“The Struggles of Translating Henry Miller in Franco’s Spain (1939-1975) The Different Versions of Black Spring (1936).” Sofía Monzón Rodríguez, University of Alberta
In this article I analyze the translations of Henry Miller’s novel, Black Spring (1938), in Spain throughout Francoism. A quick analysis of these two translations -both carried out during the last stage of the regime, the former under the title Primavera negra, translated by Jordi Arbonès in 1970, and the latter, Primavera negra as well, translated by Carlos Bauer in 1970 and published in 1978- serves to shed light on the effects of not only the institutional censorship that was established by the regime, but also the repercussions of self-censorship performed by the translators.
The Francoist regime produced a complex, heterogeneous, and wholly inconsistent censoring apparatus. In this article, thanks to the analysis of two different translations of Henry Miller’s Black Spring into Catalan and Spanish that were issued in Spain through the last two decades of the dictatorship, I have offered an expository glance into the role of translators and publishers in conjunction with the censorship board that operated during the years of the Francoist regime. As it has been presented through the translated passages of Miller’s novel, professionals carried out rewritings that clearly affected the final literary products. Therefore, the Spanish readers, who were precisely the ultimate target of such a manipulation, were given censored books provided by the different practitioners who were forced to collaborate in that task of ideological rewriting in order that the texts better reflected the value system the regime was attempting to preserve during the dictatorship.