This captivating journal presents essays, poems and stories in their original language side by side with their English translations and notes from the translators.
This captivating journal presents essays, poems and stories in their original language side by side with their English translations and notes from the translators. This saving celebration of cultural and artistic exchange spans numerous countries and centuries. Each work could surely stand alone, but these lines from “Trees” by French-Tunisian poet Hédi Kaddour – “The militia which had such faith / In tall oaks / That it festooned them with hanged men.” – are enhanced by translator Marilyn Hacker’s observation that the word for militia in French unmistakably connotes the collaborationist Vichy militia during the Nazi occupation of France. Likewise, “The Infraction – Fragment 298,” a raging condemnation of the rape of Cassandra (amid the Sack of Troy), penned by the 7th Century BCE poet, Alcaeus, is easily beguiling on its own, with the title reminding us of both what survives and what is lost. Still, translator Peter Campion’s intriguing commentary about the poem’s structure and moral force is a clarifying addition. Conquest is not the only kind of Power (the issue’s theme) honored in these 200 pages. “Where does such tenderness come from?” (by Marina Tsvetaeva, translated from Russian by Kristin Becker) and “A Little Bit of Moroccan Soil” (by Fouad Laroui, translated from French by Maureen Lucier) will activate your exhalatory vocalizations (and perhaps your tear ducts). [Two Lines, Center for Art in Translation, 35 Stillman St. Suite 201 San Francisco, CA 94107. E-mail: [email protected] Single issue $14.95. www.CATranslation.org] –LKB