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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?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ioana Tudor

Mary MacRae


Poveste


E noapte, iar tu pasesti in intuneric
pe o parte a vasului cufundat in tacere, temandu-te ca tu
sau cizmele tale puteti aluneca si rata ultima treapta,
o miscare gresita, ultima ta miscare. Intre deasupra si dedesubt
atarni fara suflare, inchis in istorie –
si asta e ce ai ales, ce vrei.

Nu-i nici luna, nici stele – desi nu lumina iti doresti
doar un sunet ca un fasait de deget pe o carte de joc botita
in timp ce oamenii din povestea ta coboara scara cu ranita pe umar.
Si mai degraba simti decat vezi
incotro se indreapta omul de sub tine,
unde isi muta bagajul, acum nu mai e nimeni.

"S-a cufundat ca o piatra", te aud spunand,
"o singura plescaitura a apei, si s-a dus." Schitezi un zambet.
Te-ncearca plansul, nu-ti vine a crede ca omul de sub apa
nu esti tu, tot repeti sa te convingi ca
ai supravietuit razboiului, ca te-ai intors sa-ti spui povestea.

Acum imi amintesc: auzindu-ti povestea
am vazut ce si tu ai vazut, limpede ca apa, cum cineva
a cazut ca plumbul, dar daca erai tu
sau el sau altcineva nu am vrut sa stiu.
Alunecat prin usa ce i s-a inchis deasupra capului,
din intunericul de deasurpa in intunericul de dedesubt.

Si oricine ar fi cel ce s-a scufundat in adanc,
de tu esti cel ce ii cunoaste in secret povestea,
atunci si eu o stiu pe-a ta. Iar povestea continua;
cand te-ai cufundat ca un bolovan, mi-ai lasat o parte neterminata,
oricat de mult mi-am dorit – imi doresc –
sa inteleg povestea si de ce imi lipsesti.

Mai inalt decat viata, mai tanar decat in clipa mortii,
ma vizitezi acum din spatii mai adanci decat
nivelul visului; nu imi vorbesti. Vreau
sa te intreb de poti sa ma iubesti – acea poveste veche –
dar n-o fac; te cuprind in brate pentru ultima oara
si-ti spun neincetat ca te iubesc.

Te-am chemat din adancuri spunandu-ti povestea
si apoi am vazut ca povestile noastre erau una singura.
Pot sa-mi doresc ca povestea ta sa se termine inainte ca a mea sa se fi savarsit?
 

 

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