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PAUL BOWLES, 1910 - 1999


TRANSLATIONS

Paul Bowles was one of the most accomplished literary translators of the twentieth century. His early interest in the work of European and Latin American surrealist authors led Bowles to produce translations, believing that English-speaking readers should have access to their work. His initial published translations included poems and stories of Giorgio de Chirico, Jean Ferry, Paul Magritte, and Ramón Sender. His translation of the work of Jorge Luis Borges represents one of the Argentine author's first appearances in English. Harmless Poisons In 1945 Bowles edited a special "Tropical Americana" issue of View which introduced the work of a variety of Latin American authors and genres to American readers. Bowles's translation of Jean Paul Sartre's Huis Clos, which he titled No Exit, was the first English-language version of this important play and remains one of the most widely-used adaptations.

In the 1960s, Bowles's interest in the Moroccan oral story tradition led him to collaborate with a number of Moroccan storytellers. Bowles recorded their stories in Moghrebi, the Moroccan vernacular, and then translated them into English directly from the recording. Although he worked with several Moroccan storytellers, his most frequent collaborator was Mohammed Mrabet. Between 1967 and 1986 eleven collections of Mrabet's stories, taped and translated by Bowles, were published. Bowles also translated work by Driss ben Hamed Charhadi, Mohamed Choukri, and the painter Ahmed Yacoubi. In 1980, Bowles met a young Guatemalan author, Rodrigo Rey Rosa, who had come to Tangier to study with Bowles. Bowles's translations of Rey

Rosa have helped broaden the readership of his writing. In return, Rey Rosa has translated several of Paul Bowles's works into Spanish. Bowles's translation of the work of Isabelle Eberhardt, The Oblivion Seekers & Other Writings (1975) has helped introduce the writing of this mysterious European expatriate author to a wider audience.

The Paul Bowles papers house a wealth of material relating to Paul Bowles's work as a translator. Original manuscripts, correspondence with authors and publishers, proof materials, and examples of work originally published in magazines are present. Of particular interest are galley proofs containing Bowles's extensive revisions, which reveal the painstaking care he brought to his work as a translator. Interestingly, Paul Bowles took this same approach to the translations of his own work by other translators. His papers include numerous manuscripts and proofs which his translators sent him for review. They contain extensive corrections, revisions, and entirely re-written passages, and again demonstrate Bowles's precise use of language and his appreciation for the craft of the translator.

The Oblivion Seekers

79. The Oblivion Seekers &
Other Writings
. [San Francisco]:
City Lights Books, [1975].

 

Translations: Items in the Exhibition

The Lost Trail of the Sahara

69. The Lost Trail of the Sahara: a Novel,
by Roger Frison-Roche. New York:
Prentice-Hall, [1952].

67a. "Hebdomeros" (Part I), by Giorgio de Chirico, translated from the French by Paul Bowles, in View (New York), Series 4, no. 3 (October 1944), pp. 80-82.
67b. "Hebdomeros" (Part II), by Giorgio de Chirico, translated from the French by Paul Bowles, in View (New York), Series 4, no. 4 (December 1944), pp. 124, 144-146.
Bowles's translation of this story also appeared in View editor Charles Henri Ford's anthology, A Night with Jupiter and Other Fantastic Stories (1945). 68. Tropical Americana, presented by Paul Bowles, in View (New York), Series 5, no. 2 (May 1945).
Bowles served on the board of editors of View, and in 1945 he edited the "Tropical Americana" issue, comprising texts of his own, translations, and photographs Bowles had taken in Central and South America. Bowles's translations included traditional folk tales.

69. The Lost Trail of the Sahara: a Novel, by Roger Frison-Roche, translated from the French by Paul Bowles. New York: Prentice-Hall, [1952].


