Friday, March 27, 2015

Double vision

Wonder of wonders, my friend O, too, has a translation of Calvino's Invisible Cities! He even found a brief section of the Chinese translation which, with not too much handholding, I was able to (sort of) read!

你是为了回到你的过去而旅行吗?”可汗要问他的话也可以换成:“你是为了找回你的未来而旅行吗?”
马可的回答则是:“别的地方是一块反面的镜子。旅行者能够看到他自己所拥有的是何等的少,而他所未曾拥有和永远不会拥有的是何等的多。”

Here's William Weaver's rendering of the same passage (it's the end of the first part of the second section, representative of the book's particular brand of melancholy):

"Journeys to relive your past?" was the Khan's question at this point, a question which could also have been formulated: "Journeys to recover your future?"
And Marco's answer was: "Elsewhere is a negative mirror. The traveler recognizes the little that is his, discovering the much he has not had and will never have."

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