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2005

Writing Translation Reportage

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International Visual and Verbal Communication

Image Digital Information Design

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Magazine

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International Visual and Verbal Communication

Issue 1 2005

IN THIS ISSUE:

All simultaneous times all places of the imagination all forms of expression are NEW. Editorial address Kahn+Associates 90, rue des Archives, 75003 Paris Editor Paul Kahn Contributing Editors James Koller Laurence Bossé Production Editor Eva-Lotta Lamm Design Consultant Krzysztof Lenk Website www.new-mag.com Subscription 40€ Eu¤ro / $40 USD for 2 issues (two years)

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any means without written permission from the publisher. © all images: the authors; © all texts: the authors; © all translations: the authors; © 2005 of this publication : Kahn+Associates S.A.R.L.

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speaks to people active in all forms of expres­ sion. Our annual publication contains work adapted to print: written and visual — printed, bound, delivered. Our website connects and delivers forms of expression better suited to online presentation — inter­ active, multimedia, mutable. We publish work in the original language of our contributors. Where possible, we trans­ late into English, a common language in the world today. Our areas of concern are the convergence and intersections of expression and experience. We publish contemporary work that demonstrates the urgent human need to make sense of the network of cultures we find in the present, our understandings of the past and our imaginings of the future. We are based in Paris, France, a very interesting part of the world.

In his native land, Gary Snyder is that rare thing: a popular poet with a broad audience. His books are in print, his work is taught in American schools, and his talks and performances attract and weave together a community of interested r­ eaders, much as his own w ­ riting weaves ­together English lyric poetry, the traditions of East Asia, Native America, radical ecology and the landscape of the A ­ merican West. His concerns have always been trans-national, but how does he sound to the rest of the world? Translating Gary Snyder brings together a dozen poems translated into French, Spanish, Czech, Swedish, Brazilian Portuguese, ­Russian, Japanese, and Italian, selected from five decades of the poet’s work ­including D ­ anger on Peaks (2004), chosen from recent or as-yet unpublished collections. Translators Nacho ­Fernández, Luboš Snížek, ­Reidar Ekner, Shigeyoshi Hara, Luci ­Collin, Irina Dyatlovskaya, ­Chiara D’Ottavi – poets, ­journalists, teachers actively w ­ orking with the poet – offer new essays on the challenges of trans­ lating Snyder’s art into their own l­ anguage and culture. ­Francesca Mengoni offers a blending of text by Snyder and St. Francis of Assisi.


Willie “Loco” Alexander has been a force in the Boston rock music scene for over 30 years. Fred Buck’s Footsteps , a song for Gloucester, Massachusetts’ postman-musician-poet, was recorded on Dog Bar Yacht Club, by Willie and The Boom Boom Band. Fred sent the CD, we asked Willie if we could print it, he said yes and sent his drawing, you should listen to it. Hallam Ferguson is an Ameri­ can working in Afghanistan. In God’s Valley is a trip report with snapshots, sent to friends in America describing his visit in October 2004 to the Bamiyan Valley, site of one of the world’s oldest Buddhist monuments that stood from the 4th century until March 2001. Norman Fischer is founder of Everyday Zen Foundation and a former co-abbot of the San Francisco Zen Center. He teaches in communities located in the United States, Canada and Mexico and is active in many inter-faith dialog orga­ nizations. In addition to several collections of poetry, his recent book Taking Our Places, The Buddhist Path to Truly Growing Up, is now available in German as Unseren Platz einnehmen. The Sacred and the Lost is a recent dharma talk. Carl “Clay” Caulkins is an American musician living and performing American music in France, not an easy task. The lyrics published here are taken from The Avalon Songbook, his new recording recently completed in Marseille. They are accompanied by woodblock prints by Lily Bruder, an artist based in New York. Eliot Weinberger is a trans­ lator, editor, and essayist on culture and politics. His trans­ lations include many writers of 2

Latin America – Octavio Paz, Jorge Luis Borges, Vincente Huidobro – and more recently of China – Bei Dao. His col­ lections of essays, including ­Karmic Traces and Outside Stories, cover the rest of the world. In the Wu T’ai Mountains describes one of China’s sacred places. J.B. Bryan is a painter, poet and the publisher of La ­Alameda Press in Placitas, New Mexico. Our selection from Scatter of Buffalo Grass includes a poem and four paintings. Martin Kemp is professor of the History of Art at Oxford University, and the author of many books including The Science of Art, Visualizations and the recent Leonardo. He is also a frequent contributor to Nature, the international science jour­ nal, where he writes on science and art. Antonio Criminisi is a research scientist at the Micro­ soft Cambridge ­Research Cen­ tre. Paolo Uccello’s “Battle of San Romano”: Order from Chaos is the most recent report on how they apply 3D graphic techniques to the process of art history investigation. Claude Mollard has had a distinguished career in the French ministries of culture and of education, and is the author of Le Très Grand Véda, a collaboration with the artist Tomi Ungerer, and the biog­ raphy of the Brazilian sculptor Frans Krajcberg, La traversée du feu, co-authored with Pascale Lismonde. The selec­ tions of Les Origènes are taken from more than one thousand photographic investigations, recorded during his travels in Europe and Brazil, introduced by his essay Les Origènes En Jeux, En Fance.

Theodor Holm Nelson in­ vented the term “hypertext” in an essay published in 1965 and went on to create underground computer literature with selfpublished books including Computer Lib/Dream Machines and Literary Machines. TransLit™, the new open source Xanadu is the most recent evolution of Project Xanadu, Nelson’s vision for how to manage and present the world’s network of digital information. Équinoxe de Printemps avec Monsieur Yusef Lateef is an account of a day spent with the American jazz musician. Grégoire Paultre is a musi­ cian, press agent, and student of poetry who lives in Paris. Some Jazz is a poem for Steve Lacy, the American saxophon­ ist who made music for much of his life from Paris and died in Boston in 2004. The poem is from James Koller’s recent and as yet unpublished work. Koller’s most recent book is Snows Gone By: New & Uncollected Poems, 1964-2002. He is a contributing editor to new. Mirtha ­Dermisache presents five new original works. What she does defies the categories of visual, graphic and book art. We include a section of essays about her work by the American art and poetry critic Carrie Noland, the Argentine film-maker and writer Edgardo ­Cozarinsky, and Florent Fajole, the publisher of les ­éditions de la mangrove. The stories by Paul Kahn are from Périple, a narrative ­fiction. His most recent books are Travel Poems/Meeting Drawings and Mapping Websites, both collaborations with ­designer K ­ rzysztof Lenk. Kahn is an information architect liv­ ing in Paris and the editor of new. new | 1_ 2005


FEATURE

Translating Gary Snyder Paul Kahn 4

Francesca Mengoni

Hitting a bear in the ass with a handful of rice

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(translated by Etain Addey)

Poems & Translations

Essays

Olivier Delbard – French 6

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Irina Dyatlovskaya

Le joueur de flûte bossu / The Hump-backed Flute Player

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Nacho Fernández – Spanish

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Luboš Snížek – Czech

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Nacho Fernández – Spanish / Luboš Snížek – Czech / Reidar Ekner – Swedish

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Bajo las colinas cerca del río Morava / Pod kopci u řeky Moravy / Nedanför åsarna nära Moravafloden / Under the Hills Near the Morava River

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Snyder in Portuguese – Language, Culture and Context Reidar Ekner

/ Riprap

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/

The Sense of a Voice – Transmission Possible? Framtida öde / Some Fate Utan skugga / No Shadow

Hyoga no bourei tachi / from Glacier Ghosts Luci Collin – Portuguese

Bones and Bears: Notes on the Translation of Two Poems by Gary Snyder Luci Collin

Shigeyoshi Hara – Japanese 28

A song of pure love, For the Children of the Earth Nacho Fernández

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Irina Dyatlovskaya – Russian

Off the trail

How to translate phanopoeia: Gary Snyder’s poetry into Japanese Chiara D’Ottavi

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Riprap / Riprap

25 Сойдя с тропы/Свой путь

Why can we Czechs understand Gary Snyder poetry Shigeyoshi Hara

Tahle báseň je pro medvěda / this poem is for bear

22 Брусчатка

Reading is a private act …

Luboš Snížek

este poema es para oso / this poem is for bear

Luci Collin – Portuguese 20

Cantici / Canticles

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Gary Snyder in Translation

Bem No Rastro / Right in the trail

Chiara D’Ottavi – Italian 36

Per i bambini / For the Children

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Il dopo Bamiyan / After Bamiyan

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Photograph of Gary Snyder by Dianna Smith

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Hitting a bear in the ass with a handful of rice Paul Kahn

FEATURE | Translating Gary Snyder

The seed for this gathering of translations grew from a gathering of people. The event was two evenings, talks on poetry and ­Buddhism in French and English the first night, and a poetry performance by Gary Snyder with ­ French translation the second night, at the Maison de la Culture du Japon à Paris (MCJP) in December 2002. That event, which has been planned for several years, had in turn grown from a previous event in Tokyo, where Snyder had first performed with a group of Japanese Noh musicians. One poem, “The Mountain Spirit,” contained material inspired by the Noh dramas he had seen and heard while liv­ ing in Kyoto. The poem appeared in Mountains and Rivers Without End, a poetry cycle Snyder began composing in the 1950s and completed for publication in 1996. So what we all saw in December 2002 was new and had been going on for a long time. In the winter of 2002, Edition du Rocher had just published a French edition of the book, Montagnes et rivières sans fin, translated by Olivier Delbard, who provided the French voice during the event. The Japanese Noh mu­ sicians performed with inspired intensity and discipline. The audience that filled the lovely wooden auditorium hidden in the basement beneath the glass and steel MCJP was largely composed of French English literature teach­ ers and students. But a small part of the au­ dience was made up of people who had come from many parts of Europe and Japan to hear and spend some time with a man whose work they had been translating. I was impressed by the friendliness and sense of purpose present in this small group, many of whom had never met before. They were all there for the poetry, for the inspiration

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they found in the words, and for the chance to talk together. Each in their own way had taken on the task of transmitting what moved them in another language into their own language, to communicate with their part of a shared world. The values of Gary Snyder’s poetry are trans-cultural. His readers understand this truth both inside and outside his native land, which he sometimes refers to by a pre­Columbian name, a gesture that acknowledges rather than denies our shared history. He has been making something new for more than fifty years by blending together the intercon­ nections inside and outside us all. He did not have to invent Chinese poetry in English – Ezra Pound had already done this in London by writing verse from the notes of a Boston art historian listening to lectures about Chinese poetry in Japan. He did not have to unearth the values of Native American tradition – Franz Boas had already brought his ethnographic theories and methods from Germany to New York and sent his many students to record oral traditions across the American West and the Pacific Rim. He did not have to introduce the grandeur of the Pacific Northwest and Great Basin to readers who had never walked the mountains – John Muir had already used his Scottish eyes and ears to record what could be seen and heard in a wilderness few people would e­ xperience. He did not have to introduce Zen Buddhism to America – an eclectic group of itinerant Japanese priests and British intellectuals had already introduced the experience of ­sitting meditation to America and written English descriptions of Buddhist ­enlightenment. He did not even have to invent the persona of the Dharma Bum – the French-­Canadian-

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American Jack Kerouac did this mixing expe­ rience and fiction in one of his finest novels. Gary Snyder did not invent any of these profound influences, any more than he in­ vented many of the words he has introduced into American literature. He discovered them, studied them, experienced them, internalized them, blended them, and made them his own. Riprap, the title of his first book of poetry, is a word few Americans had ever heard before. The precise language of mountaineering, the Japanese, Chinese and Sanskrit terms of Bud­ dhist philosophy, the exact names of plants and animals were all foreign or exotic to an American literary audience before he made them into American poetry. This is a part of his genius. The poems and their translations speak for themselves. The translators have selected po­ ems that demonstrate both their labor and their love. The result is a combination of ­previously

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published and as well as new trans­lations cov­ ering a range of poems from five­d ­ ecades, up to Snyder’s recent Danger on Peaks. I remember joking with Snyder many years ago about what in the 1950s was called The New Criticism. I laughed as he told of a student he knew who said “I would rather read anybody about anybody than anybody.” I asked each translator to write an essay about what it takes to translate this American poet into their language and culture. Their essays are thoughtful and diverse. Translation has been an important part of Gary Snyder’s art. A focus on the transmutation and roots of words that travel through ­language and time is found throughout his ­poetry. This openness, particularly to the cultures of East Asia and North America, is what finally brought the seed of this group together at an outpost of Japanese culture in Paris, France. This anthologein is what we made from it.

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FEATURE | Translating Gary Snyder

Gary Snyder

The Hump-backed Flute Player

“The Hump-backed Flute Player” originally appeared in Coyote’s Journal # 10 (Sante Fe, 1975). It is the final poem of Part II in Mountains and Rivers Without End (Counterpoint, 1996).

The hump-backed flute player walks all over. Sits on the boulders around the Great Basin his hump is a pack. Hsüan Tsang went to India 629 AD returned to China 645 with 657 sutras, images, mandalas, and fifty relics – a curved frame pack with a parasol, embroidery, carving, incense censer swinging as he walked the Pamir the Tarim Turfan the Punjab the doab of Ganga and Yamuna, Sweetwater, Quileute, Hoh Amur, Tanana, Mackenzie, Old Man, Big Horn, Platte, the San Juan he carried “emptiness” he carried “mind only” vijñaptimatra The hump-backed flute player Kokop’ele His hump is a pack. — In Canyon de Chelly on the north wall up by a cave is the hump-backed flute player lying on his back, playing his flute. Across the flat sandy canyon wash, wading a stream and breaking through the ice, on the south wall,

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Le joueur de flûte bossu

Le joueur de flûte bossu se promène partout. S’assied sur les rochers autour du Grand Bassin sa bosse est un sac. Xuanzang se rendit en Inde en 629 de notre ère revint en Chine en 645 avec 657 soutras, images, mandalas, et cinquante reliques – un paquetage bombé avec une ombrelle, des broderies, des gravures, un encensoir bringuebalant tandis qu’il sillonnait le Pamir le Tarim Turfan le Penjab the doab* entre le Gange et la Jamna, Sweetwater, Quileute, Hoh Amour, Tanana, Mackenzie, Old Man, Big Horn, Platte, la San Juan

French translation: Olivier Delbard From: Montagnes et Rivières sans fin (Monaco: Editions du Rocher, 2002)

* doab: terre comprise entre le Gange et la Jamna, le terme désigne toute terre alluviale comprise entre deux rivieres qui se rejoignent.

Il portait « le vide » Il portait « l’esprit seulement » vijñaptimâtra Le joueur de flûte bossu Kokop’ele** Sa bosse est un sac. — Dans le canyon de Chelly sur la paroi nord, en hauteur près d’une grotte, se trouve le joueur de flûte bossu étendu sur le dos et jouant de son instrument. De l’autre côté du lit plat et sablonneux du canyon, en traversant un

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** Kokop’ele (ou Kokopelli): terme employé pour désigner la figure du « joueur de flûte bossu» en langue pueblo/hopi.

