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Lidia Vianu - Director of CTITC (CENTRE FOR THE TRANSLATION AND INTERPRETATION OF THE CONTEMPORARY TEXT), Bucharest University, Professor of Contemporary British Literature at the English Department of Bucharest University, Member of the Writers’ Union, Romania.

 

 
 
 
 
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CTITC

CENTRE FOR THE TRANSLATION AND INTERPRETATION OF THE CONTEMPORARY TEXT
CENTRUL PENTRU TRADUCEREA SI INTERPRETAREA TEXTULUI CONTEMPORAN

 

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 TRANSLATION CAFÉ 


 

MTTLC
MA Programme for the

TRANSLATION OF THE CONTEMPORARY LITERARY TEXT

Review of Contemporary Texts in Translation and E-Learning

 

 

 

Mary MacRae

Life Story


Night, and you step out into blackness, over
the side of the silent vessel, dreading that you
or your boots might slip and miss the rung, one
false move your last. Between above and below
you hang breathless, locked into history—
and this is what you chose, what you want.

No moon, no stars—though light’s not what you want—
only a sound like a thumb rubbing over
corrugated card as the men in your story
run down the ladder, loaded with kit. And you
feel rather than see, where the man below
you wavers, shifts his pack, now there’s no-one.

‘Dropped like a stone,’ I hear you say, ‘just one
splash and he’d gone.’ A small smile. You want
to cry, can’t quite believe the man below
the water wasn’t you, rehearse it over
and over again to convince yourself that you
survived the war, came home to tell your story.

It comes back to me now: hearing your story
I saw what you saw, clear as glass, how someone
plummeted down, but whether it was you,
or him, or someone else, I didn’t want
to know. Slid through a door that closed over
his head, from dark above to dark below.

Whoever that man was who plunged below,
if you’re the secret sharer of his story
then I’m yours. And the story isn’t over;
when you dropped like a stone you left me one
part short, however much I wanted—want—
to understand the plot and why I miss you.

Taller than life, younger than in death, you
come to visit me now from way below
the spirit-level of dream; won’t speak. I want
to ask if you can love me—that old story—
but don’t; put my arms around you one
last time and say, I love you, over and over.

I conjured you from below by telling your story
and then I saw our two stories are one:
can I want yours to end before mine’s over?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Raul Cojocaru

Mary MacRae


Povestea unei vieti

E noapte, iar tu pasesti in intuneric, peste
tacuta nava, speriat ca tu sau
una dintre cizmele tale va aluneca si va rata treapta,
o miscare gresita si ultima. Atarni fara suflu
intre deasupra si dedesubt, prizonier al istoriei –
asta ai ales, asta vrei.

Nu e luna, nu sunt stele – desi nu vrei lumina –
e doar un sunet ca si un deget ce aluneca
peste carton in timp ce oamenii de pe etajul tau
aluneca in jos pe scara, plini de echipament. Mai
mult simti decat auzi, omul de sub tine
face cu mana, isi aranjeaza rucsacul si dispare.

"A cazut ca o piatra", te aud spunand, "un singur
pleosc si s-a dus". Un zambet scurt. Iti vine
sa plangi, nu-ti vine sa crezi ca nu esti tu cel din apa,
iti tot repeti ca sa te convingi ca ai iesit viu din razboi,
ca te-ai intors acasa sa iti spui povestea.

Imi aduc aminte de tot: cand ti-am ascultat povestea
am vazut ce ai vazut si tu, deosebit de limpede, cum cineva
s-a prabusit, dar daca ai fost tu sau el,
asta n-am vrut sa stiu. S-a strecurat printr-o usa
care i s-a inchis deasupra capului, alunecand din
intunericul de deasupra spre cel de dedesubt.

Oricine ar fi acel barbat care s-a cufundat,
daca tu ii impartasesti povestea
atunci sunt a ta. Si povestea nu s-a terminat;
atunci cand ai cazut precum o piatra, mi-ai lasat
fara o parte, cat de mult doream – doresc –
sa inteleg ce s-a intamplat si de ce imi e dor de tine.

Mai mare ca viata, mai tanar ca in moarte,
tu vii pe la mine de-acolo din sfera astrala a viselor;
nu voi vorbi. Vreau sa te intreb daca ma poti iubi – vechea poveste –
dar sa nu faci nimic; te imbratisez o ultima data si iti spun
Te iubesc, te iubesc, te iubesc

Te-am invocat din lumea ta spunandu-ti povestea
apoi am vazut ca povestile noastre sunt la fel:
pot sa vreau ca a ta sa se termine inainte de a mea?
 

 

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