Adam Ash

Your daily entertainment scout. Whatever is happening out there, you'll find the best writing about it in here.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Bookplanet: which translation do you prefer?

Here are two translations of Celan's Bei Brancusi, Zu Zweit.

Pierre Joris' translation: Two at Brancusi's

If one among these stones
were to tell
what silences it:
here, nearby,
on this old man's crutch-stick,
it would open, as a wound,
into which you'd have to dive,
far from my scream, the already also
hewn, white one.

Michael Hamburger's translation: At Brancusi's, the two of us

If one of these stones
were to give away
what it is that keeps silent about it:
here, nearby,
at this old man’s limping stick,
it would open up, as a wound,
in which you would have to submerge,
far from my scream, that is
chiselled already, white.

Interesting exercise, don't you think? Via splinters.


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