J’avais déjà lu trois fois « Pour qui sonne le glas » – la bibliothèque de mes parents contenait une quirielle d’ouvrages sur la guerre d’Espagne, chère à leur coeur – mais toujours en français. Et je m’étais dit : « Hemingway a un style très simple, il est donc facile à traduire. »
Ben en fait non ! Ayant eu l’occasion de l’acheter en VO pour 50 cents à le Croix Rouge du coin, j’ai découvert que ce qui, en français, était un très bon bouquin est en anglais un véritable chef d’oeuvre. Un petit extrait pour comprendre pourquoi il n’est pas aussi facile que cela à traduire (surtout si le tarif à la page n’est pas très élevé).
‘What are you going to do with the dynamite ?’
‘Blow up a bridge. »
‘What bridge ?’
‘That’s my business.’
‘If it is in this territory, it is my business. You cannot blow bridges close to where you live. You must live in one place and operate in another. I know my business. One who is alive, now, after a year, knows his business.’
‘This is my business,’ Robert Jordan said. ‘We can discuss it together. Do you wish to help us with the sacks ?’
‘No,’, said Pablo and shook his head.
The old man turned toward him suddenly and spoke rapidly and furiously in a dialect that Robert Jordan could just follow. It was like reading Quevedo. Anselmo was speaking old Castilian and it went something like this, ‘Art bthou a brute ? Yes, Art thou a beast ? Yes, many times. Has thou a brain ? Nay. None. Nowwe come for something of consummate importance and thee, with thy dwelling place to be undisturbed, puts thy foxhole before the interests of humanity. Before the interests of thy people. I this and that in the this and that of thy father. I this and that and that in thy this. (it) Pick up that bag.(/it)’
Pablo looked down.
‘Every one has to do what he can do according to how it can be truly done,’ he said. ‘I live here and operate beyond Segovia. If you make a disturbance here, we will be hunted out of these mountains. It is only by doing nothing here that we are able to live in these mountains. It is the principle of the fox.’
‘Yes’, said Anselmo bitterly. ‘It is the principle of the fox when we need the wolf.’
‘I am more wolf than thee,’ Pablo said and Robert Jordan knew that he would pick up the sack.
‘Hi. Ho…’ Anselmo looked at him. ‘Thou art more wolf than me and I am sixty-eight years old.’