UNCERTAIN GLORY by Joan Sales. A conversation with translator Peter Bush (@Cafe)

Co-organized by The Catalan Institute of America, the Farragut Fund for Catalan Culture in the U.S. and the Institut Ramon Llull.

An NYRB Classics Original

Spain, 1937. Posted to the Aragonese front, Lieutenant Lluís Ruscalleda eschews the drunken antics of his comrades and goes in search of intrigue. But the lady of Castel de Olivo—a beautiful widow with a shadowy past—puts a high price on her affections. In Barcelona, Trini Milmany struggles to raise Lluís’s son on her own, letters from the front her only solace. With bombs falling as fast as the city’s morale, she leaves to spend the winter with Lluís’s brigade on a quiet section of the line. But even on “dead” fronts the guns do not stay silent for long. Trini’s decision will put her family’s fate in the hands of Juli Soleràs, an old friend and a traitor of easy conscience, a philosopher-cynic locked in an eternal struggle with himself.

Joan Sales, a combatant in the Spanish Civil War, distilled his experiences into a timeless story of thwarted love, lost youth, and crushed illusions. A thrilling epic that has drawn comparison with the work of Dostoyevsky and Stendhal, Uncertain Glory is a homegrown counterpart to classics such as Homage to Catalonia and For Whom the Bell Tolls.

 

 

PRAISE

A masterwork that will seduce anew with its passion, humour, pathos and the all too-human spats of anger.
—Eileen Battersby, The Irish Times

Apparitions, lurid dreams, and disinterred mummies litter the novel, lending it a hallucinatory quality that pairs perfectly with the darkly comic depictions of wartime absurdity.
Publishers Weekly, starred review

In this bravura novel of the Spanish Civil War 1936–39, Catalan author Joan Sales evokes its messy, devastating lived reality, but even more memorably the intense feeling of being alive which war paradoxically produces...at the novel’s core is a group of young ‘voices’, brilliantly rendered, as they rage to live.
History Today

Catalan writer Sales tells a multilayered story of loves, faith, friendships, and ideals tested by the Spanish Civil War in this novel banned by Franco’s censors, then published in 1956 after the author’s return from exile....Philosophical and earthy, tragic and funny, honest, raw, superb: Sales makes Hemingway seem thin, even anemic, in comparison. This book is a rich and highly recommended feast.
Kirkus, starred review

Magnificent...Peter Bush [has] done a great service in reviving this Catalan classic.
—Maya Jaggi, The Guardian

Wonderfully readable...Uncertain Glory is a major novel that expresses the disillusion of a generation who fought a just war against fascism, but lost their idealism and youth.
—Michael Eaude, Literary Review

 

      

Event date: 

Friday, November 10, 2017 - 7:30pm to 9:30pm

Event address: