For a special issue on translation—in the broadest sense of the word—we welcome stories, poems, and essays that either exemplify translation as practice or meditate on translation as phenomenon.
In 1772, the twenty-six-year-old violinmaker Henry Whiteside began to build a lighthouse on a pile of rocks twenty miles off the coast of Pembrokeshire, Wales, called the Smalls. His design was unusual; the light perched on top of eight oak piers like the head of a stiff-legged octopus. Rather than making a solid base, Whiteside reasoned, he would let the force of the waves pass through the structure. But when the waves did so, the living quarters swayed violently; one visitor reported that a full bucket of water was half empty by the time he left. The force of the storm made each thing—bucket, glass, stove, table—resonant; it bent the lighthouse, shaping it into an instrument of music.
Tung-Hui Hu’s lyrical take on nineteenth-century life in a lighthouse off the coast of Wales, Craig McDaniel on color and perspective in Bonnard, Molly McQuade on Wim Wender’s tribute to Pina Bausch, Jeffrey Meyers on Thomas Mann in America.
Fiction by Mimi Herman, Sharona Muir, Dina Nayeri, Dalia Rosefeld, Charles Antin, Bipin Aurora, and Donald Yates.
Poetry by Angie Estes, Patricia Clark, Chris Cunningham, Sarah Messer, Nance Van Winckel, and Mark Wunderlich.
by Gina Balibrera
After reading the book, I pushed it on everyone I knew who might be familiar with eros the bittersweet, with injury, with morbid-hearted love, with ekphrastic inclination, with lust, with loneliness, with bitter laughter, with red wine, with weeping. (An archaic definition for the term “blue-eyed,” relayed by Maggie Nelson: 91…“a blueness or dark circle around the eye, from weeping or other cause.” ) “Heartbreak is a spondee (42.),” I heard myself telling strangers. Twice in one week, I wore pants in a color that shimmered between sapphire and cobalt, and on one of those occasions, I spilled a little wine and later on discovered the butterfly-shaped bone of my hip tinged blue. Bluets came out in 2009; clearly, I’m late to the party.
by Claire Skinner
Maybe we writers write because, at the bone of it, we’re eternal students. We thrive on learning, on discovering new angles from which to view the same old things: Love, Death, Time, and God. (After all, a metaphor—the writer’s version of a Vegas marquee—is simply a writer’s tool to get you, the reader, to see life differently.) But, to spend all one’s time thinking about Love, Death, Time, and God, and pondering how to write about Love, Death, Time, and God, and actually writing about Love, Death, Time, and God—well, that’s another thing entirely.