This week’s Translation Tuesday features microfiction by Gyrðir Elíasson. “The Viola Couple,” translated into a familiar monologue style by Mark Ioli, renders a melancholic protagonist in the throes of loss and ennui. What begins as a mindset typical of a sort of modernist masculinity slowly morphs as the character’s observations reverberate through the prose, changing the concerns from a self-conscious banalness into a metaphoric repose. The change in mood is expertly reflected by the expanding sentence length and conceptual language that increases in complexity. The story seems to suggest that what we focus on can help to shape thought and that singular problems appear different depending on the objects that we hold close to our psyches.
Dedicated to ÓJS
My cat isn’t dead, but he is on a hunger strike. It’s taking a toll on him. I bought him this premium food that was insanely expensive, but he wants nothing to do with it and demands his generic Bónus food back. It’s been several days, and we’re both locked in a battle of wills. No resolution is in sight. The cat mainly lies around inside on the couch, casting accusatory glances at me if I walk past him.
These have been trying times for me, both on account of the cat and various other things. I am alone (apart from the cat), and only those who have endured being alone for an extended period of time can understand the effect it has on your psyche.