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FEATURE | Translating Gary Snyder

the pecked-out pictures of some mountain sheep with curling horns. They stood in the icy shadow of the south wall two hundred feet away; I sat with my shirt off in the sun facing south, with the hump-backed flute player just above my head. They whispered. I whispered. Back and forth across the canyon, clearly heard. — In the plains of Bihar, near Rajgir, are the ruins of Nalanda. The name Bihar comes from “vihara” – Buddhist temple – the Diamond Seat is in Bihar, and Vulture Peak – Tibetan pilgrims come down to these plains. The six-foot-thick walls of Nalanda, the monks all scattered – books burned – banners tattered – statues shattered – by the Türks. Hsüan Tsang describes the high blue tiles the delicate debates – Logicians of Emptiness – worshippers of Tara, “Joy of Starlight,” naked breasted. She who saves. — Ghost bison, ghost bears, ghost bighorns, ghost lynx, ghost pronghorns, ghost panthers, ghost marmots, ghost owls: swirling and gathering, sweeping down, Then the white man will be gone. butterflies on slopes of grass and aspen – thunderheads the deep blue of Krishna rise on rainbows and falling shining rain each drop – tiny people gliding slanting down: a little buddha seated in each pearl – and join the million waving grass-seed-buddhas on the ground. — Ah, what am I carrying? What’s this load? Who’s that out there in the dust sleeping on the ground? With a black hat, and a feather stuck in his sleeve?

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ruisseau à gué et se frayant un passage dans la glace, sur la paroi sud, les images gravées d’une espèce de mouflons aux cornes bouclées. Ils se tenaient dans l’ombre glacée de la paroi sud à une soixantaine de mètres ; je m’assis au soleil, torse nu, face au sud, avec le joueur de flûte bossu juste au-dessus de ma tête. Ils murmurèrent. Je murmurai. D’un côté à l’autre du canyon, un son clair. — Dans les plaines du Bihâr, près de Râjgir, se trouvent les ruines de Nâlandâ. Le nom Bihâr vient de « vihara » – temple bouddhiste – le Siège de Diamant est dans le Bihâr, et le Pic du Vautour – les pèlerins tibétains descendent dans ces plaines. Les murs de Nâlandâ sont épais de deux mètres, et les moines tous éparpillés – livres brûlés – étendards en lambeaux – statues fracassées – par les Turcs. Xuanzang décrit les hautes tuiles bleues, les discussions subtiles – Logiciens du Vide – adorateurs de Târâ, « Joie de la Lumière étoilée », aux seins nus. Celle qui sauve. — Bisons fantômes, ours fantômes, mouflons fantômes, lynx fantômes, antilopes fantômes, pumas fantômes, marmottes fantômes, hiboux fantômes : tournoyant et se rassemblant, en une majestueuse descente,

Alors l’homme blanc aura disparu. papillons sur les pentes couvertes d’herbe et de trembles – des nuages en enclume du bleu profond de Krishna

s’élèvent sur les arcs-en-ciel et tombe une pluie luisante chaque goutte – de minuscules êtres qui tombent doucement de manière oblique : un petit bouddha est sis dans chaque perle – rejoignent les millions de bouddhas-graines de graminées ondoyantes sur le sol. — Ah, qu’est-ce que je porte ? Quel est ce fardeau ? Qui est-ce là-bas dans la poussière dormant à même la terre ? Avec un chapeau noir et une plume plantée dans la manche ?

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— It’s old Jack Wilson, Wovoka, the prophet, Black Coyote saw the whole world In Wovoka’s empty hat the bottomless sky the night of starlight, lying on our sides FEATURE | Translating Gary Snyder

the ocean, slanting higher all manner of beings may swim in my sea echoing up conch spiral corridors the mirror: countless ages back dressing or laughing what world today?

pearl crystal jewel taming and teaching the dragon in the spine

spiral, wheel, or breath of mind

– desert sheep with curly horns. The ringing in your ears

is the cricket in the stars. — Up in the mountains that edge the Great Basin it was whispered to me by the oldest of trees.

By the Oldest of Beings the Oldest of Trees

Bristlecone Pine.

And all night long sung on by the young throng

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of Pinyon Pine.

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— C’est le vieux Jack Wilson, Wovoka, le prophète,

Coyote Noir vit le monde entier dans le chapeau vide de Wovoka

le ciel sans fond

La nuit de la lumière étoilée, allongés sur le flanc

l’inclinaison verticale de l’océan toutes sortes d’êtres

peuvent nager dans ma mer résonnant dans les corridors en spirale des conques

miroir : une éternité en arrière se vêtir ou rire quel monde aujourd’hui ?

joyau perle de cristal qui apprivoise et guide le dragon le long de l’épine dorsale

roue, spirale, ou souffle de l’esprit

— mouflons aux cornes bouclées. Ce bourdonnement dans tes oreilles c’est le criquet des étoiles. — Là-haut dans les montagnes qui bordent le Grand Bassin

c’est le plus vieux des arbres qui me l’a murmuré à l’oreille.

L’Aîné des Êtres l’Aîné des Arbres

Pinus longæva.

Et toute la nuit une jeune bande de pins à amandes

chanta et chanta.

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Gary Snyder

FEATURE | Translating Gary Snyder

“this poem is for bear” originally appeared in Myths & Texts (New York: Totem / Corinth Books, 1960).

this poem is for bear

“As for me I am a child of the god of the mountains.” A bear down under the cliff. She is eating huckleberries. They are ripe now Soon it will snow, and she Or maybe he, will crawl into a hole And sleep. You can see Huckleberries in bearshit if you Look, this time of year If I sneak up on the bear It will grunt and run The others had all gone down From the blackberry brambles, but one girl Spilled her basket, and was picking up her Berries in the dark. A tall man stood in the shadow, took her arm, Led her to his home. He was a bear. In a house under the mountain She gave birth to slick dark children With sharp teeth, and lived in the hollow Mountain many years. snare a bear: call him out: honey-eater forest apple light-foot Old man in the fur coat, Bear! come out! Die of your own choice! Grandfather black-food! this girl married a bear Who rules in the mountains, Bear! you have eaten many berries you have caught many fish you have frightened many people

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este poema es para oso

“En cuanto a mí, soy hijo del dios de las montañas.” Una osa bajo los riscos. Está comiendo arándanos Ya maduros. Pronto llegará la nieve, y ella O quizá él, se meterá en un agujero A dormir. Puedes ver Arándanos en cagadas de oso si Miras; en esta época del año Si me acerco por sorpresa Gruñirá y saldrá corriendo

Spanish translation: Nacho Fernández From: La mente salvaje, Madrid: Árdora Ediciones, 2000.

Las demás habían bajado De las zarzas de moras, pero a una niña Se le cayó la cesta, y recogía sus Moras a oscuras. Un hombre alto apareció entre las sombras, cogida del brazo La llevó a su hogar. Era un oso. En una casa bajo la montaña Ella dio a luz a niños pardos y tersos De dientes afilados, y vivió en la montaña Excavada muchos años. atra pa a un oso: llámalo para que salga: tragón de miel manzana silvestre pie ligero Viejo con abrigo de piel, ¡Oso! ¡sal! ¡Muere de buena gana! ¡Abuelo comida negra! esta niña se casó con un oso Que gobierna en las montañas, ¡Oso! has comido muchas bayas has cogido muchos peces has asustado a mucha gente

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Twelve species north of Mexico Sucking their paws in the long winter Tearing the high-strung caches down Whining, crying, jacking off (Odysseus was a bear)

FEATURE | Translating Gary Snyder

Bear-cubs gnawing the soft tits Teeth gritted, eyes screwed tight but she let them. Til her brothers found the place Chased her husband up the gorge Cornered him in the rocks. Song of the snared bear: “Give me my belt. “I am near death. “I came from the mountain caves “At the headwaters, “The small streams there “Are all dried up. – I think I’ll go hunt bears. “hunt bears? Why shit Snyder, You couldn’t hit a bear in the ass with a handful of rice!”

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Doce especies desde el norte de México Lamiéndose las zarpas durante el largo invierno Desgajando plataformas atadas a los árboles Gimiendo, llorando, masturbándose (Ulises era un oso) Los oseznos mordían los blandos pechos Ojos apretados y crujir de dientes, pero les dejaba. Hasta que sus hermanos encontraron el lugar Persiguieron a su marido barranco arriba Lo acorralaron contra las rocas. Canción del oso atrapado: “Dame mi cinturón Mi muerte está cerca. Vengo de las cuevas de montaña En los manantiales, Allí los pequeños arroyos Están todos secos”. — Creo que iré a cazar osos. “¿cazar osos? Y una mierda, Snyder, ¡Tú no le darías a un oso en el culo ni con un puñado de arroz!”

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Tahle báseň je pro medvěda (this poem is for bear)

FEATURE | Translating Gary Snyder

Czech translation: Luboš Snížek From: Tahle báseň je pro medvěda, Praha: Argo, 1997.

„Co se mne týče, já jsem dítě boha hor.“ Medvědice dole pod útesem. Cpe se borůvkami. Dozrály právě teď. Brzy bude sníh a ona, nebo možná on, se zahrabe do doupěte a bude spát. Můžeš najít borůvky v medvědím lejně, když se pořádně podíváš, touhle roční dobou když se přiblížím k medvědovi zamručí a uteče. Ostatní už dávno vyšli z ostružiní a sešli dolů, jen jedno děvče převrhlo svůj košík a začalo sbírat ostružiny ve tmě. Vysoký muž ukrytý ve stínu ji vzal za ruku a odvedl k sobě domů. Byl to medvěd. V chatě pod horou pak dala život krásným tmavým dětem s ostrými zoubky, a tak žili v horské jeskyni mnoho let. chyť medvěda: přivolej ho: medožroute lesní chlape lehkonožko Dědo v kožichu. Medvěde! Vylez! Vyber si svou smrt! Ty starej mlsoune! tahle holka provdaná za medvěda jenž vládne v horách, Medvěde! už moc bobulí jsi spolykal už moc ryb jsi nachytal už moc lidí jsi vylekal

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Dvanáct druhů severně od Mexika si cumlá tlapy za dlouhé zimy podrážděně bourá svá doupata kňučí, brečí, onanuje (Odysseus byl medvěd) Medvíďata dumlají měkké cecíky zaťaté zuby, křečovitě zavřené oči ale ona je nechá Dokud bratři nevypátrali to místo nezahnali jejího muže nahoru do rokle neobklíčili ho ve skalách Píseň chyceného medvěda: „Dejte mi můj pás „Blíží se má smrt „Přišel jsem z horských jeskyní „Na horních tocích „Malé potůčky tam „Všechny vyschly – Myslím, že půjdu lovit medvědy „Lovit medvědy? Prdy, Snydere, netrefil bys medvěda do zadku ani hrstí rejže!“

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Gary Snyder

Under the Hills Near the Morava River

“Under the Hills Near the Morava River” appears in Part III of Mountains and Rivers Without End (Washington: Counterpoint, 1996).

She lay there midst Mammoth, reindeer, and wolf bones:

FEATURE | Translating Gary Snyder

Diadem of fox teeth round her brow Ocher under her hips 26,640 plus or minus 110 years before “now.” Burnt reindeer-pelvis bone bits in her mouth, Bones of two men lying by her, one each side.

Nedanför åsarna nära Moravafloden

Swedish translation: Reidar Ekner

Hon låg där bland Mammut-, ren- och vargben:

From: BEAT! – poesi och prosa från beatgenerationen, Stockholm: Wahlström Widstrand, 2005

Ett diadem av rävtänder över pannan Ockra under höfterna 26 640 plus eller minus 110 år före ”nu”. Brända bäckenbensbitar av ren i munnen, Benen efter två män liggande bredvid, en på var sida.

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Pod kopci u řeky Moravy

Leží tam mezi

Czech translation: Luboš Snížek

mamutími, sobími a vlčími kostmi: Diadém z liščích zubů na čele

From: Hory a řeky bez konce, Praha: Maťa, 2005 (in press)

Okr pod kyčli 26 640 plus minus 110 let před „nyní“. Kousky spálené sobí pánve v ústech Kosti dvou mužů vedle ní, na každé straně jeden.

Bajo las colinas cerca del río Morava

Yacía allí entre

Spanish translation: Nacho Fernández

huesos de mamut, reno y lobo: Previously unpublished

diadema de dientes de zorro alrededor de la frente y ocre bajo las caderas, 26.640 años, 110 arriba o abajo, antes de “hoy”. Astillas quemadas de pelvis de reno en la boca los huesos de dos hombres tendidos junto a ella uno a cada lado.

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FEATURE | Translating Gary Snyder

Gary Snyder

Riprap

Riprap: a cobble of stone laid on steep slick rock to make a trail for horses in the mountains

Lay down these words Before your mind like rocks. placed solid, by hands In choice of place, set Before the body of the mind in space and time: Solidity of bark, leaf, or wall riprap of things: Cobble of milky way, straying planets, These poems, people, lost ponies with Dragging saddles — and rocky sure-foot trails. The worlds like an endless four-dimensional Game of Go. ants and pebbles In the thin loam, each rock a word a creek-washed stone Granite: ingrained with torment of fire and weight Crystal and sediment linked hot all change, in thoughts, As well as things.

“Riprap” first appeared in Riprap (Kyoto: Origin Press, 1959). This note is from the title page of the first US edition: Riprap, (San Francisco: Four Seasons Foundation, 1969).

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Riprap

Assente estas palavras Diante da sua mente como pedras. postas firme, por mãos em busca de lugar, dispostas Diante do corpo da mente no tempo e no espaço: Solidez de casca, folha, ou muralha calçada de coisas: Pavimento de via láctea, planetas extraviados, Estes poemas, gente, cavalos perdidos com Selas arrastando e pétreas trilhas confiáveis. Os mundos como um infinito e quadridimensional Jogo de Go. formigas e pedriscos Na greda magra, cada pedra uma palavra um seixo lavado pelo riacho Granito: entranhado com o tormento de fogo e pressão Cristal e sedimento ardendo unidos total transformação, em pensamentos, Bem como as coisas.

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Portuguese translation: Luci Collin From: Re-habitar — poemas e ensaios, (Rio de Janero: Azougue Editorial, 2005)

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Брусчатка

FEATURE | Translating Gary Snyder

Russian translation: Irina Dyatlovskaya From: Иркутское время.

Альманах поэзии. Иркутск. Издатель Сапронов, 2005.

(Irkutsk Times. Poetry Almanac. Irkutsk, Publisher Sapronov)

В уме как камни Сложи слова. надежно, руками Место найдено, уложены Пред взором умственным во времени, в пространстве Плотность коры, листа, стены предметов кладка: Брусчатка млечного пути, планет бродячих, Стихи вот эти, люди, чужие чьи-то пони Со сползшей упряжью, скалистая надежная тропа. Миры как бесконечность четырехмерной Го.* галька и муравьи В суглинке, булыжник каждый слово ручьем обкатан камень Гранит: вкраплен давлением породы и огня Осадков и кристалла сплав всех перемен – и в мыслях, И в вещах. *Го- японская игра типа шашек.

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Bruschatka

V ume kak kamni Slozhi slova. nadezhno, rukami Mesto naideno, ulozheny Pred vzorom umstvennym vo vremeni, v prostranstve Plotnost’ kory, lista, steny predmetov kladka: Bruschatka Mlechnogo puti, planet brodyachikh, Stikhi vot eti, lyudi, chuzhie ch’i-to poni So spolzschey upryazh’yu, skalistaya, nadezhnaya tropa. Miry kak beskonechnost’ chetyrekhmernoi Go*. gal’ka i murav’i V suglinke, bulyzhnik kazhdyi slovo ruch’em obkatan kamen’ Granit: vkraplen davleniem porody I ognya osadkov I kristalla splav vsekh peremen-i v myslyakh, i v veschakh.

