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Portada > L’espai dels traductors > Anglès > Quim Monzó > Just abans de la guerra amb els esquimals

Just before the war with the Eskimos

J.D. Salinger

Suddenly, a male voice shouted from another part of the apartment, “Eric? That you?”

Ginnie guessed it was Selena's brother, whom she had never seen. She crossed her long legs, arranged the hem of her polo coat over her knees, and waited.

A young man wearing glasses and pajamas and no slippers lunged into the room with his mouth open. “Oh. I thought it was Eric, for Chrissake,” he said. Without stopping, and with a extremely poor posture, he continued across the room, cradling something close to his narrow chest. He sat down on the vacant end of the sofa. “I just cut my goddam finger” he said rather wildly. He looked at Ginnie as if he had expected her to be sitting there. “Ever cut your finger? Right down to the bone and all?” he asked. There was a real appeal in his noisy voice, as if Ginnie, by her answer, could save him from some particularly isolating from pioneering.

Ginnie stared at him. “Well, not right down to the bone”, she said, “but I've cut myself”. He was the funniest-looking boy, or man –it was hard to tell which he was- she had ever seen. His hair was bed-dishevelled. He had a couple of days' growth of sparse, blond beard. And he looked –well, goofy. “How did you cut it?”she asked.

He was staring down, with his slack mouth ajar, at his injured finger. “What?” he said.

“How did you cut it?”

“Goddam if I know,” he said, his inflection implying that the answer of that question was hopelessly obscure. “I was looking for something in the goddam wastebasket and it was fulla razor blades.”

“You Selena's brother?” Ginnie asked.

“Yeah. Christ, I'm bleeding to death. Stick around. I may need a goddam transfusion.”

“Did you put anything on it?”

Selena's brother carried his wound slightly forward from his chest and unveiled it for Ginnie's benefit. “Just some goddam toilet paper,” he said.

“Stopsa bleeding. Like when you cut yourself shaving.” He looked at Ginnie's again. “Who are you? he asked. “Friend of the jerk's?”

“We are in the same class.”

“Yeah? What is your name?”

“Virginia Mannox.”

“You Ginnie?” he said, squinting at her though his glasses. “You Ginnie Mannox?”

“Yes” said Ginnie uncrossing her legs.

Selena's brother turned back to his finger, obviously for him the true and only focal point in the room. “I know your sister,” he said dispassionately. “Goddam snob.”

Ginnie arched her back. “ Who is?”

“You heard me.”

“She is not a snob!”

“The hell she's not,” said Selena's brother.

“She is not !”

“The hell she's not. She's the queen. Queen of the goddam snobs.”


Salinger, J.D. Nine Stories. New York: Little Brown and Company, 1948.
Traduït per Quim Monzó
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