead of an explanation why I think this is not a good post I wouldn't have been made fun of.

Wait... this is metafilter, I probably still would have been made fun of.
posted by gauchodaspampas at 3:07 PM on March 19, 2007


I'm reminded of another saying, to the effect that translations are like spouses, in that the beautiful ones are not faithful and the faithful ones are not beautiful. The feedback here suggests that this translation is probably one of the latter. ;)

Arguably, a truly great translation is a balance of the two!
posted by mykescipark at 4:31 PM on March 19, 2007


A little something to compensate for my negative first comment: very few people know that Rulfo had another passion: photography. Some years ago someone went through his archives and compiled thousands of photos he had taken. Sorry for the briefness of the comment, I'm in a bit of a rush and just wanted to send you guys that link. Cheers, jason's_planet!
posted by micayetoca at 6:34 PM on March 19, 2007


Rulfo is pretty awesome, altho I have only read Pedro Paramo & a book of short stories that I picked up in Mexico, which included this one. *The Burning Plain*, I think it was called.

Having said that, I agree with gauchodospampas...not really best of the web, but I won't let that bother me.

What can come out of a thread like this, though, is a bunch of other interesting facts & links supplied by the commentators. I'm not sure if that is reason enough for us to endorse "here is a story by a guy I like" FPPs.
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:56 PM on March 19, 2007


This is kind of a off-topic jab, but I wish they had kept the original style of quotation -- that is, a em dash at the front. It's nice how in the Spanish version, the sentences don't have an ending character and instead trail off, as if they were words spoken quietly and privately, from just one person to another in the dark. (Which they are.) Contrast this with double quotes:
"We ought to be near now."
"Yes, but I can't hear a thing."
"Look hard. Poor Ignacio."

—We ought to be near now.
—Yes, but I can't hear a thing.
—Look hard. Poor Ignacio.
posted by suedehead at 7:47 PM on March 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


Rulfo is one of my favourites, but I have not found a single decent translation for my English speaking friends.

Not a single one.
posted by Dataphage at 1:50 AM on March 20, 2007


Metafilter is for the best of the web, not the best of short fiction.

The internet is a catholic medium. Literary fiction is a part of the web just as much as photography, mp3s and bad Turkish ripoffs of Star Wars. So I don't see the same sharp line, the same division that you see.

A link to an interesting, unique collection of stories online would be great.

This particular story is interesting and unique. What's not to like?

A link to a great story that is only to be found online would be great.


So does that mean that I can't post articles from the Guardian or the New York Times because those same articles appear on a newsstand? Or that I can't post YouTube videos that are drawn from film and commercial TV?

A little something to compensate for my negative first comment: very few people know that Rulfo had another passion: photography.

Thanks for posting that. Those pictures are very nice. They might make a good topic for another Rulfo FPP.

This is kind of a off-topic jab, but I wish they had kept the original style of quotation -- that is, a em dash at the front.

No, that's not off-topic at all. That's a very interesting observation.
posted by jason's_planet at 6:22 PM on March 20, 2007


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