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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?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Daniela Bojica

Mary MacRae


Poveste din viata


E noapte si pasesti peste bordul navei tacute, temandu-te ca mana
sau piciorul ti-ar putea aluneca si rata treapta, o
miscare gresita si e ultima. Intre deasupra si dedesubt
atarni cu respiratia taiata, prizonier al istoriei –
si asta e ceea ce ai ales, ceea ce vrei.

Nu e luna, nu sunt stele – desi nu lumina cauti tu –
numai fosnetul, ca un racait al degetului pe
zimtii unei vederi, al oamenilor din povestea ta
grabindu-se in jos pe scara, ingreunati de povara carata. Si
simti, mai mult decat vezi, ca omul de sub tine
se clatina, isi muta ranita si dispare.

"A cazut ca un bolovan", te aud spunand , "pleosc
si s-a dus". Iti flutura un zambet. Ai un
nod in gat, nu-ti vine sa crezi ca omul de sub
apa nu esti tu, derulezi in minte inca o data
si inca o data, ca sa te convingi ca
razboiul s-a sfarsit, ca ai venit acasa ca sa-ti spui povestea.

Acum imi amintesc: ascultand povestea ta,
am vazut ce ai vazut si tu, limpede ca prin apa pura, cum cineva
s-a pravalit, insa daca erai tu
sau el, sau altcineva, nu am vrut
sa stiu. A alunecat printr-o usa care s-a inchis deasupra
lui, din intunecimea de sus in intunecimea de jos.

Oricine ar fi omul care a cazut dedesubt,
daca impartasesti in secret povestea lui,
m-ai castigat. Si povestea nu se incheie;
cand te-ai prabusit ca un bolovan, m-ai lasat
fara final, oricat de mult as fi vrut – vreau –
sa dezleg intriga si sa inteleg de ce imi lipsesti.

Infinit de inalt, mai tanar decat in moarte,
ma vizitezi acum, venind de dincolo
de cumpana cu visul; nu vrei sa vorbesti. Vreau
sa intreb daca ma poti iubi – vechea poveste –
dar n-o fac; te imbratisez
o ultima data si-ti spun „te iubesc”, fara sfarsit.

Te invoc din adancuri spunand povestea ta
si apoi vad ca cele doua povesti sunt una singura:
as putea eu sa vreau ca a ta sa se sfarseasca inainte de a mea?
 

 

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