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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?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Steliana Palade

Mary MacRae


Poveste de viata


E noapte, iar tu pasesti in bezna, peste
marginea vaporului cufundat in liniste, inspaimantat ca tu
sau bocancii tai ati putea aluneca si rata o treapta,
o miscare gresita, ultima. Intre cer si apa, stai suspendat,
cu rasuflarea la gura, prins in istorie –
si asta e ce ai ales tu, ceea ce vrei.

Nu-i luna, nici stele – dar lumina ti-e oricum dusman –
ci doar un zgomot ca de deget racaind
o vedere botita, fosnetul barbatilor din povestea ta,
coboarand scara cu ranita in spinare. Iar tu simti,
mai degraba decat vezi, cum barbatul de sub tine
se clatina, isi reaseaza sacul, si-acum in locul lui nu mai e nimeni.

"S-a prabusit ca un bolovan", te aud spunand,
"a disparut cu o plescaitura". Schitezi un zambet.
Te incearca plansul, nu iti vine a crede ca cel din apa
nu esti tu, repovestesti intamplarea iar si iar ca sa te incredintezi
ca ai scapat din razboi, ca esti acasa si poti spune cum a fost.

Da, imi amintesc. Ascultandu-ti povestea, am vazut
prin ochii tai, limpede ca lumina zilei, cum cineva
s-a pravalit ca plumbul, dar de erai tu
sau el sau oricare altul n-am vrut sa sa stiu.
A alunecat printr-o usa ce i s-a-nchis deasupra,
din intunericul cerului in negura apelor.

Oricine ar fi cel ce s-a scufundat in adancuri,
daca tu esti partasul tainic al povestii sale,
eu sunt al tau. Insa povestea nu s-a sfarsit;
cand te-ai prabusit ca un bolovan, ai lasat o parte
nespusa, iar eu m-am straduit – ma stradui –
sa inteleg ce s-a-ntamplat si de ce imi lipsesti.

Mai falnic decat in viata, mai tanar decat in clipa mortii,
ma vizitezi din negura de dincolo de lumea viselor.
Te incapatanezi in mutenie. Vreau
sa te intreb daca ma poti iubi – aceeasi veche poveste –
dar n-o fac; te cuprind in brate pentru ultima oara
si-ti spun te iubesc, te iubesc, te iubesc.

Te-am chemat din adancuri spunandu-ti povestea
si-asa mi-am dat seama ca povestile noastre sunt una:
cum sa-mi doresc sa se savarseasca intai a ta?
 

 

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