Alfred Sargatal (Hostalets d'en Bas, la Garrotxa, 1948 - Barcelona, 2014) was a poet, essayist and translator.
At the age of fifteen he was awarded the 1964 Màrius Torres Prize and, two years later, the Joan Casulà Prize for his collection of poems Retalls del diari d'un adolescent (Fragments from an Adolescent's Diary). When he moved to Barcelona to complete his secondary schooling and start his university studies, he also began to work as a copy editor for several publishing houses including Nova Terra, Edicions de Materials, Laia, Edicions 62 and Bruguera. After 1980 he combined his work as a secondary school teacher with founding and managing the collection "Els Llibres de Glauco" and working with the associated publishers Laertes and Columna. In 1987 he published the book Iniciació al conte literari (Initiation into the Literary Story), which was subsequently reissued in an expanded edition, now titled La invasió subtil de les aranyes. 35 contes literaris (The Subtle Invasion of Spiders: 35 Literary Stories, 2000).
Alfred Sargatal's production as a literary translator was considerable and important. In 1976 he published Les quimeres i altres poemes (Les Chimères and Other Poems) by Gérard de Nerval, as well as his Aurélia ou la reve et la vie (Aurèlia o el somni i la vida, 1979 – Aurélia or The Dream and Life) and La Main enchantée (La mà encantada, 1984 – The Enchanted Hand). In 1977 he published Ash Wednesday (Dimecres de Cendra) and Ariel Poems (Poemes d'Ariel) by T. S. Eliot and, in 1983, the translations of Sueur de sang (Suor de sang – Sweat of Blood) by Pierre-Jean Jouve, Book of My Mother (El llibre de la mare) by Albert Cohen, and Anna, soror (Anna, Sister) by Marguerite Yourcenar. He also translated Anabase (Anàbasi, 1984) by Saint-John Perse and The Last of the Valerii (L'últim dels Valeri, 1984) by Henry James, as well as Switch Bitch (Intercanvis de parella i altres contes, 2005) by Roald Dahl, (a)poemes ((a)poems, 2007) by E. E. Cummings and The Gift of the Magi (El regal de reis, 1991) by O. Henry. In 1994 he published the translation Poemes 1925-1939 (Poems 1925 – 1939) by T. S. Eliot. He also translated into Spanish works by Max Ernst, William Faulkner, and others.
He was a member of the Associació d'Escriptors en Llengua Catalana (AELC –
Association of Catalan Language Writers).
Web page: Toni Terrades for AELC.
Documentation: Luisa Rodríguez.
Photograph: © Patrícia Bobillo and Maria Luisa Rodríguez-Moreno.
Translated by Julie Wark.