I would like to start with a memory, one of those unique moments that are treasured knowing that they are as fleeting as life itself. It is a spring night in the year 2000. We are having dinner in Lhardy after having listened to Fernando Fernán Gómez read the prologue of
Don Quixote in the Residencia de Estudiantes.
We are eight guests and we have sat down in such a way that in front of me I have the philologists Francisco Rico and Fernando Lázaro Carreter and the actors Fernán Gómez and Agustín González. At this moment, Rico speaks, with his polished and exact verb, that the most difficult arts to translate are poetry and humor. Take the
as an example .
Power is possible, he affirms, but along the way a large part of its essence is lost. I, twenty-two years younger than this other one who turns 60 today (damn the circumstances), I look at those four men and I swear that I am not inventing retrospectively if I say that I am attentive because I want to preserve what I hear, I am aware of my fate, of be witnessing the conjunction of the stars. Difficult to explain the attractiveness of that man with the physique of being anyone who is Agustín González. Perhaps it is the charm of the reflective type, of the one who hides his head between his shoulders, of the one who, having a great culture, shows it modestly. Then I look at Fernán Gómez: he is always more shy when he is surrounded by intellectuals, than when he knows that he is among his own, the comedians, with whom he gives free rein to his eccentricity. As for Lázaro Carreter,Impossible to define him in two words, he does not fit, he is a man who fills the space in all the extension of the word, enormous physically and intellectually, and severely expresses acute and hilarious ideas that make me and Emma Cohen laugh, to the one sitting next to me, with laughter that explodes like china plates against the floor.
What about Rosalía's lyrics
I often remember that great Lazarus, of the curiosity that the wise man was aroused by the speech of common people.
He took advantage of insomnia to listen to the radio.
He was faithful to
Hablar por Habla
, a nightly program in which the accents, ages and slang of Spain converged.
He had the vice of capturing those commonplaces that truffle the language of politicians and journalists and gave an account of them in his section
El dardo en la
voz , where he pointed out the nonsense without drawing blood: far from getting pissed off, he seemed to savor them.
How far from the current inquina is that irony.
How not to remember Lázaro Carreter watching
, which is the ideal habitat for clichés.
Would the philologist recreate himself with that adverb
What adorns so many headlines? The most difficult days of Rafael Amargo, the most unexpected break of the season (Urdangarín), the most informal
of Georgina, the most spontaneous moments of Prince George, the most bitter year of Queen Elizabeth. And so. I wonder, above all, how that hunter of verbal errors that was Lázaro would deal with that tweeteresque language that only those who spend their lives on that network understand. I see the one that has been set up with Rosalía's verses (not Castro's) and I confess trying to interpret its deepest meaning:
I want you to ride, like my bike / Make me a tape, spike mode / I beat it / until it rode / Second is to fuck you / first God
. Let's see how Paco Rico would translate this. Now, I know what it's about fucking, I also invented lyrics at school of the type of "I love you
, like my
”, I was very good at that school inventiveness, but there is something that escapes me from this newspeak.
The popular song was supposed to be the one that could reach anyone's ears clearly, but now it has become plagued with codes, as if it were that work of conceptual art from which the expert had to unravel the meaning.
I would like to know why this beautiful woman puts God before the act of fucking, why the religious appears with unusual frequency in the sexy lyrics, like a rescued transgression.
They say that there have been very violent reactions to these verses.
I do not understand either.
Actually, I feel expelled from an increasingly exclusive club.
I am like that old man who knocks on the doors of the bank demanding the assistance of a teller (not an ATM).
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