70. No Exit: a Play in One Act, by Jean Paul Sartre, adapted from the French by Paul Bowles. New York: French, [1958].

71. A Life Full of Holes, by Driss ben Hamed Charhadi, a novel tape-recorded in Moghrebi and translated into English by Paul Bowles. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, [1964].
Charhadi was a pseudonym used by Larbi Layachi, a Moroccan guard at Merkala, a beach only a mile from Bowles's home in Tangier, which is where the two met. Fascinated by Layachi's tales, with their compelling nuances and details, Bowles recorded and translated them, crediting his relationship with Layachi for having "ultimately added a whole new dimension to my writing experience."

72a. "The Story of Omar the Truckdriver," by Abdelgader ben Mohammed el Fahsi, typed manuscript with autograph corrections, n.d., 10 pp.
This manuscript bears extensive revisions in Bowles's hand, with many changes to character names and places. The storyteller's name, Abdeslam Boulaich, has been changed on the
manuscript to El Fahsi, under which the story was first published in Genesis West.

No Exit

70. No Exit: a Play in One Act, by Jean
Paul Sartre. New York: French, [1958].

Omar the Truckdriver

72a. "The Story of Omar the Truckdriver," by
Abdelgader ben Mohammed el Fahsi,
typed manuscript with autograph corrections, n.d., 10 pp.


72b. "Omar the Truckdriver," by Abdelgader ben Mohammed el Fahsi, translated from the Moghrebi by Paul Bowles, in Genesis West (Burlingame, Calif.), Vol. 2, no. 2-3 (Winter-Spring 1964), pp. 151-157.
"Omar the Truckdriver" was subsequently published, under the authorship of Abdeslam Boulaich, in Five Eyes (1979).


73. [Moroccan proverbs], compiled by Paul Bowles. [Tangier, Morocco: First Tangier Gallery, 1964].
This single sheet contains short English-language versions of Moroccan proverbs compiled and translated by Paul Bowles. The broadside was produced for an exhibition at the First Tangier Gallery.

74. The Lemon: a Novel, by Mohammed Mrabet, translated from the Moghrebi and edited by Paul Bowles in collaboration with Mohammed Mrabet. London: Peter Owen, [1969].

75. The Lemon, screenplay by Paul Steinbroner. Berkeley: John Phillips and Alvin Wares, World Film Properties, 1976.
This proposed film treatment of The Lemon, which was never produced, was sent to Paul Bowles, who has made a number of autograph corrections and revisions to the text.

76a. "Mohammed Mrabet M'Hashish (Taped and Translated from the Moghrebi by Paul Bowles)." Carbon typescript, n.d., 51 pp., with autograph corrections by Paul Bowles.


The Lemon

75. The Lemon, screenplay by
Paul Steinbroner. Berkeley:
John Phillips and Alvin Wares,
World Film Properties, 1976.


76b. M'Hashish, taped and translated from the Moghrebi by Paul Bowles. [San Francisco]: City Lights Books, [1969].

77. For Bread Alone, by Mohamed Choukri; translated and with an introduction by Paul Bowles. London: Peter Owen, [1973].

78. [Dr. Safi]. Typed manuscript with autograph corrections, n.d., 12 pp.
This Mrabet story appeared in The Boy Who Set the Fire (1974).

79. The Oblivion Seekers & Other Writings, by Isabelle Eberhardt, translated by Paul Bowles. [San Francisco]: City Lights Books, [1975].

 

 

List of stories -- Hadidan Aharam

80a. [List of Thirty Hadidan Aharam Stories], in autograph notebook, n.d., ca. 100 pp.


80a. [List of Thirty Hadidan Aharam Stories], in autograph notebook, n.d., ca. 100 pp.
The stories on this list in Bowles's notebook relate to Hadidan Aharam, a character popular in the oral story tradition of rural Morocco. According to the translator's note in Harmless Poisons (1976), Hadidan Aharam is a "traditional rustic oaf who, in spite of his simplicity and sometimes precisely because of it, manages to impose his will upon those who have criticized and ridiculed him." Bowles indicates on his list that three of the thirty stories were not yet recorded.

80b. "Harmless Poisons," autograph notebook, n.d., ca. 200 pp.

