Louis Esterhuizen. Hongaarse digkuns in vertaling

 

Danksy uitstekende vertalings word die Oos-Europese digkunste tans wêreldwyd gesien as besonder dinamies en van uitsonderlike gehalte. Vandaar die statuur van onder andere die Hongaarse digkuns wat veral deur George Szirtes (foto), eweneens ‘n gerekende Britse digter, deur middel van sy volgehoue vertalings gepromoveer word. En daarom dat ek heel opgewonde was om onlangs op die webtuiste Hungarian Literature Online (HLO) ‘n onderhoud met Szirtes raak te lees …

Reeds was hy ‘n gevestigde (en bekroonde) digter toe hy Hongarye in 1984 die eerste keer besoek het. Kort na dié besoek het hy begin om ‘n hele gallery van prominente Hongaarse skrywers en veral digters na Engels te vertaal: Dezso Kosztolányi, Imre Madách, István Vas, Sándor Csoóri en Sándor Weöres. (Laasgenoemde twee digters is gewis persoonlike gunstelinge.)

Nietemin, as lusmaker die volgende aanhalings –

Op die vraag wat ‘n goeie vertaling van ‘n minder suksesvolle onderskei, het Szirtes soos volg geantwoord: “A bad translation is one that has no life in the receiving language. It can still be a good crib or gloss but it cannot be read as art. For me a translation should have a force equivalent, or close to equivalent, to the force of the original in the original language. But there is no such thing as a perfect literary translation and such judgments are inevitably coloured not only by personal but by cultural circumstances too.”

En dan, nog ‘n uitspraak wat met bogenoemde verband hou: “It irritates me more than anything when the translator takes upon herself or himself to redress a political imbalance by mangling a perfectly open text just to show that they are not simply co-opting it.”

Vir jou leesplesier volg een van George Szirtes se gerekende vertalings hieronder.

***

 

Fire, we say

 

“What kind of spirit, what sort of fire?”

 

Flesh, we say. Though I don’t know

your flesh. It isn’t mine to know,

merely hidden, bloody, decaying stuff. 

 

Bone, we say. I hide and lightly touch:

I know its articulation, its perfect

mechanism, but it isn’t you, not half enough. 

 

Eyes, we say. My lips feel the rapid

trembling motion of your eye beneath the lid. 

 

Inside your mouth the gentle pink

silkinesses where your body heat

pulses, transfusing tissue,

the eddies of your navel, the secret

valleys between your toes, the spiral

windings of your ears, the cradle

of collarbone and shoulder-blade

where I can drown in your scent

and sleep, those muscles of yours

so toothsome, your heat, your excitement,

the overpowering smell of fresh sweat,

your fierce tight embrace – still none of that is you. 

 

You are living flame. Bone, flesh and blood,

you blaze where decay may not touch you,

you are movement itself, the prime mover,

occupying your body as you might a nest,

my body too, the way that you push onward,

let nothingness too have life, let flame lick sky

it powers and fills, with no source left to light it – 

fire, we say: what we feel is the burning.

 

© Anna T. Szabó (Vertaling: George Szirtes)

 

 

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Een Kommentaar op “Louis Esterhuizen. Hongaarse digkuns in vertaling”

  1. Evette Weyers :

    Louis
    Dankie vir hierdie kortpadkies na Japenese, Hongaarse en Iranese digters. Pure rykdom!
    Bly jy is so aanwesig op die blogs.
    haastig op die hoef,
    evette

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