Miss Tajder, Mrs. Geier and Mr. Dostoevsky

No clue what happened here. A block. Fear?

Club 2 happened and I started writing for www.zib21.com where my posts were very well read but also heavily discussed. It is new to me that my writing and my opinions are being widely discussed. It is great. But also a bit frightening. It is like all those people are trying to get into your most intimate sphere, your brain. I’ll get used to it. I guess.

And before I start bitching about the topic that obsesses me for past days (all huge crisis happen when I’m ill and locked at home so I have enough time to get well informed. About how bad things really are) – GREECE, I want to concentrate on something more beautiful. Food for the soul.

In one of the past Spiegel (German weekly political magazine), there is an interview with a lady called Swetlana Geier. Mrs Geier is 87. When she was 65, she stared translating Dostoevsky’s 5 master pieces, so called “5 Elephants”. Those new translations are apparently so fantastic that they won numerous prizes. A film about Mr. Geier just got released: “Die Frau mit 5 Elefanten”. The film is currently playing in Austrian cinemas. Here some incredible passages from the interview:

About different rhythms of life

She is talking about “crime and Punishment” which is written in a very fats rhythm, in presto. In the last paragraph of the book, a word is being repeated: “postepenny”, gradually. A slow word. She says: “Life goes gradually. If one hasn’t learned anything else after having read this book, this was enough. Violence is fast and sudden. Life goes gradually.”

About the physicality of translating (or any other work)

Her German teacher taught her to lift her nose while translating. “You don’t translate like a caterpillar eating its way through a leaf. You translate the sentence from a flight of a bird. It is about the whole.“ (Isn’t everything?)

About the language

She is explaining why she is dictating her translations and not writing them down: “Language doesn’t depend on paper. Language lives in the air and it lives from the air. Even that what has been written by some human being at some point – even “Faust” by Goethe or a Pushkin text – originated in imagination. This is why I don’t want to primarily see a new text, but to say it.”

About time and the divine consciousness

“”Suddenly” means that a realization is limited. You don’t know that behind you there is a big spider walking above your head. We know only that what we see, and that what we don’t see happens to us suddenly. It is a dimension of a mundane human being dependent on his senses. We know little, we hear little, we divine nothing. But there is a consciousness that has no “suddenly”, the divine consciousness. And it is incredibly interesting, that in “Crime and Punishment”, which talks about the limited perception of humans, Dostoevsky uses the word “suddenly” so often.”