Hoax/ Supercheria Translated by Michael Nimetz

Author: Nimetz, Michael
Alas, Leopoldo
Leopoldo Alas (Clarín)'s A Hoax/Superchería, while modest in scope compared to his massive La Regenta, contains the density and rich complexity of a work of far greater length. It displays many elements of fin-de-siècle neuroticism -- sexual ambivalence and timidity, world-weariness, spiritualism, and the fragmented image of the female as mother, religious icon, and carnal threat. A Hoax might have been written yesterday, so astute is its psychological portrait of an intellectual's angst and alienation from the world at large and from the sources of his own affective being. It is also one of the most poetic short novels in Spanish, reverberating in the mind long after the actual text has been read.


". . . a fascinating text in its own right and in relation to Alas's canonical works and to the subgenre of the philosophical novel, which attracted the next generation of writers in Spain. . . . the translation is exemplary, particularly given the cynical edge and the lyrical prose of the Spanish original. . . . Recommended for academic libraries." - Choice

"The accomplishments of Prof. Nimetz's translation measures precisely in terms of his skillful transfer of all the motivations behind the configuration of the original text. I would underscore two achievements: on the one hand, the ingenious preservation of the range of possible responses offered by "Clarín"'s Superchería, that is the effort not to silence or reduce the dynamic role of its multiple readings; and on the other, a perfect balance between an author-centred, a text-centred and a reader-centred translation. . . . if authority, expertise and trust are the three basic conditions of a good translation, Prof. Michael Nimetz has a achieved a major landmark in the history of Spanish literature translated into English." -- Xoán González-Millán

". . . characterized by exceptional fidelity to the original Spanish and by a sensitivity to the commonplace sayings and expressions of daily life and daily intercourse in Spain. . . . A Hoax is a suggestive and intriguing tale which offers no easy answers, and Michael Nimetz's translation is as seamless as one could expect. The narrative proceeds in English as smoothly as it does in Spanish, losing no connotative or denotative meaning in the process. Every suggestion and nuance is conveyed accurately and the translator's few linguistic leaps of faith result in felicitous phrasings which affirm the original intention of the Spanish. A Hoax as a reading experience betrays its title; it is indeed a genuine literary creation which will reward the most demanding reader." - Carlos R. Hortas