Write me: rjn@richardjnewman.com
from <i>Others Will Enter the Gates: Immigrant Poets on Poetry, Influences, and Writing in America</i>

In the begin­ning there was trans­la­tion. With­out it there’s no expres­sion, not even gene expres­sion, no life. Even the untrans­lat­able is func­tion­al, vital for the process. To splice one must first excise. Mem­o­ry, with its tri­dent of recall, imag­i­na­tion and trans­for­ma­tion is translation’s muse and tax­on­o­my. Mem­o­ry is some­times uncon­scious cog­ni­tion, oth­er times absence. In an inte­gra­tive age, grid and matrix rename the prongs, erect iso­mers or chasms, employ cat­a­log, entropy or the enzy­mat­ic for reproduction’s sake. Not all cre­ation is equal. We’re not all but­ter­flies. Mean­ing burns us as we burn it. Our predilec­tion is repli­ca­tion and mim­ic­ry.

 

—Fady Joudah, “In the Name of The Let­ter, The Spir­it & The Dou­ble Helix”

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