Autumn is eating a leaf from my hand: we are friends.
We are picking time out of a nut, we teach it to run:
and time rushes back to its shell.

In the mirror it's Sunday,
in dreams people sleep,
the mouth tells the truth.

My eye descends to the sex of my loved one,
we gaze at each other,
we whisper out darkness,
we love one another like poppies and memory,
we sleep like wine in a seashell,
like the sea in the moon's bloody rays.

Embracing we stand by the window, and people look up from
    the street:
it is time that they knew!
It is time that the stone grew accustomed to blooming,
that unrest formed a heart.
It is time it was time.

It is time.

Paul Celan


Mùa Thu ăn chiếc lá từ tay tôi: Chúng tôi là bạn
Chúng tôi lấy thời gian ra khỏi hạt hạch
Chúng tôi dậy nó chạy
Và nó bèn vội vã trở về cái vỏ của nó

Trong tấm gương, đó là Chủ Nhật,
Trong những giấc mơ, mọi người ngủ
Cái miệng nói sự thực

Mắt tôi nhìn xuống cái sex của người yêu của tôi
Chúng tôi nhìn nhau
Chúng tôi thì thầm bóng tối
Hai đứa yêu nhau như anh túc và hồi nhớ
Hai đứa ngủ, như hồng đào trong cái vỏ sò
Như biển cả trong những tia máu của mặt trăng

Hai đứa ôm nhau, đứng bên cửa sổ
Và từ dưới phố mọi người ngước mắt lên nhìn
Đó là thời gian họ hiểu!
Đó là thời gian đá trở nên quen với chuyện nở rộ
Náo động tạo trái tim
Đó là thời gian, đã là thời gian

Tới giờ rồi

L'automne mange une feuille de ma main: nous sommes amis.
Nous prenons le temps d'une noix, nous lui apprenons à courir:
et le temps revient à sa coquille.

Dans le miroir c'est dimanche,
dans les rêves les gens dorment,
la bouche dit la vérité.

Mon œil descend au sexe de mon être cher,
nous nous regardons,
nous murmurons l'obscurité,
nous nous aimons comme des coquelicots et de la mémoire,
nous dormons comme du vin dans un coquillage,
comme la mer dans les rayons ensanglantés de la lune.

Embrassant nous nous tenons près de la fenêtre et les gens levent les yeux de
la rue:
il est temps qu'ils sachent!
Il est temps que la pierre se soit habituée à la floraison,
cette agitation formait un coeur.
Il est temps que ce soit le moment.

C'est l'heure.



