“O plurilingual writer, I know you live constantly with translation. I know better than most. All you do is translate. You work it—translation, that is. Not ‘on’ or ‘with’—just without a preposition: you work it. You work translation. Meaning: you operate on and with translation. You dismantle and reconstruct the meanings and the possibilities of translation.” This, from my own upcoming (UpSet Press) The PolyGlossoPhilia Bacchanale.
Indeed, I have been translating at least since I came to the U.S. at the age of ten, but surely before that when I was going to a French school in Tehran in the ‘70s. From there, lots of study and experimentation around literary translation (while quotidian translation and interpretation were an inevitable part of the fabric of my being and life), until I began to publish a select number of translations and, more importantly in my own opinion, rethinking the possibilities of translation…
Again, as synthesized in The PolyGlossoPhilia Bacchanale: “Plurilinguality observed, one could say, in order to discover possibilities of translation, and possibilities of literary adventures through translation, from short pieces to grand endeavors. The fabric of plurilinguality offers material for literary translation innovations. Bring translation to the fore. Put translation on stage.”
And thus: the fabulous new realms of translation, where I discover and bring forth in actual translations but also across the swath of the body of work…
Translation As… A field of exploration and an arena of simultaneous performative plurilinguality! (in which: the general problematic of translation and the fashioning of works that are untranslatable finds a solution, albeit a difficult and idealistic one, in the writing and simultaneous publication of works. Writing in/through/with different languages)
Translation As… A mechanism for playfully (and constantly) reshaping one’s subjectivity! (in which: rather than pretending that translation is possible, the plurilingual author gives themselves the right, and the joy, of becoming-other: to rethink creation, redefine the text, to reimagine the body of work)
Translation As… A method of verification! (in which the plurilingual writer uses translation as a means of verifying the poeticness of a piece. A full-blown method of verification! Not just a parameter, but a full-blown method: Is poetry, that which cannot be translated !)
Translation As… A poetics/theory of translation in motion!
Translation As… A dramatized and theatricalized practice!
Translation As… A method of creation!
Translation As… A relational imperative!
Translation As… A powerful force for generating literary alternatives!
Translation As… Yes: a grand vanguardist adventure!
A grand, avant-garde adventure in its own right…