Albiach / Celan: Reading Across Languages
Authors: Donald Wellman
Publisher: Annex Press (2017)
Donald Wellman's new book of prose travels far: Antonio Gamoneda's poetry, "Earth Ergon" on the work of Derrida, his thoughts on translating Paul Celan, his musings on the art of translation, the work of French Poet Anne-Marie Albiach. This volume includes a new version of her poem : "après cela, moi j'ai regardé" translated by Wellman and Julian Kabza. Also included, a new work by Jean Daive, the author of Under the Dome (Burning Deck Press). Daive's reminiscence titled "Urgence et négation en réponse Anne-Marie Albiach et Paul Celan" is, in part, an extension of his earlier work on Celan.
"'My desire is to erase boundaries,' says Wellman, and in many ways, this book is an exploration of how language can aid that project. Based in consideration of translation, Wellman's musings pass through the lens of critical theory and continental philosophy, a lens that gathers diverse approaches and focuses them into a single, illuminating beam. At once erudite and intimate, autobiographical and analytical, Wellman effectively erases the distinction between text and translation, between writer and translator—and with a particularly graceful momentum that comes through in both his prose and his poetry."
"More than an appreciation of the two great poets, Donald Wellman's Albiach / Celan: Readings Across Languages, is a paean to the art of translation, with an emphasis on that word 'art.'...Throughout the book, Wellman chronicles the many ways his work in the art of translation has informed his own poetry over the years. The theoretical passages are often paused for personal interjections, and these liberties that he takes with the rules of genre give his work the feel of a poem, which is to say of specificity and untranslatability. If translation is a way of carrying the work across languages, then in that, it merely replicates the many crossings from self to other we must make in any language act. It is exactly the 'untranslatable' that we are obliged to translate."