The whore was in despair, kneeling before the candlelit altar.
’Save your skin! If you don’t go, Major del Valle will come and arrest you!’
Nachito was terrified. ‘Foul, foul hag!’
He curled up in a ball, his feet under the tail of his shirt. The colonel picked him up by his hair. Veguillas flailed wildly, his shirt yanked north of his navel. The colonel bellowed, ‘Is del Valle under orders to arrest me? Out with it.’
Veguillas’s tongue was hanging out. ‘I have committed suicide!’
—from Ramón del Valle-Inclán’s Tyrant Banderas, translated by Peter Bush. Although little known in the English-speaking world, Valle-Inclán was a master of the Spanish modernismo movement and created a style he dubbed esperpento, a word that means both a grotesque, frightening person and a piece of nonsense and which can be seen at its best in Tyrant Banderas. Peter Bush, the translator of our new edition, the first time this book has been translated since 1929, will be at the Instituto Cervantes in New York on Tuesday, October 2nd at 6:30 to talk about the book and Valle-Incán, who lost his arm after a fight with a fellow writer.