"Trustful Fatigue and Reality" is the only text in Entrails (Coach House, 1981), Ray Ellenwood's award-winning English translation of Gauvreau's short plays, that Ellenwood chose not to "translate" as it is appears to be written in an invented language with few recognizable cognates. Gauvreau himself would call this style of writing an attempt to move beyond standard poetic imagery (which may be rhythmic, reflective, or transformative according to Gauvreau) to a new image explor éenne, or explorational image consisting of non-semantic utterance.
In keeping with this explorational process, my solution was to render the play semantically, but in non-referential language through a homophonic translation. The original Gauvreau, followed by my translation, appears below.
Claude Gauvreau (1925-1971)
Trustful Fatigue and Reality
Keulessa Kyrien Cobliéniz Jaboir
Veulééioto Caubitchounitz Abléoco
Vénicir Chlaham Kérioti Kliko
Sannessa vélo Moutchnaïk Révoi
Kharinaïne bénessoir sellèr achmatz
krioun alégo amemor ripiutz leslé
aglradine noeutéon paklica erremmetz
djackliane mandousse petréobor
nochnéagriawa sételsel clariassener
jôquoimoil nontonduc allessande rébrér
novaképalès Djvoriadjiana Kuntroubel
tetrapaïte jonsel nilâcouâ alrivage
akdoc cousine-germaine déplaatz
circuitz monse dobo lévil-clair
palosse-pensée moulmolossse adjeuate
Kénoice Salibleuwié Aklistantan
Schnlouem Jakonitz Eulbéka Krôhenn
LaToilia Dédjoitonte Wanékoin
Lite-gazère Goitena Chapelle automatique
A Homophonic Translation of Claude Gauvreau’s “Trustful Fatigue and Reality”
[For Ray Ellenwood]
Keys you lease, Kyries cost, laid in knights jab our
View; lay into cows, bitch or nits enable a coup.
Sand-nestled veils of
Karen-Anne, Benny’s sore cellar, and mats.
Crayons and Lego, a memoir ripped its last legs.
A glad dime, no eating, we packed light, an error met.
Jack and Dianne: man does Peter abhor ‘em.
Nought or nay, agreeable water-sellers clear a sinner.
Joe crows “more oil”: none-ton dukes all sand their Ray beards.
Nova comes pale, DJs various, and DJs come troubled.
Tetra packs join sales; nails and coins all ravage.
And our dock cousins: Germans out of place.
Circus monks say: to do about evil’s clear?
Pals lose pens, say: more molasses and juice, eh?
Ok, once slipped you weigh acts, lists, and time.
Since you’re him, Jack (or not), you’ll beckon crows and hens.
Late toil, I’m dead; joy taunts, wanting coin.
Light glazes air, going on ten, the chap’s an auto magnate.