Précis de decomposition, my first book written in French, was published in I949 by Gallimard. Five works of mine had been published in Romanian. In 1937, I arrived in Paris on a scholarship from the Bucharest Institut francais, and I have never left. It was only in I947, though, that I thought of giving up my native language. It was a sudden decision. Switching languages at the age of thirty-seven is not an easy undertaking. In truth, it is a martyrdom, but a fruitful martyrdom, an adventure that lends meaning to being (for which it has great need!). I recommend to anyone going through a major depression to take on the conquest of a foreign idiom, to reenergize himself, altogether to renew himself, through the Word. Without my drive to conquer French, I might have committed suicide. A language is a continent, a universe, and the one who makes it his is a conquistador. But let us get to the subject. ...
The German translation of the Précis proved difficult. Rowohlt, the publisher, had engaged an unqualified woman, with disastrous resuits. Someone else had to be found. A Romanian writer, Virgil Ierunca, who, after the war, had edited a literary journal in Romania, in which Celan's first poems were published, warmly recommended him. Celan, whom I knew only by name, lived in the Latin quarter, as did 1. Accepting my offer, Celan set to work and managed it with stunning speed. I saw him often, and it was his wish that I read closely along, chapter by chapter, as he progressed, offering possible suggestions. The vertiginous problems involved in translation were at that time foreign to me, and I was far from assessing the breadth of it. Even the idea that one might have a committed interest in it seemed rather extravagant to me. I was to experience a complete reversal, and, years later, would come to regard translation as an exceptional undertaking, as an accomplishment almost equal to that of the work of creation. I am sure, now, that the only one to understand a book thoroughly is someone who has gone to the trouble of translating it. As a general rule, a good translator sees more clearly than the author, who, to the extent that he is in the grips of his work, cannot know its secrets, thus its weaknesses and its limits. Perhaps Celan, for whom words were life and death, would have shared this position on the art of translation.
In 1978, when Klett was reprinting Lehre vom Zerfall (the German Précis), I was asked to correct any errors that might exist. I was unable to do it myself, and refused to engage anyone else. One does not correct Celan. A few months before he died, he said to me that he would like to review the complete text. Undoubtedly, he would have made numerous revisions, since, we must remember, the translation of the Précis dates back to the beginning of his career as a translator. It is really a wonder that a noninitiate in philosophy dealt so extraordinarily well with the problems inherent in an excessive, even provocative, use of paradox that characterizes my book.
Relations with this deeply torn being were not simple. He clung to his biases against one person or another, he sustained his mistrust, all the more so because of his pathological fear of being hurt, and everything hurt him. The slightest indelicacy, even unintentional, affected him irrevocably. Watchful, defensive against what might happen, he expected the same attention from others, and abhorred the easygoing attitude so prevalent among the Parisians, writers or not. One day, I ran into him in the street. He was in a rage, in a state nearing despair, because X, whom he had invited to have dinner with him, had not bothered to come. Take it easy, I said to him, X is like that, he is known for his don't-give-a-damn attitude. The only mistake was expecting him. Celan, at that time, was living very simply and having no luck at all finding a decent job. You can hardly picture him in an office. Because of his morbidly sensitive nature, he nearly lost his one opportunity.
The very day that I was going to his home to lunch with him, I found out that there was a position open for a German instructor at the Ecole normale supérieure, and that the appointment of a teacher would be imminent. I tried to persuade Celan that it was of the utmost importance for him to appeal vigorously to the German specialist in whose hands the matter resided. He answered that he would not do anything about it, that the professor in question gave him the cold shoulder, and that he would for no price leave himself open to rejection, which, according to him, was certain. Insistence seemed useless.
Returning home, it occurred to me to send him by pneumatique, a message in which I pointed out to him the folly of allowing such an opportunity to slip away. Finally he called the professor, and the matter was settled in a few minutes. "I was wrong about him," he told me later. I won't go so far as to propose that he saw a potential enemy in every man; however, what was certain was that he lived in fear of disappointment or outright betrayal. His inability to be detached or cynical made his life a nightmare. I will never forget the evening I spent with him when the widow of a poet had, out of literary jealousy, launched an unspeakably vile campaign against him in France and Germany, accusing him of having plagiarized her husband. "There isn't anyone in the world more miserable than I am," Celan kept saying. Pride doesn't soothe fury, even less despair.
Something within him must have been broken very early on, even before the misfortunes which crashed down upon his people and himself. I recall a summer afternoon spent at his wife's lovely country place, about forty miles from Paris. It was a magnificent day.
Everything invoked relaxation, bliss, illusion. Celan, in a lounge chair, tried unsuccessfully to be lighthearted. He seemed awkward, as if he didn't belong, as though that brilliance was not for him. What can I be looking for here? he must have been thinking. And, in fact, what was he seeking in the innocence of that garden, this man who was guilty of being unhappy, and condemned not to find his place anywhere? It would be wrong to say that I felt truly ill at ease; nevertheless, the fact was that everything about my host, including his smile, was tinged with a pained charm, and something like a sense of nonfuture.
Is it a privilege or a curse to be marked by misfortune? Both at once. This double face defines tragedy. So Celan was a figure, a tragic being. And for that he is for us somewhat more than a poet .
E. M. Cioran, "Encounters with Paul Celan," in Translating Tradition: Paul Celan in France, edited by Benjamin Hollander (San Francisco: ACTS 8/9,1988): 151-52.
Is it a privilege or a curse to be marked by misfortune? Both at once. This double face defines tragedy. So Celan was a figure, a tragic being. And for that he is for us somewhat more than a poet .
Đặc quyền, hay trù ẻo, khi nhận "ân sủng" của sự bất hạnh?
Liền tù tì cả hai!
Cái bộ mặt kép đó định nghĩa thế nào là bi kịch.
Và như thế, Celan là 1 hình tượng, một con người bi thương.
Và như thế, ông bảnh hơn nhiều, chứ không "chỉ là 1 nhà thơ"!

"Celan est malade – Il est incurable"
(Celan bịnh. Vô phương cứu chữa).

"Trong cuốn sách căn lều,
Nhìn ngôi sao con suối,
Và ở nơi trái tim,
Hy vọng
Một lời sẽ tới"

(Dans le livre de la hutte,
avec un regard sur l’étoile de la fontaine,
avec, au coeur,
l’espoir d’une parole à venir)


Celan, Linda Lê, René Char… là những tác giả ruột của Thầy Đạo, và, bây giờ, thêm NL. 

Mới thấy viết về Celan
NL thì Gấu chưa biết, lý do nào anh cảm thơ Celan, nhưng riêng Thầy Đạo, Gấu thực sự không tin Thầy đọc nổi Celan, hay Linda Lê.
Tại sao? Thì đọc những gì mà Cioran, hay Derrida, hay Coetzee viết về họ, là hiểu.
Văn chương của họ là thứ mấp mé bờ điên loạn, tự tử, hoặc sống sót Lò Thiêu, hoặc mang trong họ xác chết, làm sao đọc, với 1 kẻ bình thường như Gấu, hoặc Thầy Đạo, hà, hà!
Thầy Đạo dịch Linda Lê, đăng trên talawas, bị 1 vị độc giả của trang này chê dài dài.
Còn Gấu, thì chẳng đã thú nhận không đọc được văn Linda Lê, với Blog NL và độc giả của blog này, nhưng lại rất ư là mê tiểu luận của Bà.
Tiếc mấy bài viết trong mục "Trở về với những tác giả cổ
điển", của bà, mất hết, do Cô Út làm từ thiện, chủ yếu, để cho Bố không còn cặm cụi với cái máy PC.
Già rồi, chơi với cháu đủ vui rồi, tại làm sao mà lại tự làm khổ mình như thế!

Và trên hết, bạn không đủ “căn” thì đừng đọc họ!
Tại sao mà lại làm khổ mình như thế!

Bịp chứ tại làm sao nữa. Gấu, không đọc được ai là phán liền tù tì.
Không bịp mình, bịp thiên hạ!


Vì đọc thơ, vấn đề không phải là hiểu. Thơ không phải là để hiểu. Cũng không phải để "cảm", như một trường phái dạy dỗ ngày nay hay rao giảng (đọc thơ không phải là để được hưởng một cơn động kinh). Đọc thơ, trước hết, là nhìn. Có nhìn thấy, thì tức là có đọc được.

Căng, nhể!


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