Russian transliteration: Irina Dyatlovskaya

* Go - yaponskaya igra tipa shashek

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FEATURE | Translating Gary Snyder

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Off the trail

Gary Snyder

for Carole

We are free to find our own way Over rocks – through the trees – Where there are no trails. The ridge and the forest Present themselves to our eyes and feet Which decide for themselves In their old learned wisdom of doing Where the wild will take us. We have Been here before. It’s more intimate somehow Than walking the paths that lay out some route That you stick to, All paths are possible, many will work, Being blocked is its own kind of pleasure, Getting through is a joy, the side-trips And detours show down logs and flowers, The deer paths straight up, the squirrel tracks Across, the outcroppings lead us on over. Resting on treetrunks, Stepping out on the bedrock, angling and eyeing Both making choices – now parting our ways – And later rejoin: I’m right, you’re right, We come out together. Mattake, “Pine Mushroom,” Heaves at the base of a stump. The dense matted floor Of Red Fir needles and twigs. This is wild! We laugh, wild for sure, Because no place is more than another, All places total, And our ankles, knees, shoulders & Haunches know right where they are. Recall how the Dao De Jing puts it: the trail’s not the way. No path will get you there, we’re off the trail, You and I, and we choose it! Our trips out of doors Through the years have been practice For this ramble together, Deep in the mountains Side by side, Over rocks, through the trees. new | 1_ 2005

“Off the Trail” originally appeared in No Nature (New York: Pantheon, 1992).

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Сойдя с тропы/Свой путь

Russian translation: Irina Dyatlovskaya From: Иркутское время. FEATURE | Translating Gary Snyder

Альманах поэзии. Иркутск. Издатель Сапронов, 2005.

(Irkutsk Times. Poetry Almanac. Irkutsk, Publisher Sapronov)

* Кэрол Кодажена Г. Снайдера

** разговорное японское

название гриба Armillaria

*** Книга Лао Цзы «Тао Те Чин»

(«Дао Де -дзин»- «Книга Пути»)

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Кэрол*

Вольны мы путь найти свой По камням, сквозь бурелом где нету троп. Хребет и лес пред нашим взором, под ногойи им самим решать с премудростью седой куда стихия поведет нас за собой. Мы уже были здесь. И это ближе нам, Чем оставаться на протоптанной тропе. Все тропы хожены, и многими пройдешь, Застрянешь если- в этом тоже торжество, Пробраться, выбраться, петляя Или в обход, увидеть там деревья и цветы, Тропу оленью или беличьи следы перед собой, и выходы пород. Присесть на ствол, чтоб отдохнуть, Ступить на мох, перекликаясь, переглядываясь, Чтоб самим решение принятьи разойтись и вновь сойтись. Я прав, и ты права. И вместе мы. Mattake**. Гриб. Вздымается у основанья пня. Иголками и ветками сосны Усыпан пол. Какая глушь! Смеемся мы: конечно, глушь. Но места нет, чтоб было лучше всех других. Все хороши. И наши голени, колени, плечи И наши бедра знают, где они. Ты вспомни, как это в « Тао Те Чин»***: тропа- не путь. Туда тебя не приведет тропа, сошли с тропы И ты, и я, и это выбор наш! Все наши выходы за дверь И сквозь года – приготовленье к этой вот ходьбе: Вдвоем, в глубь гор, Плечом к плечу, Сквозь камни, бурелом. new | 1_ 2005


Soidya s tropy/Svoi put’

Kerol

Vol’ny my put’ nayti svoy Po kamnyam skvoz’ burelom gde nety trop. Khrebet i les pred nashim vzorom, pod nogoii im samim reshat’ s premudrost’yu sedoi kuda stikhiya povedet nas za soboi. My uzhe byli zdes’. I eto blizhe nam, Chem ostavat’sya na protoptannoi trope. Vse tropy khozeny, i mnogimi proidesh’, Zastrynesh’ esli- v etom tozhe torzhestvo, Probrat’sya, vybrat’sya, petlyaya Il’ v obzhod, uvudet’ tam derev’ya i tsvety, Tropu olen’yu ili belich’i sledy pered soboi, i vykhody porod. Prisest’ na stvol, chtob otdokhnut’, Stupit’ na mokh, pereklikayas’, pereglyadyvayas’, Chtob samim reshenie prinyat’i razoitis’ i vnov’ soitis’, ya prav, i ty prava. I vmeste my. Mattake. Grib. Vzdymaetsya u osnovan’ya pnya. Igolkami i vetkami sosny Usypan pol. Kakaya glush’! Smeemsya my: konechno, glush’. No mesta net, chtob bylo luchshe vsekh drugikh. Vse khoroshi. I nashi goleni, koleni, plechi I nashi bedra znayat gde oni. Ty vspomni, kak eto v “Tao Te Chin”: tropa- ne put’. Tuda tebya ne privedet tropa, soshli s tropy I ty, i ya, i eto vybor nash! Vse nashi vykhody za dver’ I skvo’z godaPrigotovlen’e k etoy vot khod’be: Vdvoem, v glub’ gor, Plechom k plechu, Skvoz’ kamni, burelom. new | 1_ 2005

Russian transliteration: Irina Dyatlovskaya

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Gary Snyder

FEATURE | Translating Gary Snyder

These are the first two and the final sections of “Glacier Ghosts”, a series of poems that appear in Part II of Danger on Peaks (Washington: Shoemaker & Hoard, 2004).

from Glacier Ghosts

Late July: Five Lakes Basin & Sand Ridge, Northern Sierra A lake east of the east end of Sand Ridge, a sleeping site tucked under massive leaning glacial erratic propped on bedrock, bed of wood bits, bark, and cones. Gravelly bed below a tilted erratic, chilly restless night, — ants in my hair — Nap on a granite slab half in shade, you can never hear enough sound of wind in the pines —

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Japanese translation: Shigeyoshi Hara From: Sanchou no ayausa (forthcoming)

Hyoga no bourei tachi Shichigatsu gejyun—hokubu siera, faivu reikusu beisun to sando rizzi nite

Japanese transliteration: Shigeyoshi Hara

Sando rizzi no higashihasi ni ichi suru higashino mizuumi, hyoga ga hakonda kyoseki ga kigan no ue de katamuku sono iwa no sukima de kyanppu, mokuhen to zyuhi to matsukasa no beddo Katamuita maigoishi, sonoshita no zyari no toko samusa de netsukenu yoru —boku no kami niwa aritachi — tairana kakougan no uede hirune hanbun wa hikage, akirukotonaki matsu kaze no oto — new | 1_ 2005

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Gary Snyder

from Glacier Ghosts

Sand Ridge FEATURE | Translating Gary Snyder

How you survived — gravelly two mile lateral moraine of sand and summer snow and hardy flowers always combing the wind that crosses range and valley from the sea. Walk that backbone path ghosts of the pleistocene icefields stretching down and away, both sides

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Japanese translation: Shigeyoshi Hara From: Sanchou no ayausa (forthcoming)

Sando Rizzi

yoku imamade ikinokotta— sankiro tsuzuku zyari darake no hyoga no taiseki sokoni suna to natsu no yuki to taikansei no hana ga maziru kushikezuru kaze wa itsumo umi kara, yama o koe tani o watatte yattekuru ano sebone o aruku kousinsei no hyougen no bourei tachi ga sita e tooku e one no ryogawa e teashi o nobashite yuku, ano michi wo

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Japanese transliteration: Shigeyoshi Hara

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FEATURE | Translating Gary Snyder

Gary Snyder

Right In the Trail

“Right in the trail” originally appeared in No Nature (New York: Pantheon, 1992).

Here it is, near the house, A big pile, fat scats, Studded with those deep red Smooth-skinned manzanita berries, Such a pile! Such droppings, Awesome. And I saw how The young girl in the story, Had good cause to comment On the bearscats she found while Picking blueberries with her friends. She laughed at them Or maybe with them, jumped over them (Bad luck!), and is reported To have said “wide anus!” To amuse or annoy the Big Brown Ones Who are listening, of course. They say the ladies Have always gone berrying And they all join together To go out for the herring spawn, Or to clean green salmon. And that big set of lessons On what bears really want, Was brought back by the girl Who made those comments: She was taken on a year-long excursion Deep in the mountains, Through the tangled deadfalls, Down into the den. She had some pretty children by a Young and handsome Bear. Now I’m on the dirt Looking at these scats And I want to cry not knowing why

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Bem No Rastro

Tá aí, perto da casa, Um monte grande e gordo de bosta Salpicada daquelas bagas vermelho vivo E sedosas da manzanita, Que monte! Que esterco Espantoso. Então eu vi que A garota da história Tinha mesmo motivo pra falar Dos excrementos de urso que achou quando Colhia mirtilo com as amigas. Ela riu deles Ou talvez com eles, pulou por cima deles (Dá azar!) e conta-se Que ainda disse “ânus enorme!” Pra divertir ou provocar os Grandes Pardos Que estão escutando, claro.

Portuguese translation: Luci Collin From: Re-habitar — poemas e ensaios, (Rio de Janero: Azougue Editorial, 2005)

Eles dizem que as moças Sempre foram colher frutos E que todos eles se reúnem Pra assistir à desova do arenque Ou pra apanhar salmão fresco. E aquela longa série de lições Sobre o que os ursos de fato desejam Foi relembrada pela garota Que fez os tais comentários: Ela foi levada, por um ano, numa excursão Lá pelas montanhas remotas, Por emaranhados de fatais armadilhas Toca abaixo. Ela teve umas crianças bonitas com um Urso jovem e formoso. Agora estou na sujeira Olhando pra estes excrementos E quero chorar sem saber porque

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FEATURE | Translating Gary Snyder

At the honor and the humor Of coming on this sign That is not found in books Or transmitted in letters, And is for women just as much as men, A shining message for all species, A glimpse at the Trace Of the Great One’s passing, With a peek into her whole wild system – And what was going on last week, (Mostly still manzanita) – Dear Bear: do stay around. Be good. And though I know It won’t help to say this, Chew your food.

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À honra e à graça De ter me deparado com este sinal Que não se encontra nos livros Nem é transmitido na literatura, E existe pras mulheres tanto quanto pros homens, Uma mensagem clara pra todas as espécies, Um vislumbre do Traço Da passagem da Grande Ursa Mãe Com uma espiada em todo seu sistema selvagem E no que aconteceu semana passada, (Principalmente, ainda, manzanita) Querido Urso: fique por perto. Seja bom. E, mesmo que eu saiba Que não adianta dizer isto, Mastigue a comida.

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FEATURE | Translating Gary Snyder

Gary Snyder

For the Children

“For the Children� originally appeared in Turtle Island (New York: New Directions, 1974).

The rising hills, the slopes, of statistics lie before us. the steep climb of everything, going up, up, as we all go down. In the next century or the one beyond that, they say, are valleys, pastures, we can meet there in peace if we make it. To climb these coming crests one word to you, to you and your children: stay together learn the flowers go light

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Per i bambini

Le colline in salita, i pendii, dei dati statistici sono davanti a noi. la ripida ascesa di ogni cosa, va su, sempre più su, mentre tutti noi andiamo giù.

Italian translation: Chiara D’Ottavi From: L’isola della tartaruga (Viterbo: ed.Stampa AlternativaNuovi Equilibri, 2004)

Nel prossimo secolo o in quello dopo ancora, dicono, ci saranno vallate, pascoli, dove potremo incontrarci, in pace, se ce la facciamo. Per scalare queste future creste due parole a voi, a voi e ai vostri bambini: restate uniti studiate i fiori viaggiate leggeri

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FEATURE | Translating Gary Snyder

Gary Snyder

After Bamiyan

“After Bamiyan” originally appeared in Part VI of Danger on Peaks (Washington: Shoemaker & Hoard, 2004).

March 2001 The Chinese Buddhist pilgrim Hsüan Tsang described the giant, gleaming, painted carved-out Buddhas standing in their stone cave-niches at the edge of the Bamiyan Valley as he passed through there on foot, on his way to India in the seventh century CE. Last week they were blown up by the Taliban. Not just by the Taliban, but by the woman-and-nature-denying authoritarian worldviews that go back much farther than Abraham. Dennis Dutton sent this poem around:

Not even under mortar fire do they flinch. The Buddhas of Bamiyan Take Refuge in the dust.

May we keep our minds clear and calm and in the present moment, and honor the dust. ——— April 2001 From a man who writes about Buddhism

Dear Gary: Well, yes, but, the manifest Dharma is intra-samsaric, and will decay. – R. – I wrote back, Ah yes . . . impermanence. But this is never a reason to let compassion and focus slide, or to pass off the sufferings of others because they are merely impermanent beings. Issa’s haiku goes,

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Il dopo Bamiyan

Marzo 2001

Italian translation: Chiara D’Ottavi

Nel settimo secolo d.C., Hsüan Tsang, pellegrino ­b uddhista cinese, descrisse i colossali, luminosi Buddha, scolpiti nella pietra e ricoperti di colore, all’interno delle loro nicchie rocciose, al margine della valle Bamiyan, mentre nel suo cammino verso l’India, attraversava questo luogo a piedi. La scorsa settimana, sono state fatte saltare in aria dai Talebani. Non solo dai Talebani, ma da tutte quelle visioni del mondo autoritarie, e risalenti a molto prima di Abramo, che rinnegano la natura e la donna. Dennis Dutton ha messo in circolazione questa poesia:

Previously unpublished

Neppure sotto il fuoco dei mortai cedono. I Buddha di Bamiyan Prendono rifugio nella polvere.

Possiamo mantenere le nostre menti lucide, calme e nel momento presente, e onorare la polvere. Aprile 2001 Da parte di un uomo che scrive di Buddhismo

Caro Gary: d’accordo, sì, ma il Dharma manifesto è “intra-samsarico”, e soggetto alla decadenza. – R. – Ho risposto io: Ah, sì… l’impermanenza. Ma questo non può essere il pretesto per lasciar scivolare via la compassione e l’essere centrati, né per prendere alla leggera le sofferenze altrui, dato che si tratta meramente di esseri meramente impermanenti. Procede così l’haiku di Issa,

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Tsuyu no yo

wa tsuyu no yo nagara

sarinagara

“This dewdrop world is but a dewdrop world and yet –“

That “and yet” is our perennial practice. And maybe the root of the Dharma.

FEATURE | Translating Gary Snyder

——— A person who should know better wrote, “Many credulous and sentimental Westerners, I suspect, were upset by the destruction of the Afghan Buddha figures because they believe that so-called Eastern religion is more tenderhearted and less dogmatic . . . So – is nothing sacred? Only respect for human life and culture, which requires no divine sanction and no priesthood to inculcate it. The foolish veneration of holy places and holy texts remains a principal obstacle to that simple realization.” – “This is another case of ‘blame the victim’” I answer. “Buddhism is not on trial here. The Bamiyan statues are part of human life and culture, they are works of art, being destroyed by idolators of the book. Is there anything ‘credulous’ in respecting the art and religious culture of the past? Counting on the tender-heartedness of (most) Buddhists, you can feel safe in trashing the Bamiyan figures as though the Taliban wasn’t doing a good enough job. I doubt you would have the nerve to call for launching a little missile at the Ka’aba. There are people who would put a hit on you and you know it.”

——— September 2001 The men and women who died at the World Trade Center together with the Buddhas of Bamiyan, Take Refuge in the dust.

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Tsuyu no ya

wa tsuyu no ya nagara

sarinagara

“Questo mondo di rugiada non è altro che un mondo di rugiada eppure…-“

Questo “eppure” è la nostra pratica perenne. E forse, la radice del Dharma.

