Louis Esterhuizen. Archipelago Press lui die groot klok

 

Ek het al vantevore oor Archipelago Press, my persoonlike gunsteling uitgewery en Jill Schoolman (foto), wat aan die hoof staan van dié inspirerende bedryf, geskryf.  Nie net is sy die hoofindoena by Archipelago nie, maar eweneens ‘n persoon wat so stadigaan besig is om die Amerikaanse poësie-landskap op ‘n besonder indrukwekkende wyse te herdefinieer. Daarom dat dit met groot vreugde was dat ek – tydens my navorsing vir ‘n blog oor die Roemeense digkuns wat volgende week geplaas sal word – ontdek het dat Archipelago Press pas een van die grootste klokke in die Amerikaanse lettere gelui het, naamlik die prys vir die beste vertaalde werk wat verlede jaar verskyn het, wat aan een van hul publikasies toegeken is.

Dié eer gaan aan Sean Cotter wat die Roemeense digter Nichita Stănescu se gedigte na Engels vertaal het. Archipeleago Press het dié bloemlesing – pragtig uitgegee in die formaat waarvoor hulle bekend is – gepubliseer onder die titel Wheel with a Single Spoke.  

 

Omslag

Oor haar uitgewery en die rede hoekom hulle uitsluitlik op vertaalde tekste fokus, het Jill Schoolman haar soos volg uitgelaat tydens ‘n onderhoud met die Koreaanse joernalis Kim Meekyung: ”Archipelago Books was founded in 2003 as a non-profit press supported by individuals and foundations. I founded this company with the goal of increasing awareness of literary voices from around the world. There is an urgent need to make international literature available to American readers. According to a recent NEA study, of the 10,000 books of fiction and poetry annually published in this country, only 300 are works in translation. America has grown into an empire that prefers to export rather than import, even when it comes to literature. Our goal is to discover what’s out there, and it is a labor of love. In part, I started Archipelago because there seemed to be an urgent need. So many important international writers, both living and dead, are simply not being introduced and read here. But, I must admit, it was more out of love than duty. I’m naturally drawn toward literature beyond our borders. It’s what I love to read. Reading is a voyage, and for me it can be as eye-opening (and moving) as traveling abroad.”

Nichita StanescuEn een so ‘n digter wat deur Archipelago Press aan ‘n groter gehoor bekend gestel is, was die Roemeense reus Nichita Stănescu (1933 – 1983). Op die webblad Words Without Borders kan die volgende oor Stănescu (foto) gevind word: “Part physicist and part naturalist, Romanian poet Nichita Stănescu was always a consonant lyricist. He had created an extraordinary body of work before his death in 1983. Just fifty years old when he died, he had published over a book a year between 1965 and 1971. Conventional wisdom states that prodigious output leads to paltry results, but Wheel With a Single Spoke and Other Poems, which gathers poems from all of Stănescu’s books without being close to comprehensive, presents the case that he may well have been one of Europe’s great twentieth-century poets. English-language readers have translator Sean Cotter to thank for this tremendous addition to their literature.”

Wat ‘n prestasie! Om nog ‘n aanhaling uit die reeds genoemde onderhoud aan u voor te hou: “My dream is that our books will open people’s minds and speak to their hearts, that they might chisel away at stereotypes and awaken curiosity about other cultures and ways of seeing and being. I hope that our books might touch people deeply and serve as catalysts for social change and that they might bring people together.”

Inderdaad. Maar, ter wille van volledigheid – die ander tekste wat genomineer was vir die prys, is die volgende:

Transfer Fat deur Aase Berg, vertaal deur Johannes Göransson (Ugly Duckling Press; Sweden).

pH Neutral History deur Lidija Dimkovska, vertaal deur Ljubica Arsovska en Peggy Reid (Copper Canyon Press; Macedonia).

The Invention of Glass deur Emmanuel Hocquard, vertaal deur Cole Swensen en Rod Smith (Canarium Books; France).

Notes on the Mosquito deur Xi Chuan, vertaal deur Lucas Klein (New Directions; China).

Almost 1 Book / Almost 1 Life deur Elfriede Czurda, vertaal deur Rosmarie Waldrop (Burning Deck; Austria).

Die beoordelaars was: Brandon Holmquest, digter, vertaler, en redakteur van CALQUE; Jennifer Kronovet, digter en vertaler; John Marshall, eienaar van Open Books: A Poem Emporium; Erica Mena-Landry, digter en vertaler; Kevin Prufer, digter, akademikus, essayis en mede-redakteur van New European Poets; en Russell Valentino, vertaler en direkteur van Autumn Hill Books en ook van The Iowa Review.

En by wyse van leestoegif volg ‘n gedig uit Wheel With a Single Spoke hieronder.

***

Poet, Like a Soldier

(Poetul ca si soldatul)

 

A poet, like a soldier

has no life of his own.

His own life is wrecks

and ruins.

 

With the forceps of his cerebrum he lifts

the emotions of ants

brings them closer and closer to his eye

until they and his eye become one.

 

He puts his ear to the belly of a starving dog

His nose smells the half-open muzzle

until his nose and the dog’s muzzle

are the same.

 

During waves of heat

he fans himself with flocks of birds

he startles into flight.

 

None of you should believe the poet when he cries.

His tear is never his own.

He has wiped tears from things

and cries things’ tears.

 

The poet is like time.

Faster or slower

more deceitful or more truthful.

 

Be careful not to say anything to a poet.

Be especially careful not to say something true.

Really, be careful not to say something heartfelt.

 

Just then, he will claim he said it,

and he will make the claim such that

all of you will say, it’s true

he said it.

 

I beg you, above all

do not touch a poet!

Never put your hand on a poet!

 

…except when your hand

is thin as a ray.

Only then your hand might

pass straight through him.

 

Otherwise, it will not pass

your fingers will remain on him

and he will be the one to brag

he has more fingers than you.

And all of you will have to say, yes,

it’s true, he has more fingers….

 

Better, if you can believe me,

it would be better if you never

touched a poet.

 

…And he’s not even worth a touch…

A poet, like a soldier

has no life of his own.

 

© Nichita Stănescu (Vertaal deur Sean Cotter)

 

 

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4 Kommentare op “Louis Esterhuizen. Archipelago Press lui die groot klok”

  1. Annemarie van Niekerk :

    Informerende stuk! Dankie, Louis.

  2. adriaan :

    Louis, nou sien ek hoekom jy hom ‘n reus noem.

  3. Carina Stander :

    Wat ‘n wonderlike gedig! Dankie, Louis.

  4. Jill Schoolman :

    Dear Louis, Thank you so much! Yes, we were delighted, above all because the award will allow the poems to reach more people. Thanks so much for mentioning the book and award on your blog! It’s so good to be connected to a kindred spirit on the other side of the earth! Baie dankie, met vriendlike groete, jill

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