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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?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Andreea Hadambu

Mary MacRae

Povestea unei vieti


E noapte – cu un pas patrunzi in bezna, peste
marginea corabiei tacute, cu spaima ca
s-ar putea sa aluneci si cizma sa nu nimereasca treapta:
o ultima miscare gresita. Intre ce-i sus si ce-i jos
atarni cu respiratia taiata, incatusat in istorie –
pentru ca asta ai ales, asta vrei.

Nici un licar de luna sau stele – lumina nu-ti doresti –,
ci doar un harsait ca atunci cand iti treci apasat
degetul mare peste un carton incretit: asa se aud cum coboara
scarile barbatii din povestea ta, ducand ranite grele.
Iar tu mai mult il simti decat il vezi pe barbatul de dedesubt
cum se clatina, isi trece povara pe celalalt umar si piere.

'S-a dus la fund ca o piatra', te aud spunand, 's-a auzit pleosc
si s-a dus'. Un zambet firav. Iti vine sa plangi,
nu-ti vine sa crezi ca cel care s-a scufundat
nu esti tu, trebuie sa iti repeti asta mereu,
ca sa te convingi singur ca ai supravietuit razboiului
si ca te-ai intors acasa sa povestesti cum a fost.

Toate imi revin acum in minte: ascultandu-ti povestea,
am vazut cu o limpezime dureroasa tot ce-ai vazut si tu,
cum cineva s-a prabusit – dar daca acel cineva ai fost tu
sau el, sau altcineva, n-am vrut sa aflu.
Printr-o poarta care i s-a inchis deasupra capului
a alunecat in beznele care cufundau totul in jur.

Oricine a fost acela pe care l-au tras in jos adancurile,
daca povestea ta se-ngemaneaza cu a lui,
la fel eu o impartasesc pe-a ta. Iar povestea nu e gata;
cand te-ai dus la fund ca o piatra, ai smuls
o parte din mine, oricat de mult voiam – vreau inca –
sa inteleg de ce s-a intamplat asa si de ce mi-e dor de tine.

Mai trainic decat viata, mai tanar decat in moarte,
vii la mine de dincolo de stratul in care
nalucile se-ncheaga in visare; nu-mi vorbesti.
Vreau sa te intreb daca ma poti iubi – vechea poveste –,
dar tac; te inconjor cu bratele
pentru ultima oara si iti soptesc la nesfarsit iubirea mea.

Te-am chemat din adancuri istorisindu-ti povestea,
dupa care mi-am dat seama ca povestile noastre sunt una:
pot sa-mi doresc sa se sfarseasca a ta inainte ca a mea sa se-ncheie?

 

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