——— Una persona, che dovrebbe saperne di più, ha scritto: “suppongo che il motivo per cui tanti occidentali, crèduli e sentimentali, siano stati così turbati dalla distruzione dei Buddha afgani, sia la loro convinzione che la cosiddetta religione orientale sia meno dogmatica e abbia il cuore più tenero... Allora – dov’è il sacro? Solo nel rispetto per la vita umana e per la cultura, che non ha bisogno né di sanzioni divine, né di preti che inculchino tutto ciò. La venerazione insensata dei luoghi santi e dei testi sacri continua ad essere l’ostacolo principale a questa semplice realizzazione”. – “Ecco un alto caso di dare la colpa alle vittime”, ho risposto io. “Il buddhismo non è sotto processo qui. Le statue Bamiyan appartengono alla vita e alla cultura umane, sono manufatti artistici che sono stati distrutti dagli idolatri del libro. C’è forse qualcosa di “crèdulo” nel rispettare la cultura artistica e religiosa del passato? Contando sul cuore tenero dei buddhisti (la maggior parte), ti senti legittimato nel denigrare le figure dei Buddha, come se i Talebani non avessero già fatto abbastanza. Dubito che avresti il coraggio di invocare il lancio di un piccolo missile sulla Ka’aba. Ci sono persone che ti metterebbero a morte, e lo sai bene”. ——— Settembre 2001 Gli uomini e le donne morti al World Trade Center insieme ai Buddha di Bamiyan, Prendono rifugio nella polvere.

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FEATURE | Translating Gary Snyder

Francesca Mengoni

Cantici

This Italian poem combines passages from “the Canticle of the Creatures” by Saint Francis of Assisi and Gary Snyder’s“Prayer for the Great Family” from Turtle Island. The original Italian translation of Snyder’s full poem by Chiara D’Ottavia was published in L’isola della tartaruga (Turtle Island). Passages from Snyder’s original poem are in italic type in the Italian, and quoted directly in Addey’s English translation.

Dalla terra a cui appartengo, una staffetta di secoli e di popoli diversi, di cantori diversi per ricordare la nostra interconnessione con gli Altri. E’ sempre meglio ripetere.

“Cantici” originally appeared in Lato Selvatico, a Bioregional Newsletter edited by Giuseppe Morretti. —PK

Laudato sie, mi’ Signore, cum tucte le tue creature, specialmente messor lo frate sole, lo qual’è iorno, et allumini noi per lui. Et ellu è bellu e radiante cum grande splendore: de te, Altissimo, porta significatione. Ringraziamo il sole: l’abbacinante luce pulsante che attraversa i tronchi degli alberi, la nebbia, che riscalda le grotte dove dormono orsi e serpenti – Colui che ci desta – nelle nostre menti Laudato si’, mi’ Signore, per sora luna e le stelle: in celu l’ai formate clarite e preziose et belle. Ringraziamo il Cielo Immenso che racchiude nella nostra vita miliardi di stelle – e ben oltre si estende – oltre ogni potere e pensiero eppure è dentro di noi – Lo Spazio, nostro Nonno Sua Moglie è la Mente. nelle nostre menti Laudato si’, mi’ Signore, per frate vento et per aere et nubilo et sereno et onne tempo, per lo quale a le tue creature dài sustentamento.

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Canticles

From the place where I belong: a handing down through the centuries and peoples, by diverse singers, reminding us of our interconnection with the Others. It is always good to say it again. Praise be to thee, my Lord, with all thy Creatures, especially for master brother Sun who makes the day for us and gives us light for he is shining, beautiful and bright: and bears significance of thy high glory. Gratitude to the Sun: blinding pulsing light through trunks of trees, through mists, warming caves where bears and snakes sleep – He who wakes us – in our minds

English translation: Etain Addey Note about the Canticle of the Creatures: The medieval language that St Frances used is startlingly similar to the present-day local Umbrian dialect and is both plainer and more joyful than most translations reveal. I have compared several English versions and tried to convey these two characteristics; Snyder’s language is very much in sympathy with the original! —EA

Praise be to thee, my Lord, for sister Moon and for the Stars: Thou hast set them in the sky, shining, precious and fair. Gratitude to the Great Sky who holds billions of stars – and goes yet beyond that – beyond all powers, and thoughts and yet is within us – Grandfather Space The Mind is his Wife. in our minds Praise be to thee, my Lord, for brother Wind for air and mist, clear skies and every kind of weather by which thou givest food to all thy creatures.

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Ringraziamo l’Aria, portatrice del rondone che si libra in volo e del silenzioso gufo all’alba. Puro spirito della brezza respira il nostro canto nelle nostre menti Laudato si’, mi’Signore, per sor’aqua, la quale è multo utile et umile et preziosa et casta. FEATURE | Translating Gary Snyder

Ringraziamo l’Acqua: nuvola, lago, fiume, ghiacciaio; ferma o in movimento; riversa attraverso tutti i nostri corpi mari salati nelle nostre menti Laudato si’, mi’ Signore, per frate focu, per lo quale ennallumini la nocte: et ello è bello et iocundo et robustoso et forte. Laudato si’, mi’ Signore, per sora matre terra, la quale ne sustenta et governa, et produce diversi fructi con coloriti flori et herba. Ringraziamo la Madre Terra, che naviga attraverso il giorno e la notte ed il suo suolo: ricco, prezioso e dolce Ringraziamo le Piante, la foglia, che cattura il sole e trasforma la luce ed il fine pelo radicale; in piedi, ferme, nel vento e nella pioggia; la loro danza è nella grana del flusso che s’avvita Ringraziamo gli Esseri Selvatici, nostri fratelli, insegnanti di segreti, libertà e sentieri; che condividono con noi il loro latte; completi, coraggiosi e consapevoli nelle nostre menti Laudato si’, mi’ Signore, per sora nostra morte corporale, da la quale nullu homo vivente po’ skappare: Laudate e benedicete mi’ Signore et rengratiate e serviateli cum grande humilitate. così sia.

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Gratitude to Air, bearing the soaring Swift and the silent Owl at dawn. Breath of our song clear spirit breeze in our minds Praise be to thee, my Lord, for sister Water for she is very useful, humble, precious and pure. Gratitude to Water: clouds, lakes, rivers, glaciers; holding or releasing; streaming through all our bodies salty seas in our minds Praise be to thee, my Lord, for brother Fire who brings us light to sheer our hearts by night for he is fair and merry, boisterous and strong. Praise be for our sister, my Lord, dear Mother Earth who bears and feeds us all and gives us diverse fruit, sweet herbs and many-coloured flowers. Gratitude to Mother Earth, sailing through night and day – and to her soil: rich, rare and sweet Gratitude to Plants, the sun-facing, light-changing leaf and fine root-hairs; standing still through wind and rain; their dance is in the flowing spiral grain Gratitude to Wild Beings, our brothers, teaching secrets, freedoms, and ways; who share with us their milk; self-complete, brave and aware in our minds Praise be to thee, my Lord, for our sister Bodily Death from whom no man alive can run: O bless and praise my Lord all creatures we give thanks and with deep humility serve you. So be it.

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Reading is a private act Irina Dyatlovskaya

FEATURE | Translating Gary Snyder

Reading is a private act – one is alone with the text in space and time versus being surround­ ed by other spectators/visitors, etc. From my standpoint, the best translator can translate into any language (read: culture): translating both the meaning and the style (rhythm, pace, breath of the poem/text) as close to the original as possible, without, say, turning Snyder into Auden or someone who he is not, just to fit the poetic tradition of this or that language. That is the beauty/necessity/ reason of a translation, to get to know some otherwise unfamiliar territory of un­familiar language. I believe translation doesn’t need to be tailored to a specific audience. It is the audience who needs to grow or rise to be ad­ equate to the poet. Translation needs to be translation as much as it is possible and not interpretation. If I were to describe G. Snyder’s poetry/ style in a few words, I would say he is a poet “of this world” (от мира сего / ot mira sego) versus the stereotype that poets/creative people are from “outer space” so to speak. In addition, he is “акын / akyn”, a word in Kyr­ gystan/Middle Asia for a folk poet/narrator who sings about the world around just naming things, without evaluation/analyses/critique. This is what Gary Snyder is for me. And for me, this is the key to his poetics/to translating his poems. I hesitated for a long time before I ­decided to start working on translating his poetry. A mutual friend who saw some of my other translations approached me and suggested to work on translating Gary’s Practice of the Wild. I didn’t want to get involved because from my standpoint at the time the interest in all envi­ ronmental issues in Russia, unfortunately, had

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been replaced with some other needs. B ­ esides, after reading Gary’s poetry I thought the ­poems would communicate the same ideas as well as the difference in the ­approach/ mental­ ity better than the prose. In a way, poetry for me was more convincing … With some hesi­ tation still remaining, I ­started…with poetry… For me it was/is a different poetics, a different set of mind. For a while, I experienced inner resistance to the poetry itself ... and finally, when I was able to … let it speak to me without my ste­ reotypes guarding every word, after I “let the­ ­ poems in” they opened to me more and I was able to start translating … first trying to do­ ­poems which were “speaking to me”. After I decided/understood and was in a way “intrigued” and “seduced” by Snyder’s position/approach/common wisdom, real­ izing that there were no Russian translations of his poetry at all (at the time I started in 2002 there were none), I thought it would be worthwhile translating with a potential pub­ lication in mind. And from that point I was `­interpreting” his work for myself and trying to project which poems would give a better understanding to a reader who doesn’t have access to the entire body of work. I started with what was appealing to me ... but … some of the poems which will give a better idea/ ­understanding of Snyder were not among “my favorite”. The main challenge is: do you, as a trans­ lator of that particular poet UNDERSTAND it correctly, adequately. For me this requires learning/under­ standing as much as I can about the poet, that is reading more of his work to feel its rhythm, its beat, to learn its vocabulary and to understand

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the context, to look through comments/notes of critics/admirers/adversaries of this poet – American, not European or Asian because what is important is to try to convey/translate the American approach/mind set/perception. Of course, the poems themselves tell you a lot, especially if, like in Snyder’s case, one checks on all the meanings and make sure that one knows the references mentioned. So, I think in order to communicate the peculiarities of an “American mentality” or some very specific/unusual information, it is appropriate to publish a poem along with some comments, notes, critical analyses related to it. Here, I believe, a translator can choose those pieces that will “support” his/her translation and will help understanding of the poem. Thus, first I read, enjoy the poem (if I e­ njoy it), after that, if I choose it for trans­lation, I inter­pret it for myself and then I translate it. And I “test” it, “test” my Russian, to make sure that it is Russian, and not just a trans­lation from English. To be absolutely sure I need to look at translations after letting them sit for some time. G. Snyder’s “trick” is that he is very sin­ cere, genuine, and the more I work with his poetry, the more involved I become. And, yes, at times some things/poems just remain “a closed book” and I put them aside, until ­better times. I can not translate something that I don’t like. I need to like at least something or to have some challenge in order to be able to translate it. The challenges are common with any translation: a difference in the language itself. English in comparison with Russian is more precise, more direct. I am trying to translate Snyder’s style and poems, his “matter of fact” approach/style and his lyricism without sen­ timentality, his interlinear of existence. I believe it is important to provide some background information – footnotes explaining, say, the significance of Coyote ­ or the Hump-back flute player – and identifi­ cation of the time – I believe it is important to know how old a poet was when he wrote this or that poem – as well as when and where a poem

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was written. I am talking about poets and ­poems that really become part of one’s life, poems which touch one deeply. If the poem “takes one in” one will go and find more – through reading more of the same poet/writer, searching for answers/questions in available sources. For this publication, I suggest “Riprap” and “Off the Trail” as a good example. “Riprap” is an excellent representation of G. Snyder’s approach/perception of the world and literature. The title itself is a challenge to translate into Russian. This form of trailbuilding is not done in the mountainous areas of Russia. There are some other more urgent needs and riprap was never made a priority. And if one is to give an exact meaning of rip­ rap in Russian, it simply doesn’t make sense to most people. Besides, in Russian “каменная наброска / Kamennaya Nabroska” is something that is done randomly, “thrown into place” It doesn’t mean “placed carefully and thoughtfully”. And, of course, translation is about trans­lating not only words. But riprap is/was done in the cities, in ­older times. Thus, after long discussions with my friends and colleagues, searching for a word, I choose “Брусчатка / Bruschatka”. This word contains solidity, thoughtfulness and work that lasts. The sound of future foot­ steps on the cobble stone does count too. “Off the Trail” just flows, the lyricism of it, love, and freedom. It was easy, in a sense: those leaps of breath, steps. In Russian, I gave it a double title since in English “Off the trail” can mean both “volunteer choice” and getting off the beaten path, losing a path, on purpose or not, as well as doing something differently, finding one’s own way. So, in order to commu­ nicate the same in Russian, I “gave it double” title which, hopefully, conveys both meanings “Сойдя с тропы/Свой путь Soidya s tropy/ Svoi put”. This poem is not just about rambling in the woods. So much is there: spontaneity, inner knowledge of purpose, understanding of one’s own way/destiny. I hope that it comes across in my translation.

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Why we Czechs can understand Gary Snyder poetry Luboš Snížek FEATURE | Translating Gary Snyder

The question, why we Czechs can understand Gary Snyder poetry, isn’t as easy as it seems. Let me try to find some satisfying answers. If the poetry of this American poet is able to address people all around the world (the edition of this magazine is a proof of it), it has to contain Something that touches something inside us despite the color of our skin, the ­cultural and political-social context or our in­ dividual dispositions. It is possible to enter into the world of Gary Snyder through many doors. For me and my generation (I am a man of forty) it was the door of literature: the Beat generation poetry and then our interest in the hippie movement and counter culture generally. But the next doors are ecology, Buddhism & Zen, or an in­ terest in the life-style of American Indians in the environment of Central Europe. And other doors can be the interest in primitive tribal cul­ tures, or mythology, or just liking for the story ­telling. All places behind these doors are inter­ connected and all these doors are open and we can go through them if we want to. As we find very easily, all these doors lead into nature. The contact of my generation with nature wasn’t as tight as in the Gary Snyder life, but it was very close. I can rewrite a Gary Snyder phrase: We Czechs are all yokels. In former Czechoslovakia every ­ family had parents or grandparents or other rela­ tives who lived in the villages. So we knew the real life in the countryside (however damaged by the collective farming it was): domestic ­animals and their breeding, feeding, caring for and slaughtering, and also wildlife: mouf­ flons, deer, boars, hares, buzzards, jays, quails, ants & beetles. So I dare to say that every kid of my generation knew some typical village

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works and activities such as cone harvesting, sawing and cutting, bringing water from the well, mowing, picking mushrooms (Czechs, Slovaks, Poles or Russians know edible mush­ rooms well and eat them) and berries (straw­ berries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries) and so on. The truth is that the times are changing and the situation today is a little different. The countryside is more and more the place for holiday and less and less the place of agri­ culture. Today not everyone has a relative who practices farming. On the other side more and more young people want to practice an ecological agri­ culture, practice the alternative, self-­sufficient life style. In that case Gary Snyder ­poetry and essays can be a good wilderness and ­nature guidebook for them. And it also works this way for some time. But the doors of his works introduce us into deeper and further countries. Gary Snyder poetry has two levels – the first: a nice story telling, the second: a theme for hard study. We can read the poetry almost as a fic­ tion. His poetry tells us the story (whether dreamy, mythical, surreal or real). That’s why Snyder poetry and essays are easy to read and understand for workers, white-collar workers, ­farmers, politicians, scientists or philosophers. It’s open to everybody with the open mind and to everybody who wants to take it in. Well, maybe Czechs and other ­ nations with a totalitarian experience have an ­ad­van­tage over the others because they know very well how to read between the lines. No doubt, the places, where his story (his story – history) goes on, have a certain hallmark of

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exoticism for Central Europe readers, but the feelings, impressions, and messages which his story relays are generally transmittable. We can say his poetry is local, but its lesson has a global validity. It’s important for us that such a “simple” s­ tory excites our desire to know more, to know what happened before, what will happen after, why it happened and why it is happening just know. The poetry forces us to search, find and check some in­ formation and to educate ourselves. Furthermore, or vice versa – for the con­ temporary well-traveled young generation who has experience with the global world, the reading of Snyder poetry could arouse interest in the local world. Gary Snyder is a good storyteller. He tells lightly, but big events enact ­under the surface of the tale: the continents move, “diamond drill of racing icemelt waters” works, the woods are being cut or dried, the man is reaching the enlightenment under the new moon tongue, is moved by the flowing of the little creek or by the majesty of­­mountains. We are drawn into many ecological, geo­ logical, philosophical, spiritual, etymological, or just skillful topics, into the human and nonhuman relationships, into the transfers of ener­ gies, energies of water, rocks and butterflies, into the history of the human race, into the world of shamans and dancers, and old ways. And when we are in danger of being lost in these worlds, the poet splashes us with cold water and lets us go our own (spiritual) way. It’s nice, funny, inspiring and also risky and dangerous. The positive aspect is that we still remain free. And we can go back home at any time. Maybe. I don’t know if my attempt to find some satisfying answers brings any new or specific aspects in comparison with other translators. The fact is that Gary Snyder is well known in the Czech Republic as the Thoreauesque per­ sonality of the world ecological movement. Gary Snyder as a poet is on the second place. However, we can take the ecological aspect of his work as one of the doors to his poetical/ philosophical realm.

