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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?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Violeta Mitu

Mary MacRae


Poveste de viata


Noapte, iar tu pasesti in bezna, peste
marginea vasului tacut, temandu-te ca tu
sau cizmele tale ar putea aluneca si rata treapta,
o miscare gresita e si ultima. Atarni fara suflare
intre cer si apa, inchis in istorie –
iar asta este ce ai ales, ce iti doresti.

Nu-i luna, nici stele – desi tu nu lumina vrei –
numai un sunet se aude, de parca un deget ar trece
peste-o vedere incretita, in timp ce barbatii din povestea ta
coboara alert pe scara, cu ranita in spate. Iar tu
simti mai mult decat vezi, cand cel de sub tine
tremura, isi muta sacul pe alt umar, acum nu e nimeni.

"Ca un bolovan a cazut", te-aud spunand, "baldabac,
si s-a dus". Schitezi un zambet. Vrei
sa plangi, nu-ti vine a crede ca cel de sub
apa nu esti tu, iti tot repeti aceasta,
sa te incredintezi ca pe tine
razboiul te-a crutat si ai venit acasa ca sa iti spui povestea.

Mi-aduc acum aminte: ascultandu-ti povestea
am vazut ce ai vazut si tu, la fel de clar, cum cineva
s-a dus la fund ca plumbul, dar daca tu ai fost,
sau el, sau altcineva, eu nu am vrut
sa stiu. A alunecat sub o usa ce s-a inchis
deasupra capului sau, din intunericul de sus, in cel de dedesubt.

Oricine ar fi fost barbatul ce s-a dus la fund,
daca tu esti cel ce-i stie povestea in secret,
atunci si eu o stiu pe-a ta. Iar povestea nu se sfarseste aici;
atunci cand ca un bolovan in apa ai cazut,
ai luat cu tine o parte din ea, oricat de mult doream – doresc –
s-o talcuiesc si sa-nteleg de ce-mi lipsesti.

Mai inalt decat in viata, mai tanar decat mort, vii
sa ma cercetezi acum, de dincolo
de lumea nevazuta a viselor; nu-mi vorbesti. Vreau
sa te-ntreb daca ma poti iubi – vechea poveste –
dar nu-mi spune, te rog. Te-mbratisez din nou,
pentru ultima data si-ti spun ca te iubesc, mereu, mereu.

Te-am chemat de jos spunandu-ti povestea,
si-apoi am vazut ca povestile noastre una sunt:
sa vreau sa se sfarseasca a ta inainte sa se-ncheie a mea?
 

 

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