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In Her New Book, Anna Moschovakis Translates Algerian Poet Samira Negrouche

By Harriet Staff


At BOMB today, Anna Moschovakis’s stunning, “often corrupt” translations of a 20-part poem by Algerian poet and translator Samira Negrouche, who lives and works in Algiers. “Flat White (20/20)” is “interspersed with twenty interjections in response to both the original and the act of translation itself. This work is part of They and We Will Get into Trouble for This, just released by Coffee House Press.”

An excerpt of “Flat White (20/20)” is below; read it all here.

{ 13 }

That which predisposes toward an encounter that which is meant by the argument against a private /\ language that which is presented as an argument against empathy that which joins the passions into a com /\ passion when I translate your words using nonhuman means into an alphabet whose calligraphy I don’t know I have reason /\ to question /\ the accuracy of the result especially words like sex and ruins like Pagan like incest like rapist and suspicion I am willing to be wrong I stand / corrected most of the time Samira I would prefer not to be wrong / about certain /\ terms /\ among them ‘night sweats’ with which I am \ familiar thanks to my / thanks to everyone’s /\ condition.

{ 14 }

first must you things banal most the write to that say I
the of //\/\/\ your of ////\\/\ your of \/\/\/\/ your of write
\/\/\/\/ and /\/\/\/\// of \/\/\/\\\ of /\/\/\/ of \/\/ of love
//\/\//\/ the of \/\//\//\\ the of and \/\/\/\/\/ \/\// and /\/\\/ of
of \//\ the of //\/\/\\ of \/\/\///\/\ of //\/\\/\//\/\ of \/\// of /\/\/ of
of and \/\/\/\/ //\/\/\ and \/\/\/\\\ the of /\/\\////\/\/ of \/\/
before banal almost //\//\/\/\/\/\//\ is this of all say I \/\/ the

{ 15 }

I say the future will be bitter I did not say better say better
/ Samira do you ever start writing \ one \ and end up /\ static / with another \/ other.

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Posted in Poetry News on Tuesday, March 15th, 2016 by Harriet Staff.