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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?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brandusa Raileanu

Mary MacRae


Poveste de viata


Noapte, pasesti in intuneric, pe
marginea vasului tacut, temandu-te ca tu
sau poate cizmele tale ar putea aluneca peste treapta,
o miscare gresita, ultima. Intre deasupra si dedesubt
atarni fara suflare, ferecat in istorie –
si este alegerea ta, vointa ta.

Nici luna, nici stele – desi nu lumina e ceea ce vrei –
doar un sunet asa ca al degetului mare frecand
carti de joc uzate, ca al barbatilor din povestea ta
alunecand pe scara mobila, impovarati de saci. Iar tu
simti mai mult decat vezi, in timp ce jos
omul sovaie, schimba pachetul de carti, acum nu mai e nimeni.

'S-a pravalit ca o piatra', te aud spunand, 'doar un
pleoscait si s-a dus'. Un suras. Vrei
sa plangi, nu poti sa crezi ca omul de sub
apa nu erai tu, repeti asta iarasi
si iarasi ca sa te convingi ca tu
ai supravietuit razboiului, ca ai venit acasa sa-ti spui povestea.

Imi amintesc: ascultandu-ti povestea
am vazut prin ochii tai, limpede ca lacrima, cum cineva
s-a prabusit, dar daca erai tu,
sau el, sau altcineva, nu voiam
sa stiu. A alunecat printr-o usa care s-a inchis peste
capul lui, din intunericul de sus in intunericul de jos.

Oricine ar fi fost omul care s-a scufundat,
daca-i cunosti taina
atunci eu sunt a ta. Dar povestea nu s-a sfarsit;
cand te-ai pravalit ca o piatra ai luat o parte
din mine, oricat de mult voiam – vreau –
sa inteleg urzeala si de ce imi lipsesti.

Mai inalt decat viata, mai tanar decat in moarte,
te intorci la mine din adancul
de plutire al visului; nu vrei sa vorbesti. Vreau
sa te intreb daca ma poti iubi – vechea poveste –
dar nu; te imbratisez
pentru ultima data si spun, te iubesc, mereu si mereu.

Te-am chemat din adancuri spunandu-ti povestea
si am vazut ca povestile noastre sunt una:
cum sa vreau ca a ta sa se termine inainte ca a mea sa se sfarseasca?
 

 

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