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The first step was done in 2002 during the exhibition “Wilderness – Nature, Soul, Language”, and the international conference “Wilderness as the Phenomenon of Integral Culture” at Klatovy-Klenová Gallery in the Šumava region, which was dedicated just to him and the Czech painter, typographer and philosopher Josef Váchal (1884 – 1969). For me as the translator, Gary Snyder poetry has one more important aspect – his language. He doesn’t tell the story with the help of some words. In his poems the words themselves are the storyteller, each with its own story (history). As a poet, he is just “the speaker”. So, how is it possible to translate them into the another language? I’ve been reading and trying to translate Gary Snyder poetry and essays for almost twenty years – primarily as unpublishable stuff, now for publishing. But I can never say: “Vow, the translation is finished”. It’s very hard to find, for example, the right expressions for technical terms, activi­ ties, or some special equipment for the wood­ cutting, when the system of forest harvesting in the Czech Republic is a little different from the one in the USA. It is inspiring, but it’s not the main problem of translation. These English monosyllabic words! How many, how nice, how voiced! And Gary Snyder poetic language and his spare way of phrasing! I like it but how to say it in Czech, when the Czech equivalent for most English mono­ syllabic words is disyllabic at least? When the Czech words are more “lazy”, they are poetical in a different way and I want to try to hold Gary Snyder rhythm. It’s a challenge. So, due to Gary S ­ nyder poetry and essays I still discover strange “back countries” of the Czech language. The more I find, the larger the region of the Czech ­language is. Due to Gary Snyder I learn and love Czech. What more could I wish? April 10, 2005

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How to translate phanopoeia: Gary Snyder’s poetry into Japanese Shigeyoshi Hara

FEATURE | Translating Gary Snyder

Ezra Pound, a great poet and promoter of Modern­ ism, once defined the language of poetry as three kinds of functions—melo­ ­ poeia, phono­poeia, and logopoeia—in his essay “How to Read.” Melopoeia is concerned with some musical property which helps charge words above their plain meaning. Phanopoeia is a casting of images upon the visual imagi­ nation. Logopoeia “employs words not only for their direct meaning, but it takes account in a special way of habits of usage, of the con­ text we expect to find with the word, its usual concomitants, of its known acceptance, and of ironical play,” which Pound calls “the dance of intellect among words.” As for translation, the poetic qualities of melopoeia are rarely translatable, which Pound learned when he translated the poetry of the troubadour. The visual qualities of phanopoeia can be readily translated from one language to another. Pound probably realized it when he translated Chinese poets of the Tang ­dynasty from the notebooks by Ernest Fenollosa, and thought those poets excelled in the use of phano­poeia. And logopoeia does not translate, but “the attitude of mind it expresses may pass through a paraphrase.” Gary Snyder said “images” were trans­ latable in his award-winning lecture for the 3rd Masaoka Shiki International Haiku Grand Prize in Tokyo, November 2004. As a trans­lator of Snyder’s poetry, I’ve often felt that phanopoeia can be translated as Pound or ­Snyder mentioned. In translating selected poems by Snyder into the Japanese language, I’d like to show what occurs in the process of choosing Japanese words for images in the original. Let us consider two pieces in a series of short poems that appeared in “Yet Older

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Matters” in Danger on Peaks (2004). “Glacier Ghosts” consists of 17 brief poems which may be called haiku. The poem begins with de­ scription of the time and the place. The reader imagines these poems were written about the speaker’s experience in summer in Northern Sierra, California. When I first read the poem, I wondered how I might translate the proper nouns of “Five Lakes Basin & Sand Ridge.” The Japanese language has three kinds of notations. In a translation you should choose one of the three. They are called Kanji (Chinese characters, a combination of ideograms), Hiragana (the Japanese cursive syllabary, phonogram), and Katakana (another Japanese syllabary, used for words borrowed from foreign ­languages). Written Japanese usually mixes Kanji, Hira­ gana, and Katakana. They appear in my Japa­ nese translation on page 29 and 31. If you put emphasis on the sound of the original, you might select “faivu reikusu” (Roman trans­ lation) in Katakana, “to” in Hiragana for the conjunction “&” and “sando rizzi for “Sand Ridge.” If you use “suna no mine” in Chinese characters, literally translated into “ridge of sand, or sandy ridge,” the Japanese reader very well might think of a mountain in Japan. When I visited Kitkitdizze last summer, Snyder took me on a hike in Sand Ridge with his son, Gen. I had an experience similar to the one the speaker in the poem had in the area. Every place has its own story. The place we hiked around had a story of glacier deposits which are not so familiar to us in Japan. So I chose Katakana in my translation. The following two lines in italics seem prose in haibun to the Japanese reader. It seems that the series of 17 brief poems (the first two of which I selected) are haiku. The speaker in the poem hides from the night chill under a huge rock, and ants do the same in the hair of the speaker. It is the strik­ ing contrast in the size and weight of the three — the erratic, the speaker, and the ants — that makes this poem so effective. The reader may perceive the interrelatedness in nature of the three which are quite different from each

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­ ther. The typography has something to do o with the meaning. There is a sense of humor between the lines which is familiar in tradi­ tional haiku. These fragmentary images also have something in common with haiku. It might be said that the Japanese reader can appreciate this poem more than the native speaker of ­English. The next poem shows two scenes juxta­ posed; one is the place on which the speaker takes a nap. The other is the inner world of the speaker. “[S]ound of wind in the pines” may be a voice from within. “Cho-fu” in Japa­ nese, which means “Listen to the wind”, is the ­Dharma name Snyder was given by his Roshi. But it does not matter if the reader doesn’t know this. Phanopoeia or “images” found in these two poems can for the most part be trans­lated into Japanese, except for the height of the pine trees. Pine trees in the Sierra are much higher than those in Japan. As for melopoeia, the monosyllabic sound of the original may be heard in the Japanese version. I have no idea about logopoeia, but some of it remains, I hope. It seems that translation of poetry comes from an interpretation of the translator, who is sort of a representative of the reader, not of the poet. The translator cuts out a scene or ­ images seen from his/her window, and ­arranges or puts them together into another language according to that language’s cultural background. In the case of Snyder’s poetry, I find it diffi­ cult to get the tone of the original. His ellip­ tical and fragmentary style is very suitable to a Kanji style. As some scholars ­mention, there might be the influence of Chinese ­poetry on his work. A Japanese sentence with many Kanji, however, sounds rather bookish to the Japanese. It is clear that Snyder’s style is very colloquial. How to harmonize phanopoeia with melopoeia. It is one of the most challeng­ ing aspects in the translation of Gary Snyder’s work.

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A song of pure love, For the Children of the Earth

Chiara D’Ottavi “For the Children” gives the title to the last section of Turtle Island, and, in my opinion, it can be read as Snyder’s ideal vision and, at the same time, as his spiritual, ethical and poeti­ cal testament, addressed to the children of the world. “For the Children” is followed by “As for Poets”, a poem in which the poetic climax of the whole work is reached. This last poem is a powerful closure of the circular path started by Anasazi, the deeply Native A ­ merican ­opening, which begins the rediscovery of Turtle Island, as well as the re-connection to Mother Earth; whereas the latter is finely spiritual, B ­ uddhist, and all-inclusive. All these i­nstances belong to the same process of re-inhabitation, which, in Snyder’s poetry and prose is character­ ized by the unprecedented combination of ­Native American roots, Zen Buddhism, and bio­regionalism. Thus, “For the Children” wonderfully opens the path to the final revelation. The ­poetic utopia of this poem, in fact, emanates a general sense of delight and lightness, not only in its content, but also in its style and form. Snyder wishes to communicate the impor­ tance of peace and beauty to the little human beings, and to their parents as well, through the harmony of his song. The poet invites the young men and women to face the challenges of the future – “The rising hills, the slopes, of statistics (…) the steep climb of everything” – with determination, but also with lightness:

To climb these coming crests one word to you, to you and your children:

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stay together learn the flowers go light.

FEATURE | Translating Gary Snyder

The message is impressive in its sincere purity, which is not naive, but ideal: once again, the key is to stay together, to be informed, to go in the world lightly and peacefully. Starting from the simplest and most important things, like studying the flowers. These were the first aspects that I most noticed as a reader then while working on my translation thesis on Turtle Island and the whole production of Gary Snyder, and then as the Italian translator and editor of Turtle Island. But, aside from these universal ele­ ments, I eventually discovered how that same poem can be read differently (obvious as it may seem), and that there may be different interpretations, depending on many factors, ­especially on the place where the reader lives. I discovered that directly from Gary’s report, when he came to Italy for several presentations of L’isola della Tartaruga /Turtle Island, last September. On one occasion, he talked of his teaching experience in a high school in A ­ laska, in small classes of eight-nine students. At that time, Snyder used to ask to his students: “what do you think these lines mean: learn the flower, stay together, go light?”. As for the line stay together, one Eskimo boy’s answer was: “stay together, that means you should know your family history, your grandpa and ­grandma, your uncle and aunt and what they do”. Whereas another Eskimo boy said: “learn the flowers, that means you have to know how to trap fox and how to catch salmon and what the behaviour and life of the animals is so that you can catch and eat them”. Finally, the answer to go light, by an Auletine girl was: “be careful with what you have, be simple and don’t waste oil!” The audience responded with surprise and amusement: we all laughed but, at the same time, I am sure that most of the people there felt the wisdom and the practicality, be­ hind those apparently simply interpretations. What knowledge and wit behind the words of those native and young inhabitants of Alaska!

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Interpretations which appear so appropriate! Snyder’s final comment on these reports was just: “So, everybody can figure out for them­ selves and for their own lives and for their families what this means”. It was interesting to listen to this report by the live voice of Snyder, in my own country, which gave us, Roman readers, interpretations from people who live very far from us. More­ over, Alaska evokes for me a part of Snyder’s itinerary, from the West Coast to Japan, and return. This whole territory has been definied by Gary as “my own place”. All this is also con­ nected to the ancient path of the people who travelled from Siberia, passing across the ­Bering Strait, to reach Alaska and then the whole of Turtle Island. The same path which was “walked” by Snyder himself, poetically, existentially and practically. A journey which is emblematically represented in the splendid poem “The Way West Underground”. I like to define that itineray, from my European point of view: “from the extreme West of the West, to the far East”. (But where ends the West and where starts the East?). Going back to “For the Children” again, it would be interesting to ask Italian students similar questions. For, although I am trans­lator and environmental journalist, I am ­having a little teaching experience at the moment, in Italian schools. I have got the impression that the Italian students, as well as their ­parents, would give much more abstract answers (which does not mean less interesting) than the Eskimo! In my country we do not always still have a similar “sense of place”, especially in the cities and within the young generations, at least in the mainstream. But it is not neces­ sarily for a lack of knowledge or sense of iden­ tity: in Italy and in Europe, we generally have more a sense of Time than of Place, for histori­ cal and cultural reasons as well. Certainly, the “sense of place” is perhaps more alive among certain groups in the West Coast of the US; the vegetal and animal world was more recently powerful and influential, embodied in the ­totems of the Native populations, for example. This “sense of place” is certainly more present

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in the “minority” native groups, such as the Eskimo. However, in Italy too there are some people who are deeply aware of their place, the old, traditional cultivators of wine and olive oil, for instance. Another important revelation about the poem “For the Children”, was the reference to the current crucial issue of oil. An issue that we cannot ignore any longer. In the poem there is no explicit reference to that but “The r­ ising hills, the slopes, of statistics” of the poem were, to me, the basic challenges of humanity, such as the rising populations, the water and the resources, the necessity of choosing a more sustainable lifestyle. To me, these issues were the ones of the near future, if referred to the moment of the publication of the book (1974), and those of the very present. But I discovered that, to “go down” is not (or not only) a general decadence of the human species, it is a refer­ ence to the oil crisis. It is a matter of fact that oil will finish soon. It was not so obvious in the ’70’s. Thus, necessarily, our own lives will change completely. There are many different scenarios, some of which are not optimistic. One is tragically current and real: the war in Iraq, which calls for a response, even if not every­one has realized this yet. As for me, wishing a more simple, com­ munitarian and sustainable life, I see that this is the occasion to enter completely into the lifestyle that I want the most. It could be an opportunity of re-birth for a lot of people. Trying to put these same principles into prac­ tice while living in a city (even if as wonderful, welcoming and with some good “alternative” opportunities, like Rome...) is a pretty hard and tiresome work. Some people already have made a choice. But most of the Western world do not greet large changes positively, such as the end of fossil fuel. So, what will happen then? A possible solution, the most desirable, is the one within the second stanza in “For the Children” indeed, where the poet has a vision of an ideal future in which humanity appears reconciled, in peace, within a gentle, wel­coming nature. A kind of sweet realized

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utopia. But it will take some time: it will be in the “next century” (now, the current one) or the next still. And peace will be made only “if we make it”. Hence the final invitation within the last lines, which is the suggestion on how to climb the “coming crests”, shows itself in all its extraordinary power and far-sightedness, in its sensitivity and eloquence. - stay together = solidarity; social and personal integrity and sanity, to attain through discipline and love; - learn the flowers = be thirsty for ­knowledge, especially in relation to the natural world (which for Snyder includes everything, see “The Etiquette of Freedom”, in The Practice of the Wild), be that the romantic knowledge of the real flowers, or of the animals, which are flowers as well, or of anything else; some people are flowers too. - go light = to reduce one’s own ecological footprint, to leave a few signs of our passage, either in living in our places or in travelling in the world… with less weight – metaphori­ cally but physically as well! - and much much grace. Of course, love is not only in the second step, but in this whole process. This is the only life we can desire for our children and grandchildren. In a future, ­hopefully, not too far.

