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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?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ruxandra Buluc

Mary MacRae

Povestea unei vieti


E noapte, iar tu pasesti in intuneric peste
marginea vasului si ti-e frica
ca nu-ti alunece piciorul pe treapta, o
miscare gresita si totul s-a dus. Intre deasupra si dedesubt
atarni fara suflare, inclestat in istorie –
asta ti-ai ales, asta ti-ai dorit.

Nu sunt stele, nici luna – nici nu iti doresti lumina –
numai zgomotul mainii alunecand pe
hartia creponata, pe cand barbatii din povestea ta
coboara in fuga scara, echipati complet. Iar tu
simti mai mult decat vezi, cum barbatul de sub
tine ezita, isi aseaza rucsacul, locul e acum gol.

"Dus ca bolovanul", te aud spunand, "doar un
pleosc si disparuse". Un zambet timid. Ai vrea
sa plangi, nu prea iti vine sa crezi ca barbatul de sub
apa, din adancuri, nu ai fost chiar tu, iti tot repeti,
ca sa te convingi ca tu ai supravietuit,
ai venit acasa si iti spui povestea

Imi amintesc acum, auzindu-ti povestea
vedeam ce vedeai si tu, clar ca lumina zilei, cum cineva
cadea in gol, dar daca erai tu,
sau el, sau altcineva nu voiam
sa stiu. Alunecat printr-o trapa care s-a inchis
pentru vecie, din intunericul de deasupra in intunericul de dedesubt.

Oricine o fi fost barbatul care a disparut dedesubt
daca tu esti partasul tainic al povestii lui,
atunci sunt a ta. Iar povestea nu se sfarseste;
cand ai cazut in gol, m-ai lasat
incompleta, oricat as fi vrut – vreau –
sa inteleg ce s-a intamplat si de ce mi-e dor de tine.

Mai tare decat viata, mai tanar decat moartea, vii acum
sa ma vizitezi de dincolo de adancurile viselor; nu vorbesti. Vreau
sa te intreb daca ma iubesti – aceeasi poveste dintotdeauna –
dar nu o fac; te imbratisez o
ultima data si iti spun, te iubesc, din nou si din nou.

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

 

 

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