Katherine M. Hedeen

translation is collusion 1
translation is cahoots 2
translation is concrete 3
translation is commute your language 4
translation is collaberration 5

1 [translation translates to anomaly deviation divergence abnormality irregularity variation digression freak rogue rarity quirk oddity curiosity eccentricity transgression mistake disorder defect disease instability derangement vagary.]

2 [translation translates to suspect second fiddle copycat counterfeit ditto clone fake fraud false imitation make-believe sham imposter flimflam.]

3 [translation translates to hardened loss found set in stone solidified calcified deep-dyed card-carrying with copious translator notes.]

4 [that kind of talk translates to exchange switch swap transform convert go back and forth drive drive drive.]

5 [There is one privilege in particular that speaks to modernity’s definition of the artist: inspiration. Although it dates back to the Muses and before, the modern idea of inspiration—that unexplainable gift bestowed on the artist—is often associated with the Romantics and lies at the heart of how creativity is defined. It is no coincidence that Romantic poetry and poetics also stressed originality and that imitation, once considered a beneficent and necessary corollary of creative genius, fell out of favor and was eclipsed by spontaneity and self-expression. (It is also no coincidence that all this comes about as the bourgeoisie solidifies its power and as capitalism becomes the dominant economic system in the West). Ultimately, inspiration legitimizes something as original, even though all creative work is always done in dialogue with other creative work.]

[Obscured behind the concept of the original is that of the individual. An original is created directly and personally by the artist; that from which a copy, reproduction, or translation is made; a work composed firsthand; and a person of fresh initiative or inventive capacity. Thus, to openly acknowledge collaboration, literally working together, is to challenge the individualism that is so much a part of the conventional rhetoric of creativity.]

[It is not about being recognized by those in power, nor is it about making sure that we as translators receive the same privileges as other artists, nor is it about inverting hierarchies. Those in power, those privileges, and those hierarchies are the problem. Recognizing collaboration means rejecting the old dichotomies of original / copy and productive / reproductive that we are so used to hearing as translators. Thus, it allows us to expose the myth of originality and to begin dismantling the hierarchical relationships implicit therein. It allows us to consider all art as collaboration, and ultimately, as an act of solidarity. We must redefine not only what an artist is but also the creative act.]

translator of poetry = poet = poet = translator of poetry