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Bones and Bears: Notes on the Translation of Two Poems by Gary Snyder Nacho Fernández

FEATURE | Translating Gary Snyder

Seven years separate my translations of “this poem is for bear” and “Under the Hills Near the Morava River”, and for me the only noticeable difference between them lies in ­ the more flexible approach that I have today ­regarding the correspondence of my version to the original text. I completed the second of the translations specifically for this maga­ zine, and the first of them is part of a brief an­thology of Gary ­Snyder’s poetry and prose which I prepared, with the collaboration of other translators, in the year 2000 and which is, to this day, the only book of the author that has been published in Spain1. A poet friend, ­Andrés Fisher, remarked that the only mis­ giving about my translations in that book was that at times there was a tension – or stiffness, ­perhaps – absent in the original. It struck me as a sensible ­comment: Gary Snyder’s poetry ­possesses a “deep breath”, an apparent sim­ plicity in the craftsmanship which is probably one of the reasons for its attraction; besides, I don’t know any poets – many translators are poets – willing to translate someone they don’t look up to; every time we view the land­ scape, we feel ourselves capable of following the trails and slopes that the chosen poet has trodden before us, capable also of the same breath. And if we willingly choose the trail, “this poem is for bear” is a path with numerous twists and turns for the translator. Among them, it is a poem of considerable length and of fluctuating tone, which takes mythical refer­ ences for its raw material and evolves in a nar­ rative that branches out in various substantial digressions; it offers precise information on animals and plants, and uses a language root­ ed in local context, charged with colloquial

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vocabulary and expressions. As regards the central use of myth in the poem, it is arguable that outside information is generally of little initial help for the translator. The myth behind “this poem is for bear” can be defined as a tale of interspecies communication, a recurrent leitmotif in Snyder. He Who Hunted Birds in His Father’s Village2 is a fascinating introduc­ tion to this theme, for me even more illustra­ tive than “The Woman Who Married a Bear” – an essay included in The Practice of the Wild3 which returns to the poem’s subject in greater detail and from different angles. I have never been convinced that this – or any other information relevant to the o ­ riginal text, but not directly part of it – should be used at the beginning of the translation; it is perhaps better used at a later stage – ­before embarking on a final version – but never as an obligatory starting point. The poem –“charged with meaning to the utmost degree” (Pound) – reflects its author’s criteria in discerning what he wishes to reveal and, most important, how he wishes to do so. An excessive attention to sources and external interpretations can blunt the translator’s ear. The narrative ­opening to Snyder’s poem skillfully combines the ­author’s first-hand experience – his obser­vation of a she-bear – with a presentation of the myth, and should, I believe, be translated with the same frugal deftness in the presen­tation of a fluid reality. The verses ­offer an austere expla­ nation at the edge of confusion, parallel to the confusion that the girl must have felt towards the invitation to follow a man who was a bear. In just ten lines Snyder condenses all the narra­ tive tension of the first encounter, the living together and the maternity referred to in the myth.

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A different case is when the poem, in its first important digression – after the line “snare a bear: call him out:” which by its in­ dentation could be considered the beginning of a new stanza – plunges into unmistakably colloquial language, to such an extent that the epithets used to describe the bear seem obvi­ ously vernacular. A culture familiar with bears, one that incorporates bears into its myths and tales, can call them “honey eaters” or “grand­ father black food”. A translator always runs the risk of losing something when translat­ ing these particular expressions and specific outside information can be of great impor­ tance. Translating “forest apple” literally – to describe a bear – without understanding the roots of the expression, is potentially risky, because there is a chance that the metaphoric intention can be lost or go unnoticed in the translation. The author’s written clarification was as follows: “Forest apple, a magic avoid­ ance name given bears by Finns and Lapps, and possibly other northern peoples”4; this led me to choose a literal translation, in accordance with the ­author’s intention which also endows the poem with an expression that doesn’t ­belong to its immediate cultural context. In compensation for such difficulties, there is a secular wisdom which leads diffe­rent cultures – in time or space – to share the same answer towards specific aspects of ­reality, and such correspondence is always useful to the translator, because it enables him to call upon the reader’s imagination with a recogniz­ able metaphor or image, offering r­ espite from formulations that are –as always h ­ appens in translated poetry– taxing in their foreignness. In the same way that indigenous cultures from the Pacific Northwest say that a bear, once skinned, is just like a man5, in A ­ sturias (one of the last strongholds in Spain of the autoch­ thonous brown bear, Ursus ­arctos) there exists a story of a peasant who sees a bear stand­ ing upright at the end of the path and asks himself: “Where’s Lolo going with that huge raincoat?” The cultures from both conti­nents know the “old man in the fur coat” without knowing one another. The Spanish Ursus arc-

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tos is the same species as the brown bears in America, although the grizzlies b ­ elong to the much larger horribilis subspecies. At the same time, a well known ecological law states that the more southern populations of a species tend to be smaller, and the Spanish brown bears are the southernmost in Europe and probably in the world. Their average size, in the ecosystems of Cantabria and Asturias, are nearer to those of the black bear (Ursus americanus) than to the grizzly. This does not mean that they are not brown bears. As translator and amateur naturalist, one of the greatest pleasures in this translation was the search for and the revelation of these correspon­ dences. In Spain, too, the bears’ diet includes berries, among them one which is identical or very similar to the huckleberries (Vaccinnium myrtillus) mentioned in the poem, “arándano” in Spanish. A botanical field guide, search on the Internet and a couple of telephone calls to Fapas – a local organization in defense of the brown bear – led me to include this conclusion in the Spanish version of the poem. In addition to linguistic issues, trans­lating involves searching for quality information of various kinds. Now it’s about bears, but one early morning the translator might find himself phoning a lumber business or an ax ­factory. Help comes, without question, from an author always ready to value and support our labor, ­Snyder himself. In the translation of con­temporary living writers there is always this possi­bility, to be balanced by the readiness of the translator to do his or her own work and not prevent the poet from getting on with his own affairs at the expense of more accurate trans­lations. Other short-cuts are ­available; in the case of the poems from Mountains and ­Rivers Without End6, I think it is worth ­being acquain­ted with the detailed study of Pro­fessor ­Anthony Hunt, author of ­Genesis, Structure and Meaning in Gary Snyder’s “Mountains and Rivers without End”7. This is one book that has made me ponder on the convenience of consulting information that concerns a poem ­before and during its translation. Pro­ fessor Hunt’s study is documented with such

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FEATURE | Translating Gary Snyder

­ recision that I have become accustomed to p opening it every time I tackle texts from Mountains and Rivers. I made use of it in my recent versions of two poems, and I don’t think I would be happy if I didn’t consult it in future translations. But Hunt does not only docu­ ment; he also (legitimately) offers his own inter­ pretations. It is precisely for this reason that I read him at the end, and not at the beginning, of my work. “Under the Hills Near the Morava River” is a short and apparently un-complex poem from this collection — only seemingly, as I found out. I must admit that I was driven to translating it not only by its alluring beauty, but also by having read recently of the fasci­ nating discoveries made by paleo-anthro­ pologists in the Ata­puerca mountains of the Spanish province of Burgos. More than 270 thousand years separate the human remains of Dolni Vestonice, Moravia — referred to in the poem — and those of Atapuerca’s Pit of Bones8, where the remains of at least 32 preNeanderthal individuals, of an estimated 300 thousand years of age, have appeared. Snyder’s text speaks of one woman and two men of the species Homo sapiens but, curiously, he men­ tions three characteristics that are only shared by another human species, the Neanderthals: burial rites, bodily adornments and the use of fire. Despite its brevity —or perhaps thanks to its brevity — the poem provokes a strange fascination, drawing attention to the woman’s presence by the scattered pieces that accom­ pany her: mammoth, reindeer and wolf bones, a diadem, burnt splinters from a reindeer’s pelvis that have been placed in her mouth, and the bones of the two men who lie beside her. Each poem gives rise to different diffi­ culties for a translator. In this case, I felt it was important to try to reproduce the same sensation of inhabited silence that exists in the ­original, with its brief description of the vestiges of a ­remote era. In addition to this aim (which should involve the whole text), the poem’s first idiosyncrasy is that in Span­ ish an elegant translation of the first line (“She lay there”) should avoid the pronoun, thus

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l­eaving the person’s sex unclear. By ­choosing this ­option — as I have done —, the gender of the bones is only made clear in the penul­ timate line, “bones of two men lying by her” (los ­huesos de dos ­hombres tendidos junto a ella), unless i­ mplicit in the questionably femi­ nine aura of the word “diadem”9. Without ­consciously seeking it, this ambiguity gives the Spanish version of the poem a different connotation, but I don’t think it detracts from the original. As a short poem whose energy derives from the subtlety of the description, one of the keys to the translation is to try to emulate the elegance of the English, ­avoiding jagged edges in the Spanish. The poem also tends towards a concrete presence in its sound patterns, through the use of ­numerous mono­ syllables and the occasional economizing on prepositions and connectors (as in the last verse: one each side instead of one on each side). This spareness cannot always be reproduced in Spanish and poses inevitable ­questions to the translator. For example, the third and fourth lines of my version are connected by an “and” [y] — “Diadema de dientes de zorro alrededor de la frente // y ocre bajo las caderas” — absent in the original but rhythmically appropriate — in my opinion — in the translation. There are also changes in the use of capital letters at the beginning of some lines as well as in the punctuation, so as to achieve a rhythm in the Spanish somehow equivalent to the flow of the English. Translating a poet like Gary Snyder is an energizing intellectual adventure where learning about the poems sets you forward along paths that at times don’t end in the texts themselves. When I started to translate him, some fifteen years ago, the dating system he used in some of his texts, based on a calendar that goes back 40 thousand years in time (thus reclaiming the experience of the upper Paleo­ lithic for current human imagination), seemed to me excessive and somewhat disconcerting. Today I wonder whether a greater step back in time could be coherent; whether or not we could enter in contact with the ways of even more distant forms of human ­ experience.

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I intuitively feel that part of the findings in ­Atapuerca’s Pit of Bones could be excel­ lent raw material for a fine poem by Gary: the bones that have been found there, mixed ­together with the human ones, all belong to carnivorous animals. The reason for this joint presence is a mystery. Scientists have rejected (due to the total absence of herbivores and of man-made utensils) both the idea that the humans were eaten by the carnivores and the possibility that these were consumed by them. They have found in the cave remains of lions, wolves, lynxes, cats, foxes and diverse smaller mammals, but the most conclusive evidence is that of the more than two hundred Ursus deningeri, ancestor of the mighty cave bear.

---1. Snyder, Gary. La mente salvaje (poemas y ensayos), Nacho Fernández, Ed. Madrid: Árdora, 2000. 2. Snyder, Gary. He Who Hunted Birds in His Father’s Village, The Dimensions of A Haida Myth, San Francisco: Grey Fox Press, 1979. 3. Snyder, Gary. “The Woman who Married a Bear”, in The Practice of the Wild, San Francisco: North Point Press, 1990. 4. Letter from the author to the translator, 7.21.98. 5. As stated in “The Woman Who Married a Bear”. cited above. 6. Snyder, Gary. Mountains and Rivers Without End, Washington: Counterpoint, 1996. 7. Hunt, Anthony. Genesis, Structure and Meaning in Gary Snyder’s Mountains and Rivers Without End, Reno: University of Nevada Press, 2004. 8. The Pit of Bones is one of the two major sites in the Atapuerca mountains. In the other, the Great Dolina, human remains have been found that date back approximately 700 thousand years, prompting the designation of a new human species, the Homo antecessor. 9. Hunt, cited above, states that both men in the site were also adorned with diadems.

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Snyder in Portuguese — Language, Culture and Context Luci Collin The fact that the extraordinarily good poet Gary Snyder is not a well-known name in Brazil has always been disturbing. Differ­ ently from some other North-American ­poets such as, for example, Sylvia Plath, Charles ­Bukowski and Robert Creeley, whose works are already published in Portuguese, ­Snyder is practically nonexistent in our editorial market and remains very little studied in our aca­demic ­circles. This evinces a lamentable absence of serious interest for an inter­nationally recog­ nized writer, who began to be published almost 50 years ago, and whose literary reputation was already well established in the 1970’s. Just to illustrate what I am exposing, when I started compiling material for a Master disser­tation project on Snyder in 19911, it was almost impossible to find critical references about the poet here in Brazil. At that time, the only available translations of his poetry - very few poems, by the way - could be found in the anthology entitled Quingumbo – Nova p ­ oesia norte-americana (São Paulo: Escrita, 1980, translated by Luiza Lobo and Afonso ­Henriques Neto), the only complete book written by ­Snyder translated into Portuguese was Old Ways, pub­ lished under the title Velhos Tempos (São Paulo, L&PM, 1984, translated by Ciro Barroso), and the only significant critical text on Snyder was in the book Viagem à literatura norte-americana contemporânea (Rio de ­Janeiro: ­Nórdica, 1985, J. Bernardes, org.)2 in the 16-page ­essay “The Poetry of Gary Snyder”, written by ­Thomas Parkinson (and translated by Mauro J. Costa), which included a bibliography of and on Snyder. A very scarce material, indeed; what is more, all these books are out of print. Unfortunately, one cannot say that this scene has changed in a substantial way over

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FEATURE | Translating Gary Snyder

the last 15 years. Not very many Brazilian uni­ versities include the study of Snyder’s work in their syllabi or curricula3 and, in terms of publi­ cations, no other complete book written by Snyder was released in Brazil since the publi­ cation of Velhos Tempos. The only note­worthy study on the writer was published in the late 1990’s, in the literary magazine Medusa (SP: Iluminuras, n. 02, 1998/99, R. Corona, ed.); the issue presented some poems translated into Portuguese and I have contributed with an interview with Snyder, and also with the essay “Da semente à floresta – a poética de Gary Snyder” (“From the seed to the forest – the poetics of Gary Snyder”). The intense interest in reversing the lack of readership of Snyder’s work in Brazil - ­knowing that some other people here, who know and deeply admire Snyder, share the same interest with me - has motivated me to start planning a more elaborate translation project which could introduce the poet in a more extensive way. In June 2004 I started drafting an anthology of Snyder’s work which would, naturally, include poems and essays. In a first moment I thought of about 45 poems and 8 essays, and my mod­ est intention was to finish the translations and then submit them to some editors. So, I sent a description of this initial project to Snyder and he, with his usual generosity, immediately prompted to answer the eventual questions I could have regarding the texts in the course of the translation process. By December, when I had already developed part of the trans­lations, Snyder forwarded me an e-mail he had re­ ceived from the Brazilian editor Sérgio Cohn (Azougue Editorial) who had the intention of publishing Snyder’s work in Portuguese4. What a wonder­ful surprise! We started then “a three-way conversation” (quoting Snyder) comparing my project to Cohn’s and, after some arrangements, we were in agreement about the definite translation project which would comprise almost 60 poems from No Nature plus 9 e­ ssays from A Place in Space. The anthology is ­scheduled to be published in May 2005.5

