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Monday, October 4, 2021


 Vicente Nuñez (poet from Cordoba, 1926-2002) has these aphorisms that he calls "sofismas." I'm thinking of doing a translation of some of them. But I don't understand them all. There are several thousand...  Maybe this will bring me out of my Bronk obsession.  

The conversation of a rich man has never been enriching. 

Consumer society tries to bite the archaic coin--something it cannot do. 

You are who you ought to be when you are with the one you ought to be with.*

Every day I unknow you less.

Excessive proximity is always aggression. 

Everything is a fossil, even language.  

True elegance is the false kind. 

Without language there is no behavior. 

All friends are friends because they are enemies of themselves. 

They cough, therefore they speak. [or, they cough, then they speak?]. 

I know who am am not, but I am not who I do know. 

God help us from sleeping far from our insomnia.  

We speak the same tongue, but not with the same tongue. 

I still have not been able to find my ablative absolute. 


*"Se es quien debe ser cuando se está con quien se debe estar." The translation conveys the idea but not the wit the unusual use of reflexive construction. 


Leslie B. said...

Several thousand? Wow.

He's quite good, it seems.

Jonathan said...

The book is more than 700 pages long and each page has about 10-12....

Leslie B. said...

I wonder how long it took him to write them all and whether he means them all to be taken straight. "Sophisms."

Jonathan said...

Between 1987 or so and his death in 2002. Sophistry is false reasoning, so he wants to be taken as paradoxical (para doxa = against normal belief. So some are meant ironically, in the way Oscar Wilde's aphorisms are to be taken.

Leslie B. said...

Oh right, they must be a direct reference to Wilde. And then there are greguerías, humorismo + metáfora. Hmmm.

7500 or so of them in 15 years is 500 a year or 1.5 sofismas per day. For 15 years. !