translation for calin – andrei mihailescu

by Andrei Codrescu

Exile is the most radical form of translation
writes Calin – Andrei Mihailescu in “Happy New Fear”
an English – titled book in Romanian
that will never be translated into English
excepting the above line because Calin
writes in rhapsodic idiomatic punning lingo
in a Romanian resembling a wolf with seven teats
from which hang the other seven languages he is
Romulus and Remus – type pups ready to build cities
I mean essays about time – travel in the tunnel
between languages that I have traveled myself
a few times but didn’t really frequent like Calin
who has a sleeping bag there and knows all the bums
some of whom are fashion models he writes odes to
many of them Czech who have read Hrabal and Kundera
and can sleep anywhere if the stories are funny
and so yes translation is just how one lives with oneself
from minute to minute from home to street from street
to office from office to the bar and to bed and in dreams
and each moment has its own language that puts it in the next
moment in another language made complicated by style
which is the design of alienation residing in orthography
or hesitant speech while translating oneself or others
thus to write on translation is to translate and to write
in language that cannot be translated is to be totally great
a state only Czech girls in sleeping bags can and do love