APOL’s sudden arrival this week on Spain’s Costa del Sol followed a short tour stop in Barcelona, where it found itself at the centre of a political crisis. When angry Catalonians demanded an immediate Catalan translation of A Person of Letters, APOL coolly refused to be drawn on the issue, pointing out that George Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia was not translated into either Spanish or Catalan for years after its author’s death; and that its own author had no immediate plans in that regard.
Indeed, the only translation of Homage published during Orwell’s lifetime was in Italian, in 1948. A French translation appeared in 1955, five years after his death. The first American edition appeared in 1952, fourteen years after its initial publication in Britain.
While APOL was on the Sun Coast, locals debated whether it was delivering a message by lingering, conspicuously, on Nerja’s Balcón de Europa. Always a sphinx, this book, that must be read between the lines.
Note: “APOL” is the anthropomorphic version of my satirical novel A Person of Letters, which has gone on tour without me (with a wink and a nod to magical realism). Follow APOL’s quixotic world tour here or on my Facebook Author Page, and read about all of APOL’s (mis)adventures in sequence on this tour archive. For information about the book, go to Martin Scribler Media.