[1.8.05] [Andrew Gallix]
FOUND IN TRANSLATION: THE RICHARD HELL INTERVIEW 2
We've posted our brand new interview with Richard Hell. In this extract, Mr Hell talks about his latest novel, Godlike: "There's a chapter in the book, which is an essay by one of the characters, Paul, and it proposes that translations are more interesting than 'original' writing and that in the future all poetry will be translation. Now, that is a kind of provocation, although he does make a case for it, and I could make a case for it too, and I kinda like the idea. It's food for thought. It's not as if it's meant in any more dogmatic way than that -- though your interpretation, or extension of the idea, that only God creates, human beings translate, is really cool. Maybe I'll use that in the second edition. That essay in the book refers a lot to Mallarme, a poet who is notorious for being untranslatable. The essay was stimulated by doing some translation myself, that was meant for the book. I was trying to translate from the French and... I don't speak French. So, I would use French dictionaries and look at other translations, and do my best to make my idea of a good poem using all the info I could gather. I felt a little bit daunted: can this possibly be legitimate? It was interesting and fulfilling, but it still seemed a little shady. Then it occurred to me that when two people read a given poem that is in their own language, they're reading two different poems: They're translating it into their own personal spheres, with their own connotations. Reading it in itself is an act of translation. And furthermore, nothing written is original anyway -- everything is just shifts in emphases. I don't make any great claims for this idea. Doubtless it's been proposed and destroyed in academia forever. I just went with it in my own way and took it places". Read the full interview here.