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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?

Mihaela Guzu

Mary MacRae

Povestea unei vieti


Noapte, si tu pasesti in bezna, peste
parapetul vasului tacut, innebunit c-ai
putea aluneca pe scara, calca in gol
si astfel in moarte.Atarni intre sus si jos
gafaind, prada a istoriei –
pe care ai ales-o, pe care o alegi.

Nu-i luna, nu-s stele – dar cine vrea lumina? –
doar un fosnet ca de deget plimbat
pe glaspapir, sunt barbatii povestirii tale,
coborand iute scara, cu trusele pe ei.Si simti,
mai putin vezi, cum cel de sub tine sovaie,
isi muta rucsacul - si dispare.

“A cazut ca piatra”, te aud. "Pleosc
si gata." Zambesti usor. Iti vine sa
plangi, nici acum nu-ntelegi deplin
de ce nu tu te-ai inecat, reiei scena mereu,
mereu spre a te convinge ca ai scapat
cu viata din razboi,ca sa-ti spui povestea acasa.

Scena imi revine: ascultandu-te, vedeam
ce ai vazut tu, vedeam perfect, cum
s-a dus acela ca piatra, dar daca tu ai fost,
nu el, sau altcineva, asta nu voiam
sa stiu. A alunecat ca printr-o trapa
din intuneric in alt intuneric.

Nu conteaza cine a fost,
din moment ce tu-i stii povestea,
te sustin pe tine. Si povestea nu-i gata;
cand ai cazut ca piatra ai luat ceva
din mine, oricat as fi vrut – vreau -
sa inteleg intriga si de ce-mi lipsesti.

Hipertrofiat, mai tanar decat erai in moarte, vii
sa ma vizitezi din adancuri, de sub
mantia visului mut. Vreau sa
te-ntreb de ma iubesti – vechea poveste –
dar nu-ntreb; pune-ti bratele-n jurul meu
o ultima oara si zii te iubesc, iar si iar.

Vrajile mele te-au adus, pentru ca te-am
povestit; apoi am vazut ca povestile-s una:
pot dori ca a ta sa se-ncheie inainte de a mea?
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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