Wednesday, February 19, 2014

National Translation Month - NTM: Sergei Sokolovskiy translated by Matvei Yankelevich

Island

"It's a lie!" we answered in unison, without arranging it.

"It's no secret that the image of an island counts among those I most despise. It seems to me that this image has accumulated exactly as much filth and falsity as is needed to form an island, blast it! What could be more natural than when, from all the trash (spiritual, cultural, and biological) poured in a heap, suddenly, as if by the wave of a conductor's wand, an isle appears? Here we cannot help but associate-by rhyme-our hot uninhabited isle with the awl, a sharp implement, and through it all sharp-tongued witticisms and pointed puns, the tools of rhetoric, even the sharp heat of island spices, and as a result we are lead to all the potential harm caused by the isle-awl: it all goes to the same place, into one heap, one atoll. The pun, as you can see, nauseates: I will be sick with all these endless islands, all seclusion, solitude and cosmic loneliness, I'll vomit them into the auditorium, were there an auditorium before me, or wherever, if it so happens by some inexplicable reason that the auditorium is absent. The inexplicable reason, by the way, can only be the following: that the auditorium is also an island, a diminutive isle of peace and calm in the stormy sea of modernity. And it's not possible that I would be sick into the very thing thing that makes me sick, isn't that true? I'm asking you: is it true?

Once more we replied: "It's a lie!
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