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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?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cristina Florea

Mary MacRae

Povestea unei vieti


Noapte, iar tu pasesti in intuneric,
pe marginea corabiei mute, temandu-ma
ca tu ori cizmele tale ar putea aluneca pe-o treapta,
o miscare gresita fiindu-ti si ultima. Ramai nemiscat
intre inalt si adancuri, captiv in istorie –
iar asta e ceea ce alegi, ceea ce doresti.

Nu-i luna, nici stele – desi lumina nu e ceea ce-ti doresti –
doar un sunet asemenea celui emis prin frecarea unui deget
pe suprafata unei vederi incretite, in timp ce barbatii din povestea-ti
coborau scarile, cu ranita-n spate.
Iar tu mai degraba simti decat vezi cum cel de dedesubtul tau
se clatina, isi muta sacul; nu-i nimeni acum.

"A cazut ca un bolovan", te-am auzit spunand, "numai
o clipa si pierdut a fost". Schitezi un zambet. Vrei sa plangi,
nu-ti vine-a crede ca cel din adanc
nu erai tu, repeta-ti iar si iar,
sa te convingi tu singur
c-ai supravietuit razboiului si te-ai intors acasa sa-ti spui povestea.

Imi amintesc totul acum: ascultandu-ti povestea,
Am vazut ce-ai vazut si tu, limpede ca lumina zilei,
Cum cineva si-a dat drumul in jos, insa daca ai fost tu,
ori el, ori altcineva, eu nu doream sa stiu. Aluneca printr-o usa
ce se inchise deasupra capului sau, dinspre intunericul din inalt spre cel din adancuri.

Oricine ar fi fost acela ce a alunecat in adancuri,
Daca tu esti cel ce-i impartasesti in secret povestea,
atunci imi apartii. Dar povestea nu se incheie aici;
cand ai cazut ca un bolovan, ai luat si o parte din mine,
oricat de mult as fi dorit – doresc –
sa inteleg intriga si de ce imi lipsesti.

Mai maret decat viata, mai nemuritor decat moartea,
Ma vizitezi acum dinspre lumea
De dincolo de vis; nici un cuvant.
Vreau sa te-ntreb daca m-ai putea iubi – vechea poveste –
Dar nu o fac; te cuprind cu bratele
Pentru ultima oara si iti spun te iubesc iar si iar.
Te-am chemat din adancuri spunandu-ti povestea,
Apoi am vazut ca povestile noastre sunt una si-aceeasi:
Pot sa-mi doresc oare ca a ta sa se termine inaintea povestii mele?

 

 

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