Category Archives: Translation

Oh brother, where have all the translations gone? To no man’s land!

When Marcus Roloff asked me to translate some of his poems into English for publication in Germany, it took me a whole millisecond to agree.

Marcus lives as a writer and antiquarian bookseller in Frankfurt am Main, Germany.

His recently published collection im toten winkel des goldenen schnitts (gutleut verlag) is an amazing book, both poetically and typographically. Marcus writes the way I’d imagine Pantha du Prince songs circa 2004 would read if all the notes were words. What I’m trying to say is that Marcus is the kind of poet who went out into the desert and came back to the city with a more expansive Truth and a de-centred self, clandestine urban operettas and a big ole bassline.

We’d previously worked together translating his work for the first edition of The Diamond & the Thief.

no man’s land features first-ever translations of fiction and poetry by some of the finest writers working in German today. It’s a virtual no man’s land between languages and cultures – one which, like the former no man’s land of the Berlin Wall, is now open for exploration. no man’s land’s partner magazine lauter niemand has been a fixture of Berlin’s alternative literary scene since 1996.

My translations of Marcus’ poems my gleiwitz and bora appear in issue 5.

Oh(!) and just quietly, when I found out Ann Cotten launched issue 5 the other night in Berlin, I swooned with disbelief. Oh me, oh my! Ann Cotten!

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Filed under Germany, Poetry, Published, Translation

Inducted into the Deutsches Literaturarchiv

The Deutsches Literaturarchiv (German Literature Archive) recently contacted English-language / German (and occasionally Spanish) multi-lingual online literary and art journal regal 8 // shelf 8 with a proposal to permanently and independently archive the journal for its literary and artistic merit.

The process of induction into the archive has commenced.  Christoph Lebies will not be happy when he finds out.

Located in Marbach am Neckar in Baden-Württemberg, the Deutsches Literaturarchiv awesomely describes itself as:

Das Deutsche Literaturarchiv Marbach ist eine der bedeutendsten Literaturinstitutionen weltweit. In seinen Sammlungen vereinigt und bewahrt es eine Fülle kostbarster Quellen der Literatur- und Geistesgeschichte. Es dient der Literatur, der Bildung und der Forschung.

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The German Literature Archive Marbach is the most important literary institution in the world.  Its collections bring together and store a wealth of the most valuable wells of literary and cultural history.   Its purpose is for literature, research and development.

Note: Geistesgeschichte is untranslatable.  It’s a branch of study on the undercurrents of cultural manifestations, within a people’s history, that are specific to a period of time.  Blam!  So awesome.

The best in the world!  A wealth of wells!  These guys don’t mess around.  And neither should we.

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Filed under Fiction, Journal, Poetry, Published, Translation

Paint the leaves red, these cats hold hands

The cats who hold it down for the English-language / Japanese translation bi-lingual literary scene are one brazen gang of rowdies and ruffians led by a Battlecat-riding He-Man of a master of the universe, come down to us from Eternia pulsing from power granted by Grayskull.

I’m talkin’ ’bout editor and author Mississippi Kirk A.C. Marshall, of course.

With Australia’s first (and only) English-language / Japanese translation bilingual literary journal Red Leaves/ Koyo about to ignite the passions of young and fiesty men and sending fair women across two countrysides into a swoon, Mississippi croaked into my ear-piece demanding urgent lyrics for promotional purposes.  (A story of mine appears in the journal.)

Thus was born(e) I don’t hurry overnight, birthed onto a Red Leaves bookmark, demarcating words of mine translated into Japanese for the first time.

I don’t hurry

Way out past the ship masts
that look like fakirs’ beds
of needles in the harbour,

ship lights blink like Christmas lights
on the gutter of the sea.

Whoever hung those lights did a sh*tty job.

I would not be proud of my house
if my Christmas lights looked like that.

If we tried to swim out there, I’d say
There they go who know; they might not
have a dollar to their names,
but they sure got a lot of sense.

And everybody’d chuckle.

Let’s swim out into the night with
one stroke for the lonely-hearted,
one stroke for the left-behinds.

I’ll keep watch
to see if we make headway,
occasionally shout directions,
but my goodness, will they listen,
those fools?

Sweep me up wind and carry me within earshot.

I don’t hurry for heaven.
So what?  I don’t hurry.

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Filed under Australia, Journal, Poetry, Translation