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Category Archives: Translation

Hisperica famina

The frothing sea surrounds the world and beats earth’s borders with its rushing waves. Its storm-wall claws the rocky foreshore, ploughs the bed with thumping crests, strewing shingled foam in starry furrows, ever-shaken by its thunderous blast.

Mortality 101 – or; Catullus at the graveside

‘I want to explain about the Catullus poem … Catullus wrote poem 101 for his brother who died in the Troad.’ — Anne Carson . I have come, my brother, over lands and oceans, to this field of bones to observe the rituals of the final hour, and mumble pointless words above your ashes. Misfortune took [...]

Battle

for Harry . When Edward was king, Harold, an English earl, and his horsemen rode to Bosham, to the church there. Harold then crossed the sea, his sails full of wind, and came into the domain of Count Guy. Guy took Harold prisoner, and leading him away to Beaurain, held him captive there. Harold and Guy [...]

Ayenbite of Inwyt

Against the temptings of the Devil, say the following: ‘Sweet Jesu, by thine holy blood that thou sheddest, and thy rood, for me and for mankind – I entreat Him be my shield against the wicked enemy unto my life’s end. So be it.’ This book is Master Michel’s of Northgate, written in English by [...]

A dedication

Sire, Among the many achievements which exemplify the reign of your august father, His Majesty Fouad I, the mapping of the Libyan Desert must surely take pride of place. This enormous expanse of sand, covering almost two thirds of the Kingdom, incorporated vast unexplored regions, maps of which showed little more than a series of [...]

Eine subtitled mississippianische Re-post (nach Williams)

Have you read Humorous Elements  in the Short Stories and Novels  of the Southern Writer Eudora Welty … in German? Ja, Darling! – * a (reverse) translation of Jonathan Williams’ ‘A Subtle Mississippian Riposte (for L.Z.)’ in Louis Zukofsky, or whoever someone else thought he was: a collection of responses to the work of Louis [...]

A motto for mine own generation

habitabamus domum magnam

Questions – LXIII (after Neruda)

How is the translation of their languages agreed upon with the birds? How do I explain to the tortoise that I am even slower than he is? How should I quiz the flea about his championship statistics? Or address the carnations, in my appreciation of their fragrance?

I’ll play along (after Da Ponte)

You wanna dance, you little count? You wanna dance? If you really wanna dance then I’ll dig out the banjo. Why not? I’ll play along with you. If you wanna learn how I’ll even show you the moves: I could teach you a thing or two. I will, I will – I promise! But gently [...]

Translator’s Note (after Khemiri, after Heti, after Valtat, after Coetzee, after Nooteboom, after Martin, after Kierkegaard)

What I would like to say by way of introduction to my essays on the art of writing, by A.B.C.D.E.F. Godthaab* (* Bear with me, please, while I endeavour to explain what is going on here.) . Twelve years ago, I wrote, with considerable emotional anguish, a long novel about a war against the languages. [...]