July 15, 2017

The Rest is Silence


"What if there existed a dialogue among the lifeforms of this earth from which we had excluded ourselves so totally that we no longer even believed it to exist? Could it be that dialogue which we still sense in dreams? Or in those rare moments of peace when the world seems in some sense to be revealed to us and to be proper and right?"
(Cormac McCarthy)

During the last few days, I have been in a continuous battle to find the perfect words. The words which describe the unconscious, the natural world, the cyclical time in which past-present and future are all the same, the words of the unspeakable world. How can you express them? The words of poetry and the words of war. The words of what humanity really is, in its pure wholeness.

There have been ages since my first encounter with McCarthy. It is an exhausting battle, as reading McCarthy has always been. With moments of complete hatred, when you wish from the bottom of the soul to quit and to throw away all his books and all the studies dedicated to him. Moments when you feel small and insignificant when you start to understand how this man’s mind has worked, but there are also moments when you feel sitting at a table with an old friend. Talking about Life. Talking about our favourite writers. You see, I enormously liked Faulkner and Hemingway, and I had never imagined that there is someone out there to play with their style and mix them and create something new. Moments when you sit at that long table and you learn to listen to el corridos, and to the silence. 

It takes a great deal of effort to understand Cormac McCarthy. A great deal of knowledge to see what he’s doing in his prose. And a great amount of insanity to work with his prose. But, as one translator put it,


"I would like to make it very clear that translating Cormac McCarthy would not be even thinkable without being in love with language, with words, with their colour, their dark, mesmerizing power. Why? The answer is simple. Because Cormac is Poetry. Epic, lyrical, whatever you call it, it is Poetry.” 

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