The Task of the Magic Translator

I’ve completed 1,000 words of a magic translation and I’m thinking of Walter Benjamin. He says that a translation “issues from the afterlife” of the original. For him the translated work causes a “flowering” of the origin text. How wonderful it is to be part of a text’s reincarnation. Now when I sit down to work, I see modest new buds sprouting from the original. They render at least part of the spirit of the text visible, blooming, in a language that will always be connected to its roots. By the end, I can only hope to have added life to one of many enchanted gardens.

Illustration for E.T.A. Hoffmann’s “The Golden Pot” made by Indre Selenyte

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