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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?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Iulia Anchidin

Mary MacRae


Poveste de viata


Noaptea, pasind in intuneric, peste
bordul unui vas linistit, temandu-te ca nu cumva tu
sau cizmele tale sa alunece si sa greseasca treapta, o
miscare gresita poate fi si ultima. Atarni fara suflare intre
suprafata si adanc, prins in istorie-
si asta este ceea ce alegi, ceea ce vrei.

Nici luna, nici stele - desi nu lumina iti doresti tu-
doar un zgomot ce suna ca un deget ce se freaca de
un carton striat pe cand oamenii din povestea ta
coboara scara, impovarati cu scule. Si simti
mai mult decat vezi ca nu mai e nimeni acum
acolo unde barbatul de sub tine tremura, schimband locul pachetului.

"Cazut ca un bolovan", te aud spunand, "doar un
pleoscait si dispare". Un zambet slab. Vrei
sa plangi, nu-ti vine sa crezi ca omul din
apa nu erai tu", iti repeti la nesfarsit
pentru a te convinge pe tine insuti ca ai
supravietuit razboiului si ai ajuns acasa sa-ti spui povestea.

Acum imi amintesc: auzind povestea ta
am vazut ce ai vazut si tu, clar ca buna-ziua, cum cineva
s-a scufundat in apa, dar nu voiam sa stiu
daca era vorba de tine, ori de el,
ori de altcineva. Trecand printr-o usa ce s-a inchis peste
capul lui, de la intunericul de la suprafata la cel din apa.

Oricine ar fi fost omul care s-a scufundat,
daca ii impartasesti secretul in taina
atunci ai atentia mea. Dar povestea nu s-a terminat;
cand ai cazut ca un bolovan nu mi-ai spus
toata povestea, oricat de mult imi doream -imi doresc-
sa inteleg intriga si de ce imi lipsesti.

Mai inalt ca in viata, mai tanar ca in moarte, ma
vizitezi acum de dincolo de
viata- in vis; nu vorbesti. Vreau sa
te intreb daca ma poti iubi- aceeasi poveste dintotdeauna-
dar nu o fac; te imbratisez pentru
ultima data, declarandu-mi la nesfarsit iubirea.

Spunandu-ti povestea, te-am invocat din adancuri
si am aflat ca povestile noastre sunt aceleasi:
pot sa-mi doresc ca a ta sa se termine inainte de a mea?
 

 

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