günün çevirisi

these days my translator bones are itching really bad. i have this desire to find some texts i love and which have not yet been translated and  then translate them. i probably want the sense of accomplishment that comes with having finished something but also having contributed something that wasn’t there before. since originality is quite impossible in writing, this is as close as one gets. there is no doubt that every translation is an original, there can be none other like it. this is something one cannot guarantee with other kinds of writing. and yes you got the hint. i am suggesting that translation is a genre of writing. it is also a way of being. and a philosophy. i’m reading this first novel in turkish called unutma beni apartmanı / forget-me-not aparment? / anyhow there is this section about translation and its value that i really liked. i don’t have the book with me now. so i’ll quote it later.

this piece i came across while reading a reading list for women writers. it was in one of the recommended readings. and it was something i forgot i had.  an awkward little book by margaret atwood. a book of short fictions and prose poems. she has this one section which neither feels like fiction or prose poetry but like a short list of aphorisms concerning women novelists. or rather the patriarchal novelists tradition. i was thinking that on the whole this book feels like a book of aphorisms. of course entries are a bit longer than aphorisms. but still it makes me feel like jumping to conclusions and saying something like “men write aphorisms women write short fictions and prose poetry” :)

so here it goes. the turkish first and then the english.

Margaret Atwood’un kısa kurgular ve kafiyesiz şiirlerden oluşan Karanlıkta Cinayet kitabından…

Zehir Yapmak

Ben yeş yaşındayken, erkek kardeşim ve ben zehir yapmıştık. O zamanlar bir şehirde yaşıyorduk, ama şehirde yaşamasak bile muhtemelen yine de zehri yapardık. Zehri başka birinin evinin altındaki bir boya tenekesinde saklıyorduk ve aklımıza gelen tüm zehirli şeyleri içine dolduruyorduk: şapkalı mantarlar, ölü fareler, kuş üvezi meyveleri–ki bunlar zehirli olmayabilirdi ama öyle görünüyorlardı–, boya tenekesine eklemek için biriktirdiğimiz çiş. Teneke dolduğunda artık içindeki her şey çok zehirliydi.

Sorun şuydu ki bir kere zehri yaptık mı onu öylece orada bırakamazdık. Onunla bir şey yapmamız gerekiyordu. Onu hiçkimsenin yemeğine koymak istemiyorduk, ama bir amaç istiyorduk, bir nihayet. Yeterince nefret ettiğimiz hiçkimse yoktu, zorluk buradaydı.

Sonunda zehirle ne yaptığımızı hatırlayamıyorum. Onu ahşaptan yapılmış kahverengimsi sarı evin köşesinin altında mı bıraktık? Birine mi fırlattık, zararsız çocuğun birine? Bir yetişkine yapmayı göze alamazdık. Aklımda kalan şu resim gerçek mi?: Gözyaşları ve kırmızı meyveyle sırılsıklam olmuş küçük bir yüz, zehrin gerçekten de zehirli olduğununun ani bilgisi. Yoksa zehri attık mı? O kırmızı meyvelerin bir yağmur oluğundan aşağı kanala doğru yüzdüğünü mü hatırlıyorum? Masum muyum?

Ama daha en başta neden zehir yapmıştık? Karıştırmanın ve eklemenin verdiği keyfi hatırlıyorum, bir tılsım ve marifet hissi. Zehir yapmak pasta yapmak kadar eğlencelidir. İnsanlar zehir yapmaktan hoşlanır. Eğer bunu anlamıyorsanız hiçbir zaman bir şey anlamayacaksınız.

MAKING POISON

When I was five my brother and I made poison. We were living in a city then, but we probably would have made the poison anyway. We kept it in a paint can under somebody else’s house and we put all the poisonous things into it that we could think of: toadstools, dead mice, mountain ash berries which may not have been poisonous but looked it, piss which we saved up in order to add it to the paint can. By the time the can was full everything in it was very poisonous.

The problem was that once having made the poison we couldn’t just leave it there. We had to do something with it. We didn’t want to put it into anyone’s food, but we wanted an object, a completion. There was no one we hated enough, that was the difficulty.

I can’t remember what we did with the poison in the end. Did we leave it under the corner of the house, which was made of wood and brownish yellow? Did we throw it at someone, some innocuous child? We wouldn’t have dared an adult. Is this a true image I have, a small face streaming with tears and red berries, the sudden knowledge that the poison was really poisonous after all? Or did we throw it out, do I remember those red berries floating down a gutter, into a culvert, am I innocent?

Why did we make the poison in the first place? I can remember the glee with which we stirred and added, the sense of magic and accomplishment. Making poison is as much fun as making a cake. People like to make poison. If you don’t understand this you will never understand anything.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s