fbpx

Translation

Elham’s Suitor

Elham’s Suitor

He’s sobbing again

I open my eyes. The Colonel stares back at me like a buck’s head mounted on the wall. An abstract painting, blood streams from the old man’s throat down onto Parvin’s Che Guevara poster and over the star on Che’s forehead, where it gets lost in the black shadows on his face to reemerge out of Che’s left nostril.

L’Autore Invisible

L’Autore Invisible

Ralph Ellison in Italian

Translators themselves want to seem inconspicuous, like imperial clerks toiling away in a dark garret, resolving geopolitical issues by working out the finer terms in the draft of a big treaty. The collective need for invisibility creates a language that’s even, parsed out, correct — a language that escorts books out of their country and dresses them up as responsible travelers.

Horse Soup

Horse Soup

“This is na-a-a-a-o!”

It was 1982. Brezhnev died. Ready also died, after eating rat poison. Olya started her senior year at the Institute and bought herself a violin made by the German master Schneider for 1,600 rubles, telling her poor parents that a girlfriend who’d dropped out of school and married a Georgian had given it to her. She continued to meet Burmistrov at the same apartment. She was so used to Horse Soup’s screaming that she no longer paid any attention to it, focusing only on the food in front of her. 

Eyes Open

Eyes Open

Que se sepa que en Chile nos estarán robando los ojos mas no la VOZ! 

The citizen body has always been the target of state violence, but, in keeping with these visual times, the police targeted the optic organ itself, rendering their violence spectacular. The target was no longer the body but the eye of the citizen. They aimed to leave eyes open and awake forever, perpetually shot upward, blank.

Ogresse

Ogresse

Audre Lorde’s plumed serpent

So, with my back leaning against the door, I mumbled: Do this, do that. What an algorithm! Let’s recap . . . Defend the citadel. Don’t hide. Don’t be afraid of your anger. Know when to indulge yourself. In other words, be a heretic in order to be more devout than the faithful. Follow the intuition of the ancestral bacteria in your stomach in order to keep track of the metaphors of the soul. But did I really understand?

The Hidden Fortress

The Hidden Fortress

Bourdieu in the forest

Sometimes, I wonder if there is a spell at work when we write, one that causes what is said to be said without us. And indeed, that is perhaps what writing is, isn’t it: what is said there is said without us. If I could stop writing, I think maybe I would.

You Can't Read

You Can't Read

They need to feel you’ve been properly flayed

What’s that you’re saying now? Oh, it was your grandmother who didn’t know how to read, and you’ve been in the school system from preschool to college? I see, so you really don’t get what’s going on when people talk to you. Your grandmother, your sister, you, it’s all the same. Don’t you get it? You believe in assimilation, you only wore a headscarf for a couple of years when you were a teenager — that’s fine. But, I mean, we can’t just let go and leave what is French in your hands.