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Snyder in other words – translation implications As for the discussion of some more specific topics concerning the translation of Snyder into the Portuguese language for Brazilian readers,one cannot disregard the cultural impli­ cations and challenges which accompany the whole translation process. In this context, the main problematic issue is possibly how to deal with the numerous references to Amerindian and Oriental cultures/mythologies, together with the many autobiographical references to be found in Snyder’s writings. Part of this problem was naturally solved by the addition of some ‘Notes to the texts’, which explain uses and meanings in the most obscure or hard-to-translate references. When necessary, in these Notes I have quoted parts of the explanations Snyder himself sent to me in our correspondence thus eluci­dating terms, expressions or even the genesis and content of some poems (or parts of them). Also of funda­mental help for the translations was the small and unpublished record book Questions & Answers Snyder had organized in 199495 with replies to Mr. Hisao Kanaseki, who translated No Nature into the Japanese lan­ guage. S ­ nyder had sent this precious m ­ aterial to me in the very beginning of my project. Besides, in a comparative procedure, to con­ trast trans­lation choices, I have consulted two other translations of Snyder’s work: La mente ­salvaje – poemas y ensaios (Madrid: Ediciones Árdora, 200o, N. Fernándes, ed.) translated by Nacho Fernándes, Miguel A. Bernat, José Luis Regojo and John Good, and L’Isola della tartaruga – poesie e saggi (Viterbo: Stampa Alter­ nativa, 2004, M. Baraghini, ed.) organized and translated by Chiara D’Ottavi. In terms of form and structure Snyder’s poems, with a few exceptions, are not too diffi­ cult to translate; likewise, in terms of sound effects (alliterations, assonances, internal rhymes) the level of difficulty is not prob­ lematical. But in terms of vocabulary, one has to be careful with the poems because in most cases, despite the fact that we do have

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c­ orresponding words in Portuguese, they are extraneous words to Brazilian people, do not belong to the colloquial vocabulary and their use could lead to vague references and not very effective results. Some topics, in terms of diffi­cult ­lexical choices or demanding transla­ tion, could be discriminated (and, in a concise manner, ­exemplified) as follows: a) Flora and fauna references: waterdog, ground squirrel, cottontail, white tail, swift, elk, golden plover, Artic tern, juncos, robins, manzanita, alpine fir, calochortus, Indian paintbrush, grass bamboo. b) Geographical/regional references: ­Shuksan, Sourdough, Mt. Baker, Han R ­ iver, Thunder Creek, Skagit, Dodger Point, Elwa, Goldie, Queets, Siuslaw Forest, Sho­ koku-ji, Lake Biwa, Uintah Mountains, Sierra Matterhorn, Tyler Road, Poorman Creek. c) Religious terms and terms related to ­mythic practices: sanzen, shukuza, saiza, kinhin, shoji, hondo, Marici, striped boys. d) Professions or activities: Government Trapper, forest lookout, singlejack miner, deckhand. e) Specific or technical terms: headwall, smoke hole, riprap, a fill-in, green-chain, log dogs, Sharp’s repeating rifle. f) Foreign terms: yukata, vajra, swami, futon, kiva, mattake, Heian, ryokan, Yugao, Yase, Daitoku-ji, Nansen, shoji, Jizo, jiki, tipi, bikkhu, swami. g) Obscure syntactical structures, unusual word formation or slangs: gypos, sunfacing light changing leaf, soogy (as a ­ verb), pray tell, under the skin, call the shots, sure-foot trails, Cat (caterpillar), bandy-legged bright little dwarf, two-bit caps, rotten tilted-over over-heavy heads, bellywarmer, smooth-skinned. h) Snyderian peculiarities: Dyonysius of the Cross (Dionísio de Nazaré), lizzard. Now we come to the analysis of the poem “Right in the trail” (No Nature, p. 375), whose translation proved to be a demanding one, especially in terms of keeping its ­readability,

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­ uency and the right effect. I have made a fl skeleton draft of the poem to pinpoint what seemed to be the main translation difficulties, and the following terms were, thus, listed: 1) “scats” – The best word to use here would be ‘excrementos’, but it was too long and too sophisticated for the line. Then, the word I used was a more vulgar one and would c­ orrespond much more to ‘shit’. 2) “manzanita” – There are neither shrubs nor trees in Brazil that could resemble manza­ nita. I just kept the term considering three aspects: a) one of the previous poems in the anthology was “Manzanita”, so the reader would be already familiarized to the term, b) in one of the essays of the anthology (“The Porous World”) there is a detailed explanation of the term and c) it is not diffi­ cult for a reader of Portuguese to asso­ciate the word we use to apple (“maçã”) and to its diminutive form (even in Spanish, the sonority keeps a certain proximity) “ma­ çãzinha”, “maçãzita”, “manzanita”, d) the term is an essential reference to the poem’s setting and could never be taken out. 3) “Young girl in the story” – Which girl? Brazi­ lian readers know no story about a girl who married a Bear. They are not even familiar with bears. 4) “bearscats” – I had to use “excrementos de urso”; no other good word for that. 5) “blueberries” – Once more, the situation is that there are no blueberries in Brazil. The possible words which could be used were: “mirtilo”, “vacínio”, “uva do monte”, “uva ursi” (bearberry), none of them colloquial terms. My first choice was to simplify and say “frutinhos” (“small fruits”), a word that would sound even ironic. But at last I chose “mirtilo”, yet doubting if Brazilian readers would infer it is a berry or a small fruit; my deliberate choice was motivated by the intention of reinforcing the setting as a typical North-American one, through the use of an obscure word. 6) “Big Brown Ones” – For a Brazilian reader a literal translation “Os Grandes Marrons” would be calamitous and could spoil the

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FEATURE | Translating Gary Snyder

irony about the Bears. We have no bears here, not even other animals which could, somehow, resemble them. In mytho­logical terms, the only popular figure in our ­country that could bring some possible similarities to the story of the girl m ­ arrying a bear involves another animal – a sort of dolphin named “Boto”. Even so, the two stories are very different. Thus, I had to use a word that the reader could identify with an animal: “pardo” and the result was “Grandes Pardos”. 7) “berrying” – This formation does not exist in Portuguese; the verb (pick up, ­ collect) should be followed by the fruit’s name (“pick up blueberries”). Among the possi­bilities were “colher bagas”, “colher mirtilo” or “colher frutos” and I decided to use the last of them because of the double meaning of “frutos” (“fruits”) in Portu­ guese, a word that could also lead to the idea of “babies” or “having babies”, the fruits of the relation between the girl and the Bear to be mentioned in the following lines of the poem. 8) “green salmon”- Snyder had to help me with the word “green”. My first impulse (Shame on me!) was to think about the adjective as referring to the fish’s color. But I could not find any green salmons. The salmon is a fish that does not exist in our country, by the way, so I had to research the topic in encyclopedias. There were blue, blueback, black, red, silver salmons but green… Then Snyder elucidated it to me: “In the way English is used by native Americans on the North Coast, ‘green’ means ‘fresh’ – that is, unsmoked and unsalted”. 9) “to cry” – Was it “cry out”, “shout”, “yell”, or “weep”. Snyder said it is “weep”. 10) “in letters” – In missives or in the liter­ ary culture? Snyder explained that in this sentence he is playing on a Chinese phrase about Zen teachings: “not taught in letters, a direct transmission from mind to mind”. 11) “Great One” – In this expression the only solution was to add words that could guide the reader to the idea of the ­ mythical

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c­reature. So, I translated it as “Grande Ursa Mãe”, adding “Bear” (“Ursa”) and “Mother” (“Mãe”) to assure that the refer­ ence was to the mother goddess. These were the solutions I found for my translation of the poem. As for the other solutions, regarding the whole anthology, ­ one never knows if they are as effective as the translator thought they would be. Anyhow, this is my contribution in trying to make ­Snyder’s poetry and thought live in the Portu­ guese language and culture. Translating Gary Snyder is a wonderful experience which was, to me, a natural extension of all the pleasure of reading his work and of the emotion of distin­ guishing in it one of the deepest expressions of essential poetry in contemporary literature. ---1. “The Quest Motif in Snyder’s The Back Country”, Master Dissertation, Universidade Federal do Paraná, 1994. 2. One of the essays of this book, namely “The Politics of Ethnopoetics”, had already been published in an anthology entitled Oitenta (Porto Alegre: L&PM, 1982) under the title “A terra arrasada” (the translator was C. Barroso). 3. This book is a translation of the original American Writing Today, Forum Series, Washington DC: 1980, R. Kostelanetz, org. 4. With the exception of the Universidade de Campinas, Universidade Federal de Uberlândia, Pontifícia Universidade Católica-RJ, Universidade Federal do Paraná and Universidade de São Paulo, I have no information of other Brazilian Universities presently studying the poet. 5. The translators were: Maurício A. Mendonça, Ricardo Corona, Rodrigo G. Lopes and myself. By way of record, other translators who eventually translated Snyder in Brazil were: Celso Japiassu (a poem for an internet site on literature) and Sérgio Cohn /Alexandre Barbosa de Souza (two poems for the literary magazine Azougue, in 2004). 6. In parallel with the publication of the book, Cohn’s original intention included the visit of Snyder to Brazil when the writer could lecture in the main capitals of our country, such as Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. new | 1_ 2005


The Sense of a Voice – Transmission Possible? Reidar Ekner

Voice You don’t turn to Gary Snyder to look for phan­ tasy or fiction. You read him, or hear him speak, in order to listen to his voice. A voice speaking from personal experience and reflexion, a voice coming from a physical body that is at one with the voice. It is a strong voice, deep, and special, with a frequent American ah’s, when he is explaining something to somebody live. A convincing voice, as such, but con­vincing also because GS always knows what he is talking about. Where there are facts to check, he has checked them, either by ­doing, by asking, or by reading. When he writes a poem about how to repair an old Willy’s Pick-up, he doesn’t do it until he has repaired one – his own. Soft facts are of course harder to check – like how things hang together, interrelate. Or from what cause, or causes, such and such ­effects have come. He was brought up on a small farm in Washington, near Puget Sound, and became used to all the chores that ­belong to an homestead. It was a forest region, people were depending on logging, and were, as euro­ pean immigrants, used to it. Many of them were socialists, or IWWs – you had to be loyal. GS slowly shifted his standpoint, b ­ egan to feel a loyalty also to the trees, the land, the ­animals, the people who had lived there all their lives, among the trees, without cutting them down. Workers have a right to feel pride. Indus­ tries were established, they were building a new world, later spreading it to other countries and continents. Young Snyder asked himself: but who had been doing all the work that had kept this region brimming with all kinds of life for thousands of years? Those who lived there, of course! – including all the animals, not only the big ones, but also the tiny ones,

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living in the soil or in the sea. Weren’t they the real workers? This shift of mind changed his under­ standing of the world, and from then on, in­ tensely and consequently, Gary Snyder has been active on two frontiers: to account for the old ways, and the old tales – the heritage of huma­nity, all the way back to the neolithic. And on the other hand to expose, and criti­ cise the continuing destruction of the ­natural world by man – an old phenomenon, but a process that has been accelerating even before the legendary covered wagons moved west. After a decade in Japan – open to the in­ fluence from the old ways of thinking called ­buddhism – he came back to California in 1967, with Masa, his wife, and a son – his first. On a strategic piece of land on San Juan Ridge, near Yuba River in the Sierra Nevada foothills, they built a house, inspired by Japanese farms and prairie Indian tribal houses. They called the place Kitkitdizze, after a low plant, ­covering the ground under the trees. The living house was soon complemented with a barn, a zendo, a cooking house, and a writer’s cabin. This became Snyder’s base, his practical and mental work shop, the nucleus from which his ideas, poems, essays, and talks could travel. At the same time a local center, and a buddhist community, or sangha, called Ring of Bone. Nostalgia and fundamentalism are as ­foreign to Snyder as desperation and pessi­ mism. Having settled on the borderline ­between the wilderness, and a modern society that is threatening it, he insists on the possi­ bility to establish a new society: a bioregional net of local communities of people accepting

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the best of tools and inventions that modern man has brought about, from steel axes to sun cells and computers. But using them with care, and with respect for all beings, mountains and rivers included.

FEATURE | Translating Gary Snyder

Translating Even to be written in English, Snyder’s ­poetry is extremely dense, with a tendency to let single words or short phrases stand for them­ selves. Articles are often dropped, endings likewise. An influence from (pictoral) Japanese is obvious; in Danger on Peaks, for example, there are several short sections of haikus. He shifts between prose comments and poems, like Basho used to do. In Swedish we can’t shorten our ways of writing & speaking like that, without sounding awkward, and that’s why translations of Snyder, especially, tend to be a little longer than the originals. Example 1 Snyder opens Danger on Peaks with a section where he tells about his first meetings as a teenager with Mount St. Helens. After a prose poem, describing the day (Aug. 13, 1945) when he first climbed to the top, he continues with the following poem: Some Fate Climbed Loowit – Sahaptin name – three more times. July of ‘46 with sister Thea (went to Venezuela & Cartagena as a seaman summer of 1948) June of ‘49 with dear friend Robin who danced shimmering in the snow, and again with her late that summer This wide Pacific land blue haze edges mists and far gleams broad Columbia River eastern Pacific somewhere west us at a still place in the wheel of the day right at home at the gateway to nothing can only keep going. Sit on a rock and gaze out into space

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leave names in the summit book, prepare to descend on down to some fate in the world

To begin with, four lines of concentrated, yet poetic information. Then more infor­ mation, now taking the form of unfinished sentences, turned into impressions like fast strokes of an inkbrush. How to translate this dense and shim­ mering poem, light as a feather? You can’t fill in all the ‘missing’ verbs, nor the first person pronoun, which would be set out in a ‘normal’ Swedish poem; instead you have to translate as direct as you can, and hope for the best. With one exception: the two words from the last line, used as a title: ‘some fate’. Trans­ lated ­literally as ‘något öde’, the words sound unbearably flat in my Swedish ears. Hence my choice ‘framtida öde’, which literally means future fate. The preceding poem about the day when he first climbed to the top, makes it perfectly possible to let the first person pronoun go – it’s already clear who’s voice we are listen­ ing to. The whole setting, says the same. The ‘hard’ facts mentioned in the first poem – the clippings fastened on the wall mentioning the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki a few days before, also help – by contrast! The euphoria felt the next two climbings shines through; full sentences would have been a sacrilage. In 1965 Göran Malmquist, a follower of Bernhard Karlgren, the famous Swedish sino­ logist who laid the foundation of the study of old Chinese, published an anthology of 28 Chinese classical poems, Det förtätade ögonblicket (The Condensed Moment). Malmquist, who is a member of The Royal Swedish Acad­ emy, presents each one of the poems, first in the original, then in three steps, ending with a version similar to ‘normal’ modern Europe­ an (Swedish) poetry. Very instructive, indeed – it is evident that a convincing translation, with a flavour of the originality of the origi­ nal, has to be a compromise, e.g. a text using a

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­ ethod similar to the one of Snyder in Danger m on Peaks. Framtida öde Besteg Loowit – namnet sahapatinskt – tre gånger till. I juli 46 med Thea, min syster (till Venezuela & Cartagena som sjöman sommaren 1948) Juni 49 med kära vännen Robin som dansade skimrande i snön, och på nytt med henne på sensommaren det året Det vida havskustlandet dess blådisiga kanter dimmor och fjärran blänk Columbiaflodens bredd östra Stilla havet i väster på en lugn plats vi i dagens hjul hemmastadda i porten mot intet kan bara fortsätta gå. Sitta på en klippa och stirra ut i rymden skriva namnen i gästboken på krönet, göra oss klara att gå ned mot något framtida öde i världen

Example 2 The Pacific Northwest is the magnificient stage, where Snyder’s geological drama is ­enacted. The high mountains and great ­rivers are the gods, the winds paying them tribute in the form of rain and snow. With 14.410 feet, Mount Rainier is the Zeus of the Cas­ cades, while Columbia, passing between Mt St ­Helens and Mt Hood, might be the Hera of the rivers. The gods of the underworld mani­ fest themselves through the craters, and the God of Time by the slow and balanced ­erosion, feeding all living beings, while in the Sierra Nevada region in northern California, the beautiful Yuba River might be one of the local goddesses. In August 1984, before my second visit to Kikitdizze, there was a one week Scandinavian Studies conference in Seattle. I presented a

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paper on translating, and at a reading, among other texts I read my poem from the ­Hardanger high mountains in Norway. I had never been to Seattle before, nor seen Mount Rainier. No wonder that I took a day off – ­circling the mountain, a sightseeing bus brought me to the southern slope. From there I hiked up one of the trails till, from a ridge, I saw the great ­glacier deep under me, with its crevices and blue ice. In the prose and poetry of Snyder, Yuba is both a stage, and a manipulated actor. After the first gold rush, the water of the river was used to flush the tremendous amounts of gravel, to extract the remaining gold; this was done on an industrial scale. Coming to Kitkitdizze by car you pass the open pits, called the diggings, modern monuments of the devastation of the geological world. (Young boys use them to race their cars and motor-bikes.) In its upper part in the woods, Yuba still flows over polished rocks and swirls in pools, where, between the rapids, you can swim, naked, while colorful butterflies circle your head. In Danger on Peaks there is a poetic text on this theme, ending with an emblematic, short-line passage: No Shadow My friend Deane took me into the Yuba Goldfields. That’s at the lower Yuba River outflow where it enters the Sacramento valley flat-land’s, a milewide stretch between grass and blue oak meadows. It goes on for ten miles. Here’s where the mining tailings got dropped off by the wandering riverbed of the 1870s – forty miles downstream from where the giant hoses washed them off Sierra slopes. We were walking on blue lupine-covered rounded hundred-foot gravel hills til we stood over the springtime rush of water. Watched a female osprey hunting along the main river channel. Her flight shot up, down, all sides, suddenly fell feet first into the river and emerged with a fish. Maybe fooling the fish by zigzagging, so – no hawk shadow.

