Sergio Viaggio (24 August 1945 – 29 March 2021), honorary lecturer at UVic-UCC, has succumbed to Covid-19 in Buenos Aires. Tradiling is pleased to publish this personal appreciation of Sergio, written by Martha Tennent, the founding dean of translation studies at Vic and the person responsible for bringing Sergio into our circle.
Sergio Viaggio, gifted storyteller and conversationalist, walking encyclopedia of aphorisms, lover of good food, of great wine and great literature, master of words, many words, which is to say loquacious in quite a few languages, and not all of them English or Romance languages. What about the Russian?
Sergio Viaggio, talented career interpreter, who once left his microphone open at a conference in Brazil and suddenly looked down to find the attendees, in the theater below, had sprung from their seats and were clapping enthusiastically: they’d overheard the renowned interpreter telling his then four-year old daughter, who was in the booth with him, to please, please keep quiet while Papi worked, with a promise of ice cream to follow. Hurrah for ice cream, everyone yelled up.
The anecdotes were many and hilarious in Sergio Viaggio’s life. They were the stuff that enlivens and entertains at the dinner table, then threads into the kind of memories that offer sustenance and give us a sense of the man he was, the life he led.
Sergio Viaggio, devoted family man, who always wove mention of his loved ones into each of our exchanges. A good friend who always asked about my daughter, and offered us his Vienna apartment if we were in need of a European escapade.
A genial presence, larger than life, whose very name captured a spirit of adventure, of openness, of life as a voyage, a voyage of discovery.
Sergio and I met for the last time in Buenos Aires, in 2012. We talked and laughed over asados, reminisced about “our” Faculty of Translation. We strolled through Palermo and stopped at the bookstore Borges used to frequent on Calle Florida. We drove out together and lunched at an estancia in the country, and somehow we ended up on horses, riding through the pampas!
Sergio’s voyage has ended now, but not the memories of many shared moments, of who he was, and all the laughter.
The family is receiving condolences on Sergio’s Facebook page.