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Derrida: "the . . . task of the translator--his madness, his
agony, the aporias he confronts--proceeds away from some initial
strangeness, from the gap already opened in the idiom of the
original text." This gap of sense already present in the text of
origin and which determines the different aporias of translating--
this is part of what I'd like to call "partage of realities", the
sharing of a binding division of meaning and sense--a crucial
compromise that can be found in the piece translated, complicated
reflection of the relation between the act of translating and the
singular idiocy the translator brings to the task--and permanent
sign of the semantic/phonic discontinuities between languages.
What is it then the madness that binds me to this task.
In translating my first instinct--my first gesture--is one
of pleasure--the pleasure of playing a stammering game of
language in the moulding and sinking (the untranslatable
"fondersi e affondarsi") of each single syllable into its new
sense--in the rounding and singing of each preposition into a new
tongue of fusion in which each respective language meets the
other transcending its internal and external boundaries.
This is the logic of infra-modal translation--a modality
marked by a movement of destinerrance (a term I borrow from John
P. Leavey)--a semantic and phonetic errancy sustained as if by
Destinerrance (errancy as destination and errancy of
destination) is the nomadic search for a third sense between two
languages--a sense that finally floats away, in the translated
piece, as Benjamin's vessel, indifferently adrift between two
Indifferent to--yet belonging to--both languages, the sense
of the translation responds to the singular category of
"whatever" (LAT.: quod libet ITAL.: qualunque)--whereas the
"common form" engendered by the "idiocy" of the "whatever" would
thus be the finished translation. Agamben:
It is from the hundred idiosyncracies that characterize my way of writing the letter P or of pronouncing this phoneme that its common form is engendered. Common and proper, genus and individual are only two slopes dropping down from either side of the watershed of whatever . . . and precisely this is the idiocy, in other words, the singularity of the whatever.
Working with Martin Spinelli on the use of pronouns and
monosyllabic prepositions in Balestrini's Ipocalisse --I've been
often reminded of Lacoue-Labarthe's words on the work of
translation, consisting, as he says, in "repeating the unuttered
of . . . [the] text's very utterance". Indeed in translating these
infra-modal sonnets we confronted a poetics that creates
unuttered utterances, a poetics that--cutting or breaking the
sentence up in its minutest components (lexemes, morphemes,
syllables, phonemes)--leaves the individual pieces loose in the
text, free agencies of meaning on the brink of the line.
Such concrete operations of "cutting", eating away, eroding
the grounds of ordinary--full--signification, are characteristic
of much of Nanni Balestrini's poetry, but in _Ipocalisse_ the
research of the sense of each line against the obtuse force of
ordinary sentences constructs a lyrical universe that bears the
fragile fascination of a surreal fairy tale--a story of imaginary
leaps outside the boundaries of the given.
Giorgio Agamben. The Coming Community.
Jacques Derrida. "Desistance", introduction to Typography.
Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe. Typography.
John P. Leavey, Jr. "Destinerrance" in Deconstruction and Philosophy.
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