Across a gap

Translation is just a bottomless pit. There’s no good way to do it and you always up throwing away all your best work, but that’s the name of the game. It does give one to think about language in a way that nothing else does, that no other practical exercise does, because you come to a place where you’re standing at the edge of a word and you can see across a gap the other word, the word you’re trying to translate, and you can’t get there. And that space between the word you’re at and the word you can’t get to is unlike any other space in language. And something there is learned about human possibilities, in that space. I’m not sure what, but I like to test it. It’s humbling.

Anne Carson, interviewed

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