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On the Translations (article) - Slovenia - Poetry International
 
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On the Translations

 

 

The text chosen for the original was the 1967 edition lntegrali '26, edited by Ancon Ocvirk (Srecko Kosovel, Integrali '26, ed. A. Ocvirk, Ljubljana: CZT "Ljudska pravica", Cankarjeva zalozba, Trst: Zaloznistvo trzaskega tiska, 1967), however, we did take into account all the critical remarks concerning the editing of the text made by Alfonz Gspan (A. Gspan, Neznani Secko Kosovel: Neobjavljeno gradivo iz pesnikove zapuscine ter kriticne pripombe h Kosovelovemu Zbranemu delu in lntegralom. A special reprint from the review Prostor in cas '), no. 8-12, 1973), and notes and corrections by Anton Ocvirk in Srecko Kosovel's Collected Works (Sreèko Kosovel, Zbrano delo II, ed. A. Ocvirk, Ljubljana: Državna Založba Slovenije, 1974.). Integrali '26 was the first of the two versions offered to the Slovene public and the only one where an attempt was made to preserve or create also the visual aspect of Kosovel's work with expressive use of typography. We thought that this visual aspect was an essential part of Kosovel's work or at least of the image Integrals has had in the eyes of Slovene public since its First appearance. Therefore, despite some of its flaws, we decided on this version.

The text chosen for the original was the 1967 edition lntegrali '26, edited by Ancon Ocvirk (Srecko Kosovel, Integrali '26, ed. A. Ocvirk, Ljubljana: CZT "Ljudska pravica", Cankarjeva založba, Trst: Založništvo tržaškega tiska, 1967), however, we did take into account all the critical remarks concerning the editing of the text made by Alfonz Gspan (A. Gspan, Neznani Secko Kosovel: Neobjavljeno gradivo iz pesnikove zapušcine ter kriticne pripombe h Kosovelovemu Zbranemu delu in lntegralom. A specialreprint from the review Prostor in cas '), no. 8-12, 1973), and notes and corrections by Anton Ocvirk in Srecko Kosovel's Collected Works (Srecko Kosovel, Zbrano delo II, ed. A. Ocvirk, Ljubljana: Državna Založba Slovenije, 1974.). Integrali '26 was the first of the two versions offered to the Slovene public and the only one where an attempt was made to preserve or create also the visual aspect of Kosovel's work with expressive use of typography. We thought that this visual aspect was an essential part of Kosovel's work or at least of the image Integrals has had in the eyes of Slovene public since its First appearance. Therefore, despite some of its flaws, we decided on this version.

The present translation of Srecko Kosovel's Integrals is the result of the close collaboration of two Slovene translators Katarina Jerin and Nike Kocijancic Pokorn with Philip Burt, who acted as stylistic advisor on thetranslated versions. All the translated poems were thus supervised by Philip Burt, while the translation from Slovene into English was divided between the two Slovene translators. The poems translated by each individual Slovene translator are marked in the cable of contents.

Our strategy was to create the impossible: namely to keep "the meaning" and also to convey the rhythm, melody and rhymes of the original. Also, we all thought that the formal aspect of Kosovel's work is of theutmost importance and therefore tried to recreate the form as "faithfully" as possible, although the message of the original was given priority over the formal aspects of the work. It became clear, however, that certain aspects will — as always — inevitable be lost in translation.

Kosovel himself considered the form of a poem an integral part of its meaning, as he often expressed in his work. The form of his poems is almost a living organism, deconstructing and evolving in unusual andsurprising ways. He used rhythm and rhyme sparingly and cautiously to avoid form for form's sake and thus made them all the more effective. Often his apparently disconnected thoughts are suddenly brought together with a single abrupt, ironic rhyme at the end, giving the form of the poem an additional message.

Since, because of the diverse and experimental nature of Kosovel's poetry, we couldn't set any consistent translation strategy, we eventually decided to approach each poem as a separate challenge and tried to findsolutions we felt worked best for the individual poem. We attempted to follow the intertwining of meaning and form as closely as possible but were sometimes forced to sacrifice one for the other, again on a poem topoem basis, in order to make a poem work in translation.

Finally, we would like to express our gratitude to Dr Tom Ložar who read early versions of some of the poems and made many acute and helpful observations. We thank him for his help and encouragement.This edition is the first translation into English of the integral text of Integrali '26, but it is our sincere hope that it is not the last one. We would not wish our understanding of this part of Kosovel's work to be the only one presented to the English reading public, in fact, we hope that our reading of this collection will soon trigger someone else to offer his/her alternative view of this rich corpus.

© Nike Kocijancic Pokorn, Philip Burt, Katarina Jerin  
 
 
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