Modern Languages and Literatures, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in Roberta Johnson & Paul C. Smith, eds., Studies in Honor of José Rubia Barcia (Lincoln, Nebraska: Society of Spanish and Spanish-American Studies, 1982). Copyright © 1982 Society of Spanish and Spanish-American Studies.


José and I would sit together at a table (generally in his kitchen), each of us with a copy of Vallejo-our stump. Although in our case as translators, we were only sometimes talking around Vallejo-more often, we were talking through or with him, as if he were participant as well as obstacle. But Kelly's sense of «the shared preoccupation» leading to meaningful talk holds as a metaphor for our relationship through Vallejo. The often insurmountable difficulties of his text brought about a kind of mountain-climbing friendship. In a magical way, a heart to heart conversation, in fits and starts, before, during, and after work occurred, that while not lengthy nor «confessional,» makes me feel that I know Jose better this way than had I met him any other way. For the heart to heart as such, is only an aspect of a larger heart to heart involved with talking through Vallejo. The stressing of this as opposed to that, the give and take, the compromises necessary for a satisfactory working relationship-all these «textual» matters-are perhaps more heart to heart than shared personal information. Although I would not have one without the other.