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Translating Communities

Picking up on a thread from the last Brooklyn Rail Critics Page, about haunting, and who and what haunts you, I first think of André Breton’s Nadja and its beginning: “Who am I? If this once I were to rely on a proverb, then perhaps everything would amount to knowing whom I ‘haunt.’”

Sound of the Sky

My friend Mary Ann asked me to write some words on translating art. To me, translating art and translating nature are not so very different.

Art Story

Looking back, I think I started reading stories about art because I tired of eros and arate. In the wrath of The Iliad or Woolf’s The Waves, through the passion of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet or Nabokov’s Lolita, humanity’s highs and lows were exhausting.

Antoni Muntadas and Translation

In the Cibachrome image entitled “On Translation: The Bank” (1997 – 2002), a rare collectible in this artist’s oeuvre, Muntadas evokes an economic aspect of translation.

Dorrit Black’s Bridge, Leaping the Gap

Translators have at least this in common with dentists: the art of building bridges. Finding ways of bridging the gaps between languages and cultures, forging a passage from one set of linguistic assumptions to another, arching across shoals and pitfalls, we try to make ideas, humor, and preconceptions accessible to those for whom they may otherwise remain unattainable.

Palace Art Squat

In 1977, a construction crew conducting excavation work in the courtyard of the Banque Française du Commerce Extérieur in Paris uncovered a cache of buried limestone.

Guardi’s Balloon

A crowd has assembled beneath the soaring portico of the Dogana da Mar. Children and dignified-looking adults in cloaks and pointed hats stand in clusters, shadows on their backs, gazing across the San Marco basin. What spectacle holds them rapt?

…art translated

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 – 1827) and Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (1780 – 1867) stand as colossi between two epochs. With limitless reinvention and self-contradiction, the two of them translate the Classic into the Romantic, without losing one iota of the original’s meaning.

Ekphrastic Poem

What happened? Let me not. / The marriage of two minds admits impediments. / True, and love is not love. / Which alters? When does alteration find? / I bend with the remover.

Two Poems

Sarah Plimpton was born in New York City and divides her time between New York and France. She attended Smith College, Harvard Medical School, and Pratt Institute in Manhattan.


The Brooklyn Rail

NOV 2014

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