Archive for the 'Translation' Category

Equestrian statue

The story below is from a small collection by the Danish author Peter Adolphsen called ‘Små historier 2’ – Little stories 2. The translation is very unofficial and quickly made.

Here it goes:

Equestrian Statue
– Recipe of a sculpture

For this work of art is needed an equestrian statue made of bronze, appx. 20 electro-motors with cords and operating system, one sturdy steel pipe, nuts and so on.

All joints of man and horse are cut off, the neck of the rider, his shoulders, wrists, the horse’s ears, legs, tail etc., all places where it is possible and aesthetically appropriate. An electro-motor is installed in each of the cut-off joints so that it holds together the two parts and drives the one of them round. They revolve first the one way and then the other so that the cords – that are drawn on the inside of the statue and down through a steel pipe – will not become twisted. All motors drive slowly, but each at its own pace, to the effect that the finished statue once set in motion will never repeat exactly the same posture.

As regards the technical exhibition accessories, title of the sculpture, reflections reproduced on plates and in interviews, it is up to individual taste and temperament whether one will stress the status of the equestrian statue as a symbol of power in the history of art and claim that its unnatural movement is an illustration of art’s traditional surrender to the biddings of power, whether one will claim that the partially portrayed hollowness of the statue contributes to the old debate of shell and matter, or if one will let the visual impression stand alone to form a more naked presentation.

It is also up to the individual whether the sculpture should be in constant motion or be set in motion by the audience’s turning of a switch. Note that the latter solution appeals to children.

Peter Adolphsen
(I translated this from his “Små historier 2” (Little Stories, 2), Samleren, Copenhagen, 2000

The Anatomical Drawing

I was talking to Christina, my partner, the other night about donation of organs and other remains for the common good. Should I donate my organs? This would mean that in case of brain death, doctors would ‘terminate’ me slowly, while transferring organs to needy people. It might mean that my death would be somewhat less solemn and devoted for my loved ones. But my answer is Yes.

Should doctors also be allowed to take not only organs, but also other parts; say the cornea. Hm. Well. Yes, again. But then, should I donate all the rest of bodily remains to science. I don’t know. I really don’t know. But the question reminded me of a beautiful little story by the Danish author Peter Seeberg, The Anatomical Drawing. I tried to translate it, so here goes:

Continue reading ‘The Anatomical Drawing’

Rostrum of Fate

Rostrum of Fate

Speak not of
great nations and small nations
peripheries, corners of the world and fringes.

This is a ball; the middle
is under the soles of your feet
and moves itself and follows
you, no matter where you go.

Here is the land
where the continents correspond
in their search for silence and stone.

Behold the glacier
how it waddles through the skyblue
like a polar bear on its way through the world.

In the dream a gate opens
and darkness comes streaming
like tears through sleep.

Here is the land
where time comes tumbling
like a newspaper through a letter slot,
but there is no subscriber,
no room behind it
only a yawning abyss
in which the stars shine.

When we sink to the bottom
in the dark swamp of night
we pull ourselves up again by the hair.

The Milky Way
is a street in a little fishing village,

fate is a net
laying itself over the houses,
we make our toasts
with the abyss of the sea between us.

The northern lights
flame where we walk.

(Einar Már Gudmundsson)

Continue reading ‘Rostrum of Fate’