A translated sentence. A detail hidden in a word left ashore.
The sound of a mother’s voice echoing in an empty home. A man learning his partner’s language. My grandmother learning English. Tongue twisting together, salivating (mis)understandings - kisses that generate languages.
I want to produce texts that function like paths - paths backwards and forwards, that diverge from and run along people’s voices. Starting from a word, a sentence, a poem, a language I write in search of ________. I don’t write to critique, but to echo and expand voices.
Throughout my time at the RCA I have used translation as a mode to explore and develop my writing through analysis and story telling that spark from the act of picking words.
My final major project, HOME in Italian is CASA, is a collection of essays that explore the condition of speaking and living in a second language. Each essay was conceived as a love letter to a member of the narrator’s family, her therapist, and lovers. Starting by assessing translation as a mode of reconciliation, the practice of translation (or talking about translation) opens up questions of privilege, class, trauma, and grief. The texts present some of the most important Italian writers and poets of the XX century — Sibilla Aleramo, Elena Ferrante, Amelia Rosselli, and Alda Merini. HOME in Italian is CASA is a quest for Home contained in the act of reading and writing through love, trauma, and loneliness.
Here I present excerpts from my FMP, HOME in Italian is CASA, the essay Notes on a first attempt at translating poetry, a Translation Manifesto, and a short story The Bubble, all texts produced for the Writing programme.
Content warning: sexual abuse, medicalisation, references to death and suicide.