Scathing Translations: Guillermo Valencia, Bernardo Arias Trujillo, and The Ballad of Reading Gaol

Nathalie Bouzaglo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This article examines a dispute between two very different writers and translators in early twentieth-century Colombia, Guillermo Valencia and Bernardo Arias Trujillo. Valencia was a renowned conservative politician, writer, and translator, while Arias Trujillo was a gay, liberal bohemian who worked as a diplomat, poet, judge, columnist, and translator. Both men translated Oscar Wilde’s The Ballad of Reading Gaol into Spanish. Although their subsequent dispute, which the article characterizes as a literary duel, was ostensibly about the quality of their translations, the article argues that the two writers used the dispute as an opportunity to reflect on early twentieth-century debates over sexuality and masculinity in Colombia. Conservative Colombian society refused to read or accept gay desire, and its judgment and condemnation of Arias Trujillo and his work have largely overshadowed his very real literary and cultural contributions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)341-352
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Latin American Cultural Studies
Volume28
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 3 2019

Keywords

  • Bernardo Arias Trujillo
  • Guillermo Valencia
  • Oscar Wilde
  • The Ballad of Reading Gaol
  • Translation
  • gay writers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Scathing Translations: Guillermo Valencia, Bernardo Arias Trujillo, and The Ballad of Reading Gaol'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this