All posts tagged: Translation

Translation: Poems by Mireille Gansel

Poems by MIREILLE GANSEL

Translated from the French by JOAN SELIGER SIDNEY

The poems appear below in both English and French

 

Translator’s note

I met Mireille Gansel virtually, through a mutual friend. All three of us have lost family because of the Holocaust. Besides her poetry books, Gansel translated all of Nelly Sach’s poems, as well as Sach’s correspondence with Paul Celan. She has won major awards for both her poetry and translations. Her Translation as Transhumance (The Feminist Press) has contributed significantly to the field of translation studies.

Translation: Poems by Mireille Gansel
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Writing from the 2022 Outpost Fellows

A note from Outpost founder Ricardo Wilson

Launched in 2022, Outpost is a residency for creative writers of color from the United States and Latin America. Each September, we welcome two writers and award them with a stipend as well as complimentary travel, lodging, and meals to spend a month cultivating a generative writing community in the mountains of Southern Vermont. STEFFAN TRIPLETT and MARICEU ERTHAL, whose work you will encounter below, are exceptionally talented, and we feel quite privileged to have had them represent Outpost’s inaugural cohort. Thanks to the ongoing support of our funding community, we have been able to increase the stipend to $2,000 for our 2023 cohort. Applications are open and will close January 15th.

 

Writing from the 2022 Outpost Fellows
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Room of Darkness

By MONA KAREEM
Translated by SARA ELKAMEL

Image of a balcony

 

Farwaniya, Kuwait

“Darkness alone is in my voice.” — Jean Sénac

 

I am of darkness.
My nation is an aging butterfly,
the desert my prayer.

I wash in rain’s saliva.
In my supplications, the sun dances
on the tips of her toes.

Room of Darkness
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Operation Avalanche

By ROSSELLA MILONE

Translated from the Italian by LAURA MASINI and LINDA WORRELL 

“I am living permanently in my dream, 
from which I make brief forays into reality.”

—Ingmar Bergman, The Magic Lantern: An Autobiography

 

  1.  

Erminia danced the Charleston. My friend Gianluca told me how, almost every evening, his grandmother would pause on the threshold of the French doors that opened onto the terrace and trace out the steps. Her arms swinging, legs twisting, a toe to the front, then to the back, a heel swiveling to the side, a toe to the front again. She confined her movements to the doorway as though she wanted to go unnoticed, and yet somehow she demanded the attention of anyone nearby. Whenever I was at Gianluca’s, I always saw her singing softly to herself.

Operation Avalanche
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Translation: Albanian Women Poets

Poems by BLERINA ROGOVA GAXHA, DONIKA DABISHEVCI, and VLORA KONUSHEVCI.

Translated from the Albanian by VLORA KONUSHEVCI.

Poems appear below in both Albanian and English.

Translator’s note

The Albanian language is one of the oldest languages in Europe, although its written form appears rather late in the historical record, sometime in the mid-fifteenth century. It occupies an independent branch of the Indo-European language tree; hence it is considered an isolate within that language family, with no kin conclusively linked to its branch. It is believed to be the descendant of Illyrian, but this hypothesis has been challenged by some linguists, who maintain that it derives from Dacian or Thracian. However, to this day there is no scholarly consensus over its ascendant, and it is still a subject of scientific debate.

Translation: Albanian Women Poets
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The Longkau’s Name (Excerpt from DAKOTA)

By WONG KOI TET

Translated from Chinese by SHANNA TAN

image of dakota-crescentDakota Crescent, Singapore

 

 

The body of water that runs by the neighborhood is in fact a river, but everyone used to call it longkau—a storm drain. The Hokkien word has a crispier edge than the Mandarin longgou. Calling it a river would require a proper name, a division into upstream and down. Nobody knew about that stuff, so we went with what was the easiest. Anyway, a name is just a name, and it was kind of endearing after you got the hang of it. The neighborhood does have a proper name: Dakota. There’s a place called Dakota somewhere up north in the States, but that’s not what we’re named after. No, our origin story is local and commemorates the crash of a Dakota DC-3 aircraft nearby. Maybe by giving the neighborhood a name tinged with disaster and exoticism, we were also foretelling its premature demise.

The Longkau’s Name (Excerpt from DAKOTA)
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The Influence of Bloodline

By NAIVO

Translated from the French by ALLISON M. CHARETTE

 

The first time I tried to see Judge Florence, I employed the same strategy as most petitioners: I camped out at the entrance to the courthouse in the administrative district next to the lake in the capital to try and grab her as she walked in. But that just showed my ignorance of the winding, inner workings of the judicial system—as soon as the magistrate appeared, I was thoughtlessly shoved aside by at least thirty others racing toward her with similar ideas. The only glimpse I managed to catch of Florence was a wisp of jet-black hair and a flash of golden glasses slicing a path through the scrambling masses.

The Influence of Bloodline
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Translation: On the Greenwich Line

Excerpted from the novel by SHADY LEWIS

Translated from the Arabic by KATHARINE HALLS

Excerpt appears below in English. To read the original Arabic, click here.

 

Translator’s note

One of the things I like about Shady Lewis’s writing—and the reason I’m so glad it’s appearing in The Common of all journals—is that it’s global in its imagination, and yet deeply rooted in specific places and experiences. The place is Cairo, and the experiences are those of Coptic Christians and young people on the left. From this vantage point, Lewis offers a biting critique of Egyptian society, but one that’s filled with affection for its people. But Lewis has also lived in the UK for a long time, and in the novel excerpted here, On the Greenwich Line, he turns the same critical yet compassionate gaze on its capital city. His setting is a run-down East London borough, and his characters an unlikely cast of desperate migrants and frustrated local government employees. The premise is simple: as a favor to his friend, the protagonist finds himself roped into organizing the funeral of a young Syrian refugee named Ghiyath. The protagonist himself is an Egyptian immigrant who’s lived in London for many years and works as a housing officer for the local council, so he knows all about the absurdities of racism, austerity, and bureaucracy in the UK; he just doesn’t think they concern him, until the fateful day his life collides with Ghiyath’s, and he’s forced to acknowledge just how much he has in common with those who’ve fallen through the cracks. The result is a painful interrogation of how a decade of Conservative austerity has hollowed British society out from the inside, and a devastating portrayal of the migrants and outcasts who are forced to live permanently on the brink of destitution. It’s also a profoundly human story about London and its many lost souls, and for a reader like me who loves the city, Lewis’s writing about London, in Arabic, feels both familiar and arresting. Translating it into English, I hope both to honor its intimate, quotidian London-ness, and to preserve the outsider gaze which enables it to offer up such striking observations as the protagonist’s musing on the “Mosque of the White Chapel”—his Arabic rendition of Whitechapel Mosque. It does us good to return to old sights with fresh eyes. 

—Katharine Halls

Translation: On the Greenwich Line
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The Headless Man

By BARBARA MOLINARD

Translated from the French by EMMA RAMADANPanics book cover

The woman took a seat on the bench. She was wearing a little black dress and a coat that was also black, brightened up with a pale blue scarf around her neck. Long blond hair framed her rather beautiful face, which her eyes, drowned in dream, bestowed with a unique absence.

The Headless Man
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