Letter from the Editors
Even pressed skin to skin, between two bodies there are infinitesimally small spaces of interference, surfaces that produce friction. The larger the bodies, the greater the area, and the greater the area, the stronger and more persistent the interference. It would seem, in a world that is increasingly bifurcating itself into bodies, that the friction has generated a spark, that the interstices are at the point of ignition.
Yet the interstices are not only a site of conflagration. They are also a site of intervention where disparate bodies can come to terms. Within the interstices lies negotiation, compromise, synergy. Translation inhabits this liminal space and fills the gaps that exist between bodies. It is the vehicle through which opposing bodies simultaneously resist and harmonize. In the current bifurcated global climate, we at Exchanges are proud to bring you ten pieces of translation from around the world, and we hope that it might help to fill the gaps, even a little.
In this issue, “Interstices,” we’ve turned our pages over to ten writers and ten translators. Zafer Şenocak writes on the secrets between family and is translated by Patrick Ploschnitzki. Faith and loss dialogue in poems by Elhanan Nir, translated by Ross Weissman. Guilt through discovery breaches the seams of generational memory in an excerpt from Julia Butschkow’s novel, introduced and translated by Peter Sean Woltemade. The disconnect between the myriad realities of history and a nation’s mythology is brought to light with Liu Waitong’s poetry, translated by Audrey Heijns. The necessity to present resistance in the face of absolutist ideology is problematized by Edoardo Albinati’s short story, translated by Thomas Simpson. Cecil Bødker offers us a visceral exploration of interior and exterior landscapes and is translated by Michael Goldman. We encounter the self as other with Minh Tran Huy and her translator, Cecelia Ramsey. Gábor Schein highlights the gaps between societal and subjective perceptions in an excerpt translated by Ottilie Mulzet. Michael Farman explores the ways of translating Classical Chinese poetry in modern forms with seven Airs from The Book of Odes. Lastly, a mother dialogues with the specters of her land and son in Itziar Pascual’s dramatic monologue translated by Phyllis Zatlin.
With our cover art we introduce you to a series of installations by Nicole Shaver, “In Craze of Shadow.” As you read, please enjoy the thoughtful works of the other artists featured in this issue, including pieces from Olaya Barr, Jackson Scribner, Cheryl Jacobsen, and Reena Spansail.
In gratitude to our contributors and readers, and with warm wishes as we slip into the space between years.