Translation's homeopathic gesture

Tristele, Ovidiu
Ovidiu in Constanța, 2008

Each text tells us how it wishes to be translated, demands its “proper” translation. Points the translator to its own pulse and propulsions. And “I”—unha cousa sentida e sensíbel, a felt and feeling thing, already socially constructed and hard-wired, yet, a nervous being, with nervature—I have already sensed the text; I receive the text into myself.

I extend my hand to mark a letter, some letters. One language enters and another emerges. This möbius strip operation—for text remains text, letters remain letters—passes by way of a body. This body may be, at times, a machine (as in legal translation, often done by machine so as to stabilize the terminology before being corrected by a human being) or it may be human cells. It can’t be cells of trout. The difference between machine and body is that the body does unpredictable things, makes leaps… Though it chooses (or is blind to, but this body, as much as is possible, chooses) where to situate itself in relation to the socius of the book (as it perceives it) and the socius of the receiving language, this body can also absorb things that have never before been absorbed.

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