Unfortunately, I was unable to attend last night's New Yipes. This week I am taking a break from Bay Area poetics and travelling back in time and over the water.
First, there's Shakespeare, whose howl's his watch, my first love. It isn't just the Macbeth production I'm in; I read Shakespeare often and gladly. I am finding that being in a Shakespearean tragedy, memorizing lines and watching others interpret theirs in ways I don't expect, germinates my reading of other plays. I dig into the Riverside and troll out new ideas about plays I thought I understood. The return to Shakespeare is nothing new, but it is always exhilarating, and time-consuming, to approach a familiar destination from a new direction.
Does one ever really stop reading Hamlet?
Second, there's Kleist, who has seen horses vomiting before the pharmacy doors, a newer frenemy. How many times must the beast push me away before I stop slouching back to him? I have never read him in English, but I presume that it's even more excruciatingly challenging and confusing and worth the effort. I have decided to translate Der Findling, with a new theory of translation I have been working on. I haven't thought of a name for it yet, but it involves exploring the images of poetry, and I am calling Kleist's work poetry, by visual means, i.e., drawing out the images that text forces a reader's brain to generate. The drawings/paintings, will reflect the original text and help steer a reflection in the target text. The goal is to provide a second perspective to govern the translation in the hopes of creating a broader understanding of the original work.
A little brain-numbing to think about, but it is rather exciting and exhausting to execute.
So, life as I know it has to be put on pause this week. I am still writing, but I am not reading contemporaries for a few days. I will miss them.