Wednesday, February 5, 2014

(ENG) Chapter 4: The Whirlwind

From Viaje maravilloso del señor Nic-Nac al planeta Marte by Eduardo Ladislao Holmberg
Translated from Spanish by Ana Lucía Alonso and sam smiley
This was published in Argentina, in serial form in the Buenos Aires Newpaper El Nacional beginning in November of 1875. We will release it chapter by chapter on this blog, and eventually on PDF. Rachel Haywood Ferrera provides some excellent background on this story in English, in her book The Emergence of Latin American Science Fiction. We are translating right now from an edition offered in Spanish by the Biblioteca National in Buenos Aires.

To start from the beginning, you can take this link to:

Chapter 4: The Whirlwind

Free! Free!
I feel it, and I understand it, but I understand it and feel it with all the senses of the soul, whose strength develops as I walk away from the center of my prior mortal actions.

The night rotates around the Earth, resembling a spoke of a wheel.  The continents and the seas are enveloped a moment within the shadow, to appear after, palpitating with life and light.

With life! With light!

What is the life of the Earth, compared with the life of the spirit in the ether?

What is the light over the seas, next to these luminous atoms that sparkle around me, and which are not but many other spirits, members of the universal soul?

Its immense whirlwind drags me far from the world in which I have lived; but although I have almost already the gift of omniscience, I ignore completely where the cloud of spirits flies, between whose lights floats mine.

Dizzying torrent, its strength alone is computable by the group.

My liberty is not yet complete, because I still am not essentially detached from the earthly bonds.  The emotional connections are retained dimly, although as I move away, they are now losing their primitive strength, and the moment will arrive in which, completely deprived of them, I feel all the glory of the supreme freedom of the souls.

Where are you going, my spirit, dragged by the ethereal whirlwind?

I move away...I move away without ceasing.

The whirlwind turns, undulates, overflows, fluctuates, and moves away.  And with it, the spirits are moved away, fluctuate, overflow, undulate, and turn, to resemble a mist of light dragged by a divine breath.

We have crossed the confines of the world, there, where the air ends which is breathed by mortals.  And the ether, the space without limits, opens itself to my senses, to my image spirit, already free of earthly affections.

And the whirlwind turns, undulates, overflows, fluctuates, and moves away, and with that the spirits move away, fluctuate, overflow, undulate, and turn, appearing as a luminous dust, and animated, propelled  to infinity through the voice of eternity.