Biography of Elena Laserna Pinzón
Elena Laserna Pinzón [Elena Laserna de Aparicio] (1910-1943) was born and passed away in Bogotá, Colombia. She travelled and educated herself throughout Europe and the Americas. Her first known literary work was her translation of French Author Deschamps’s tale El Pilluelo published in Mundo al Día, in 1925 (at age 15). She published in several literary magazines and newspapers of Colombia amongst other countries: tales, travel journals, artistic and social studies, and translations of several French authors. Dr Luis Enrique Forero wrote about her personality:
“Her balanced intelligence, highly disciplined, is very promising given her Young age. She distributes her work in a very organized manner: she reads and writes as Ciceron describes; She remembers selected fragments of Greek and Latin epic texts; She analyzes in the light of law fascinating subjects of our Modern World. Her critical sense penetrates the mysteries of knowledge; She follows through diverse philosophical thoughts with depth and a youthful style which depicts her own age and the inspiration of the muses who have leant to her her own name. She uses language with great ease and writes with elegance topics of eternal femininity and crystalline judgement in essays of Art History”. (Extract, in Historia de la Literatura Colombiana, Ed. Cromos, 1935)
Elena Laserna Pinzón along with Dr. Cecilia Hernández de Mendoza (Member of the de la Academia de la lengua Colombiana and a member of the Instituto Caro y Cuervo) founded the, Literary Center Rafaél Pombo. Being an Orientalist Historian, she translated for the first time The Prophet by Khalil Gibran from English to Spanish in a very profound version. El Profeta
“What was most interesting about her was her deep sense of femininity. She was aware of her own worth and had a very broad culture as well as a great intelligence: "Even if death must bury me and envelop me in a deep silence, I will always seek your understanding." (ElProfeta).
The work she sent to the feminist congress in Buenos Aires and her studies on the intellectuality of women, reveal an extraordinary maturity of judgment for her age and a deep knowledge of the situation of women in Colombia. Like most of our intellectuals, Elena Laserna Aparicio was frankly orientalist and what is best in her literary production is the magnificent “Khalil Gibran”, beautifully edited and of great literary value . With this work, she has revealed herself not only as a remarkable translator, but also as a poetess of a delicate lyricism which is attached to the expression of the deepest human feelings and to that of the ideas and thoughts the more diverse. “My heart is richer and my lips more obediently follow my mind.” (El Profeta, Khalil Gilbran).
Elena Laserna’s life and work may be considered as fulfilled.
Although, a passage from The Prophet’s last chapter “The Farewell” could apply to the woman who translated his work:
“Brief were my days among you and briefer still the words I have spoken. But should my voice fade in your ears and my love vanish in your memory, then I will come again, and with a richer heart and lips more yielding to the spirit, I will speak” Extract of the Revista de Indias por Carlos Lozano y Lozano
Elena Laserna Pinzón passed away in 1943.
See the project "Legends of Guatancuy".