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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?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monica Manolachi

Mary MacRae

Povestea vietii


E noapte si iesi in intuneric, deasupra
vasului tacut, temandu-te ca ai putea sa aluneci
sau sa nu nimeresti treapta. Un pas gresit
si gata. Ramai atarnat intre cer si apa,
cu respiratia taiata, zavorat in istorie –
iar asta-i ceva ce chiar tu ti-ai ales si ti-ai dorit.

Nu-i nici luna, nici stele – de fapt, nici nu voiai lumina –
doar un sunet slab, ca si cum ti-ai petrece degetul mare
peste carton ondulat, in vreme ce barbatii despre care spui
o iau in jos pe scara, impovarati cu echipament. Iar tu,
tu nu-l vezi, ci mai degraba il simti pe cel ce sovaie
dedesubt foindu-se, pana ce deodata dispare.

A cazut ca o piatra, imi spui, un singur pleosc si
s-a dus. In coltul gurii, un suras. Ai vrea
sa plangi. Nu prea iti vine sa crezi ca omul cazut
in mare era altcineva. Revezi acea clipa iar
si iar, sa te convingi ca ai supravietuit razboiului
si te-ai intors, ca sa-mi povestesti cum a fost.

Imi amintesc din nou: ascultandu-te,
am vazut limpede ce vazusei si tu, cum cineva
cazuse ca plumbul in apa, dar daca fusesei tu
ori altul sau altul nu mai voiam sa stiu.
Alunecase ca printr-o poarta inchisa deasupra lui,
dinspre noaptea de sus inspre noaptea de jos.

Oricine ar fi omul acela pierit in abis,
daca tu esti mesagerul lui secret, atunci
sunt numai urechi. Si cate mai sunt de spus!...
Cand te-ai dus ca piatra in apa, ceva a ramas
la mine, dar nu atat cat as fi vrut si as vrea,
ca sa pricep tot ce-a fost si de ce mi-e dor de tine.

Mai grozav decat viata, mai tanar ca niciodata,
te apropii de mine acum de departe,
din adancul viselor; si taci. As vrea sa te intreb
daca ma poti iubi – stii tu, aceeasi poveste –
dar nu; te imbratisez pentru ultima oara
si-ti spun te iubesc o data si inca o data.

Te-am chemat de acolo povestind despre tine
si-am aflat ca povestile noastre sunt una.
Cum ar putea a ta sa se-ncheie inaintea povestii mele?

 

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