Showing posts from April, 2020

Translation of South African poetry

A few weeks ago I wrote a review of Koleka Putumas book “Collective Amnesia”. It was translated into Danish last year and published by the small press “Rebel With A Cause”. While I was reading the Danish version of the book I felt a disturbance. I wanted to go to the source – to read the original. But does the original exist? Isn’t everything just a copy of something else? It made me think about definitions of translation. For me a translation ought to be perceived as an independent piece of art. The transcript of text from one language to another is not a simple and innocent process. I reject the notion that a translated poem mirrors the original written poem, because a poem can only be written in another language through a transformation. But a successful translated poem has to be true to the intention of the poet and loyal to the language of the poem. What does this really mean? A translated poem must capture a similar bodily, psychological and linguistic sensation f