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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?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roxana Dude

Mary MacRae

Povestea vietii


Noapte - iar tu pasesti in bezna, peste bord
pe vasul tacut, ingrozit ca ai putea aluneca
sau ghetele sa te tradeze si sa pasesti in gol,
o miscare gresita care-ti va fi si ultima. Spanzuri
fara suflare intre sus si jos, ferecat in istorie—
aceasta-i alegerea ta, e ceea ce-ti doresti.

Nu-i luna, nici stele—desi nu tanjesti dupa lumina—
se aude doar un zgomot, ca degetele unui cartofor pipaind
o carte indoita, iar oamenii din povestea ta
alearga in jos pe scari, incarcati de efecte. Simti
mai degraba decat vezi cum omul de dedesubt
sovaie, isi muta povara, iar acum nu mai e nimeni.

"A cazut ca un bolovan," te aud spunand, "un plescait
si gata, a disparut." Un zambet mic. Iti doresti
sa plangi, nu-ti vine-a crede cum ca omul de sub apa
nu erai tu, faci repetitie iarasi si iarasi
sa te convingi ca tu ai supravietuit
razboiului, te-ai intors acasa ca sa-ti spui povestea.

Acum imi amintesc: ascultandu-ti povestea
am vazut cu ochii tai, cu o claritate de sticla, cum
cineva a plonjat in hau dar de-ai fost tu,
de-a fost el sau altul, nu-mi doream
sa stiu. M-am strecurat prin usa ce i s-a inchis deasupra
crestetului, din bezna de deasupra in bezna de jos.

Oricine-ar fi fost omul ce-a cazut dedesubt,
de-i esti partas de taina in poveste,
atunci si eu o impart pe a ta. Iar povestea nu s-a incheiat;
cand te-ai prabusit, m-ai lasat fara o parte a ei,
oricat mi-am dorit —mi-o doresc—
sa inteleg intriga si de ce-mi lipsesti.

Mai inaltat decat in viata, mai tanar decat in moarte,
vii sa ma vizitezi, tocmai de-acolo de jos
de sub pragul-spirit al visului; nici nu vrei sa vorbesti. As vrea
sa te intreb de ma poti iubi—vechea poveste—
dar nu o fac; te cuprind in brate
o ultima oara si-ti spun: te iubesc, te iubesc, iubesc…

Te-am invocat de-acolo de jos spunandu-ti povestea
Si-apoi am vazut ca povestile noastre amandoua sunt una:
mi-as putea dori ca a ta sa sfarseasca
inainte ca a mea sa se incheie?

 

 

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