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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?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ioana-Alina Stan

Mary MacRae


Povestea unei vieti

Noapte si pasesti in intuneric, peste
marginea vasului amutit, inspaimantat ca nu cumva tu
sau o gheata de-a ta sa calce pe langa treapta, un pas gresit
si ar putea fi ultimul. Atarni, cu rasuflarea taiata,
intre deasupra si dedesubt, inlantuit in istorie –
dar asta ai ales, asta iti doresti.

Nu-i luna, nici stele – desi nu-ti doresti lumina –
doar zgomotul unui deget pe marginea zimtata
a unei fotografii, in timp ce barbatii din povestea ta
coboara scarile alergand, cu echipamentele in spate. Iar tu
simti mai degraba decat sa vezi, cum barbatul de sub tine
se clatina mutandu-si ranita, dupa care dispare.

"S-a dus la fund ca un bolovan", te aud spunand, "cativa stropi
si a disparut". Schitezi un zambet. Vrei sa plangi
si nu-ti vine sa crezi ca barbatul de sub apa
nu esti tu; ti-o repeti de mii de ori
ca sa te convingi ca n-ai murit in razboi
si te-ai intors acasa sa-ti spui povestea.

Acum imi aduc aminte: ascultandu-ti povestea
am vazut ce-ai vazut si tu, curat ca lacrima, cum cineva
s-a prabusit in bataia pustii, dar nu am vrut sa stiu
daca erai tu, el sau altcineva. Alunecand printr-o usa ce s-a inchis
deasupra capului, din negura de deasupra in negura de dedesubt.

Oricine ar fi fost cel ce a plonjat dedesubt,
daca tu ii impartasesti in secret povestea,
atunci si eu o fac. Iar povestea nu s-a incheiat;
cand te-ai prabusit ca un bolovan mi-ai ramas dator
cu o continuare, oricat de mult as fi vrut – as vrea –
sa inteleg cuprinsul si de ce imi lipsesti.

Mai inalt decat viata, mai tanar decat in clipa mortii,
vii sa ma vizitezi acum de dincolo de lumea
subconstienta a visului; nu vrei sa-mi vorbesti. Vreau
sa te intreb daca poti sa ma iubesti – stii tu, vechea poveste –
dar nu o fac; te iau in brate pentru ultima oara
si-ti spun ca te iubesc, din nou si din nou.

Te-am chemat de dedesubt istorisindu-ti povestea,
iar apoi am vazut ca povestile noastre sunt una:
cum sa-mi doresc ca a ta sa se sfarseasca inaintea alei mele?
 

 

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