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One of most surprising discoveries for literature, not just for Joseph Roth’s but for all of twentieth century literature, seems to be held in the mechanism of how a role assigned to a particular character derives, quite suddenly, into another, completely different. Precisely when the reader assumes, quite plausibly, not just Jacob Pliniak’s presence in the text but, above all, his right to remain in its structure, our character transforms, with no great step, into his supposed adoptive daughter, Rose Plinianson, highest authority of the women’s committee in her town. It all begins when, without interruption, at a certain point in the plot, Jacob Pliniak finds himself living in America. He discovers himself in New York City, investigating the whereabouts of actress Norah Kimberly, well known for her work in the travelling theater groups of the era.excerpt from the novella Jacob The Mutant by Mario Bellatin, which I am currently translating
I want to write, but foam is all that comes out…
Write with the toe of your shoe,
write whatever, but write
Write with your fist, in the outrage
of a wise animal: lunch and live.
Measure –optionally– the syllables and rhyme
and organize your structure as you will
arrive by leaps to the obtainable peak
of the wingèd word that flees.
Stare fierce, and sensually touch
the word; put it in your mouth
and wolf it down without salt and with the pen.
Write, even if it disrupts the new mood
write with your forehead and with your elbow:
write, poet, and let foam come out.