PEN America Blog
As an interpreter I’m a bit of a stage mother, pushing the writer or director for whom I’m interpreting to jump into the conversation (Forza! Dai! Sfondi! I whisper). The authors I translate are like house-guests. I don’t let them sleep with me: they get the sofa bed.
After all, our prime minister has been complaining about this so-called art for a long time. Art is beautiful and esthetic, it’s pleasant to the eye and ear, it moves the human spirit. But in the name of so-called art, things are created that are ugly, coarse, dangerous and provocative, making people brood, promoting terrorism.
A writer like Nadine Gordimer is rare. She was one of those great ones who challenged the human faculty for reading because her writing never conformed to the norms of the practice but rather was constantly reaching forwards into realms of possibilities.
No torsos, no chests, no bellies, just eyes that gazed at her, craved her, carved her into something unnatural, something ugly and immortal. Mailin chased this version of herself in the mirrors. The body always deformed, resembling not a peach, but a stalk - inedible and tough.
Time isn’t kind to objects like an “Employee of the Month” award or an “In honor of your service” plaque, which are objects meaningful to only one specific person in one specific place or time.