A celebration of the writing of Ilse Aichinger
CP Reader’s Union at Austrian Cultural Forum, 8 March 2016
translation, friendship – a sequence of two words that has friendship immediately following on from translation, yet pause for a while, read the words more than twice. The comma, that smallest of marks, is inserting a time that does something to the order of things. Unlike the conjunction ‘and’ that separates as it conjoins, the comma retains a nearness, an excessive nearness.
A translation of a text from one language into another is an act of friendship, and friendship is founded upon nothing other than sharing, sharing common sensations and the same sweetness of existing – translation, friendship share sharing.
The presence of a comma gives us the time to enjoy this excessive nearness, a sharing itself. Here time is sparkling as past and present are brought into proximity with each other; the past, no longer found in the past, bursts into the present.
To celebrate the writings of Ilse Aichinger and the recent Copy Press publication of The Bound Man, and Other Stories, there will be an evening of 5–8 minute performances of poetry, prose and philosophy that will show and share the possibilities of this comma.