80c. Harmless Poisons, Blameless Sins, taped & translated from the Moghrebi by Paul Bowles. Santa Barbara, Calif.: Black Sparrow Press, 1976.
This is copy O of 26 lettered copies signed by Mohammed Mrabet and Paul Bowles, with an original drawing by Mohammed Mrabet tipped in. The stories in this collection are all based on Hadidan Aharam, the Moroccan folk-hero whose adventures turn around the kind of "good luck that can only come from being in a state of grace." 81a. "Fellah," autograph story, 6 pp., in autograph notebook, n.d., ca. 100 pp.
This manuscript, written in a spiral-bound notebook containing a variety of other manuscripts, appears to be the first draft of Bowles's translation of Mrabet's oral text, which later appeared in Outlaw Visions (1977) and The Chest (1983).

81b. "El Fellah," by Mohammed Mrabet, translated by Paul Bowles, in Outlaw Visions. Los Angeles: Acrobat Books, 1977.
The Mrabet-Bowles piece is featured prominently in this anthology of new writing.

82a. Five Eyes. Galley proofs, [1979], 97 pp., with autograph corrections in the hand of Paul Bowles. Housed in a folder labeled "Five Eyes / Paul Bowles (Editor) / First Proofs." The first page bears the note "Rough galleys only / Careful page proofs will follow after corrections are made."

82b. Five Eyes: Stories, by Abdeslam Boulaich, Mohamed Choukri, Larbi Layachi, Mohammed Mrabet, Ahmed Yacoubi; edited and translated by Paul Bowles. Santa Barbara, Calif.: Black Sparrow Press, 1979.
This is copy T of 26 lettered copies signed by the authors, except Boulaich and Yacoubi, and the translator.

83a. [Introduction] to She Woke Me Up So I Killed Her: Translations. Typescript, undated, 4 pp.
This manuscript of Paul Bowles's introductory text is accompanied by a letter from the publisher Jeffrey Miller to Paul Bowles, typed letter signed, July 14, 1982, 2 pp.

She Woke Me Up So I Killed Her

83a. [Introduction] to She Woke Me Up So I Killed Her: Translations. Typescript, undated, 4 pp.


83b. She Woke Me Up So I Killed Her: Translations. San Francisco: Cadmus Editions, 1985.
This is number 31 of 100 handbound copies signed by Paul Bowles.


Dust on Her Tongue

85b. Dust on Her Tongue, by Rodrigo Rey Rosa,.
London: Peter Owen, [1989].

84. The Beggar's Knife, by Rodrigo Rey Rosa, translated from the Spanish by Paul Bowles. London: Peter Owen, [1988].

85a. "Rodrigo Rey Rosa Xquic translated by Paul Bowles," typescript manuscript with autograph corrections, n.d., 66 pp., with an envelope labeled "RRR (Inglés)."
The manuscript for Rey Rosa's Dust on Her Tongue was originally titled "Xquic," after the last story in the collection. An additional sheet in Bowles's hand works out the order of the twelve stories in the collection.

85b. Dust on Her Tongue, by Rodrigo Rey Rosa, translated from the Spanish by Paul Bowles. London: Peter Owen, [1989].
Rey Rosa's stories in this collection all took place in his native country, Guatemala. In his translator's note, Bowles called the stories "compact and severe as theorems, eschewing symbol and metaphor, making their point in terse, undecorated statements which may bewilder the reader unaccustomed to such bareness of presentation."

86. The Pelcari Project, by Rodrigo Rey Rosa, translated from the Spanish by Paul Bowles. London & Chester Springs, Pa.: Peter Owen, [1991].

87. Chocolate Creams and Dollars, translated from the tape in Moghrebi by Paul Bowles, illustrated by Philip Taaffe. New York: Inanout Press, [1992].
This copy is number 29 of an edition limited to 100 copies signed by Mohammed Mrabet, Paul Bowles, and Philip Taaffe, accompanied by a print, autographed by the illustrator, in an envelope.

Chocolate Creams and Dollars

87. Chocolate Creams and Dollars ,New York:
Inanout Press, [1992].


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