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Carole said later, that’s like trying to do zazen without your self entering into it.

FEATURE | Translating Gary Snyder

Standing on a gravel hill by the lower Yuba can see down west a giant airforce cargo plane from Beale hang-gliding down to land strangely slow over the tumbled dredged-out goldfields — practice run shadow of a cargo jet — soon gone no-shadow of an osprey still here

My comment: Blue oak doesn’t grow in Scandinavia. But we have lupines and ospreys – so let me start with the second stanza. It’s a compressed text, and I have too loosen it a bit: Icke-skugga /---/ Vi tog oss fram till fots över runda grushögar täckta av blå lupiner tills vi nådde fåran, där vårfloden forsade. Vi såg en fiskgjushona jaga längs huvudfåran. Hon sköt uppåt, sjönk, flög åt sidorna, föll plötsligt med fötterna före ned i vattnet och kom upp med en fisk. Kanske lurade hon fisken med sitt zick-zackande, alltså ingen hökskugga. Carole sa sedan: det är som att göra zazen utan att själv ta del i det.

Comment: Though spokesman for deep ecology, GS is no fundamentalist. He reminds us, that wildlife isn’t gone altogether, not even near the mega cities, and might have a re­ naissance. The shadow of the plane gone, the ­osprey still there. (By the protection of an Old Growth forest some years ago, the habitat of The Spotted Owl, threatened by extinction, was saved.) Example 3 Being a long-distance runner, visiting Kitkit­ dizze in 1974 and ‘84, I covered San Juan Ridge by myself, on foot. But also GS showed me a great deal of Nevada county, by car. With­ out all the information his guidance gave me, translating Turtle Island – for instance – might have been difficult. It happened, though, that I could repay some of his guidance. In Stock­ holm, in 1972, we went to Historiska museet (The ­Museum of Ancient History), where I presented him to the Woman from Bäckaskog in the south of Scania, sitting in her glass case, dead maybe 5 000 years ago. His memorable poem about her is reprinted in Axe Handles (1983). Here, I prefer to translate and interprete ­another poem on the same theme: respect and awe for our ancestors. GS opens the gate to the past for us: Under the Hills Near the Morava River She lay there midst

Stående på en grusås vid nedre Yuba ser jag borta i väster ett enormt militärt transportplan från Beale glida ner för landning egendomligt sakta över de omvälta och utvaskade guldfälten — övningsflygning skuggan av ett transportplan – strax borta en fiskgjuses icke-skugga ännu kvar

Mammoth, reindeer, and wolf bones: Diadem of fox teeth round her brow Ocher under her hips 26,640 plus or minus 110 years before ”now.” Burnt reindeer-pelvis bone bits in her mouth, Bones of two men lying by her, one on each side.

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Comments: The age information given in the poem tells us, that the woman and the two men – their remains – can’t have been found in South Sweden. Southern Scandinavia was still pressed under water by the thick ice at that time. Were they found in USA? Probably not; the first invaders to the Amarican double continent arrived several thousand years later. Snyder doesn’t tell, and we have to find out by ourselves. An encyclopedia says: Morava: A river in Czechoslovakia in Moravia in Silesia (Schlesien); main city: Brnu (Brünn). – Das stimmt! Remember having read about findings of early Cro-magnon hunters in that region, statyettes of bone and stone representing ­female figures, amulettes, idols. (Wrote about them myself in a Swedish newspaper – in the mid-fifties!) Yes – have a look at the map! Morava, in German = Mähren, as in ‘Böhmen und Mähren’ in the Habsburg Empire, Austria. Morava river is a contributary to the Danube, entering it at Bratislava. In my Czech book on Early Humans (Wolf: Menschen der Urzeit, Prague 1977) there are much fine information and convincing reconstructions in colour by artists showing burials from 25,000 years BC. All those early Cro-magnon amulettes and ceremonial burials suggest, that woman – the women – were regarded as sacred. Gary’s poem suggests the same.

Nedanför åsarna nära Moravafloden Hon låg där bland Mammut-, ren- och vargben: Ett diadem av rävtänder över pannan Ockra under höfterna 26 640 plus eller minus 110 år före ”nu”. Brända bäckenbensbitar av ren i munnen, Benen efter två män liggande bredvid, en på var sida.

Comment: GS is not a writer whom you translate on order from a publisher; you have to be a Snyder reader before you even consider the possibility of translating him. Only as an integrated part of all his other writings, will the poem about the two men buried by the side of the woman with the diadem, take on it’s full expressive power. Taken out of context, you could mistake it for being a text under an illu­ stration in a textbook, and not what a man just having found them told you! In a Century, when local languages every­ where – unique interpretations of the world heritage – disappear every month, young Euro­ peans write their song texts in English, and English is spreading all over the globe – why translate Snyder? Transmitting a voice like his into one of the European national languages, will prove that there still are alternatives. Prose often is easier to translate than poetry. Next Snyder book to translate and ­ publish in Swedish could be A Place in Space. 18.03.2005

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Gary Snyder in translation

FEATURE | Translating Gary Snyder

This incomplete bibliography is compiled from information provided by the translators. Websites where these books can be ordered are in the outside column.

www.kosmas.cz www.mata.cz

Czech Luboš Snížek Tahle báseň je pro medvěda (poems), Praha: Argo, 1997 Praxe divočiny (Practice of the Wild), Praha: DharmaGaia, Maťa, 1999 Místo v prostoru (A Place in Space), with Matěj Turek, Praha: Maťa, 2002 Hory a řeky bez konce (Mountains and Rivers Without End), Praha: Maťa (in press) Matěj Turek Zemědům (Earth House Hold), Praha: DharmaGaia, Maťa, 2000

www.amazon.fr

www.perlentaucher.de www.beatnet.de

French Olivier Delbard La pratique sauvage, (Practice of the Wild), Monaco : ­Éditions du Rocher, Paris , 1999 Montagnes et Rivières sans fin, (Mountains and Rivers ­Without End), Monaco : Éditions du Rocher, Paris, 2002 German Ralf Zühlke & Sibylle Klefinghaus Aus der Spur, Berlin: Stadtlichter Presse, 2001 Italian Alberto Cacopardo La Grana della Cose. Torino: Ed. Gruppo Abele, 1987 Giuseppe Moretti (ed.), Etain Addey, Elena Avanzini, Maurizio Castellucci, Alessandro Curti, Jacqueline Fassero, Stefano ­Panzarasa Ri-abitare nel grande flusso (selected from The Gary ­Snyder ­Reader), Rete Bioregionale Italiana & Arianna Editrice, 2001

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Chiara D’Ottavi L’isola della tartaruga (Turtle Island), Viterbo : ed.Stampa ­A lternativa-Nuovi Equilibri, 2004

www.stampalternativa.it

Augusto Sabbadini Nel Mondo Selvaggio (The Practice of the Wild), introduction by Elèmire Zolla, Como: Red Edizioni, 1992 Japanese Shigeyoshi Hara Yasei-no-zissen (Practice of the Wild) with Soiku ­Shigematsu; Tokyo: Yama-to-Keikoku-sha, 2000 Owarinaki-Sanga (Mountains and Rivers Without End) with ­K atsunori Yamazato; Tokyo: Shicho-sha, 2002 Sanchou no ayausa (Danger on Peaks, in progress) Katsunori Yamazato Seinaru chikyu no tsudoi kana (The Great Earth Sangha) ­Diaglogues between Gary Snyder and Sansei Yamao. Tokyo: Yama to Keikoku sha, 1998 Chikyu no mirai wo sozou surumono tachie (A Place in Space). ­Tokyo: Yama to Keikoku sha, 2000 Portuguese Luci Collin Re-habitar — poemas e ensaios, Rio de Janeiro: Azougue ­Editorial 2005 Russian Irina Dyatlovskaya Irkutskoe Vremya. Almanakh Poezii, Irkutsk: Izdatel ­Sapronov, 2005 / Иркутское время. Альманах поэзии.

www.azougue.com.br

www.garysnyderpoems.com

Иркутск. Издатель Сапронов. 2005

Spanish Nacho Fernández La mente salvaje (poemas y ensayos) [Wild Mind (Poems and Essays)] Madrid: Árdora Ediciones, 2000

www.ardora.com

Swedish Reidar Ekner Tingens ådring (selected poems and prose, 1959-74), Lund: Bo Cavefors bokförlag, 1975 Sköldpaddsön (Turtle Island), Lund: Bo Cavefors bokförlag, 1976 Gammalt vis (The Old Ways) with Thomas Mera Gartz, Knivsta:Arkturus / Reidar Ekner, 1981

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Willie Alexander

Original recording from Dog Bar Yacht Club by Willie Loco Alexander & the Boom Boom Band. Available on Fisheye Records www.williealexander.com

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Fred Buck’s Footsteps

Ahh this is a story about Fred Buck Fred Buck of Gloucester Massachusetts a hero of mine in old Fishtown I see him when I’m lookin out my window if I’m home in the afternoon I see Fred Buck goin by with his mail sack on his back goin up School Street then goin over Columbia goin down Church Street on to Middle Street ya Fred Buck’s footsteps man how many footsteps Fred ya my man Dave V played him a tape of me talking about Mabel Garland hangin out at her crib back when I was a wee lad & he wrote me a letter back saying “I live behind Mabel G” had a trunk of her memoirs & he send me stuff pictures of Herb Pomeroy that Herb Pomeroy had never even seen taken out of The Gloucester Times it’s a long long way from Santa Fe Fred it’s a long long way from Santa Fe Fred ya ain’t nuthin more Zen than Fred Buck’s footsteps ooh ain’t nuthin more Zen than Fred Buck’s footsteps ooh ain’t nuthin more Zen than Fred Buck’s footsteps ooh ya I remember one day its like last April there was snow on the ground snow on the street snow everywhere in town lookin out my window I don’t see nuthin but white no tracks no tires no nuthin no little bitty seagull tracks no cat tracks dog tracks nuthin out there 4 o’clock 4:30 the sun’s goin down & I look out there all of a sudden there’s a track in the snow & I know whose footstep that is it’s Fred Buck’s footsteps my friends Fred Buck’s footsteps ya goin on down Columbia Street ahh Fred Buck there he goes Fred Buck’s footsteps my friends Fred Buck’s footsteps its like the grains of sand man like the birth of a nation it’s the Rosetta stone the walk of souls it’s the seven story mountain it’s Fred Buck’s footsteps Fred Buck’s footsteps my friend aughter have a statue of Fred Buck put it between the Fishermans statue & the Fisherman’s Wives statue or put it up there on Governor’s Hill ooohoo ya you could fill Grand Canyon with Fred Buck’s footsteps uhhuh oowhoo you could fill Grand Canyon with Fred Buck’s footsteps uhhuh… … … Fred Buck’s footsteps my friend Fred Buck’s footsteps its like the time lapse history of Gloucester Massachusetts

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WILLIE ALEXANDER | Fred Buck’s Footsteps

neighborhoods through the souls of his feet knows where everybody lives where they went to ahh Fred Buck its alotta steps Fred how many more ya gotta go I used to see him on the street saying how many footsteps Fred know he’s retired now not walking those streets anymore must have found that enlightenment somewhere one of them steps must have done it for him one of them 28 hundred 70 million billion gazillion rootie kazootie steps he took there Fred Buck’s footsteps my friend Fred Buck’s footsteps F.R.E.D. B.U.C.K. F.R.E.D. B.U.C.K. don’t forget Fred Buck don’t forget Fred Buck don’t forget Fred Buck don’t forget Fred Buck don’t forget Fred Buck don’t forget Fred Buck don’t forget Fred Buck Fred Buck’s footsteps …

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In God’s Valley

North of Kabul, across the blackened Shomali Plain, past roadblocks and through towns whose crowds jostle and push right up in between the traffic, and then six hours west along a narrow dirt track through the sides of gorges and lowland valleys, a bubbling stream below, our faces wrapped in scarves against the dust and our eyes squinting against the sun. I am in the front with the ill-tempered Tajik driver, Nadene and her dog Kush in the back. We snack on MREs* and viciously tempt the fasting driver with tootsie rolls. Up and up into the Hindu Kush we climb along count­ less switchbacks, racing our own dust plume until we reach a high alpine plateau on the top of the world but for the snowy mountains in the distance. Under the watch of forgotten towers high above we traverse a narrow pass cut through the rock by a river that dried up long ago. And then we burst from the last shadows of the pass in a cloud of dust and gravel into a narrow green valley, walled in by dry mountains and nourished by a single narrow irri­ gation stream. Rice patties and fields of barley blanket the slopes, and the villages are nestled up close between the stream, the road, and the mountains, and shaded by trees just beginning to turn in the autumn. Gone are the hawkfeatured Tajiks of the lowlands, replaced by Asiatic Hazaras with broad friendly faces and dressed in bright tunics and dresses. Children run through tree-lined avenues, wav­ ing and laughing. We have stepped from Afghanistan into Shangri-La. At dusk we pass beneath the ruins of the Red City crumbling atop cliffs at the gateway to the central valley and glowing blood in the setting sun. By the time we reach our guesthouse overlooking Bamiyan the sun has set and we stand in the dark, listening to the evening call to prayer echo between the moonless sky of Ramadan and the snow­covered peaks glimmering in the distance. ——— The next morning we arose to the crowing of roosters and the braying of mules. Nadene was in Bamiyan ostensibly to ­record a piece on Afghanistan’s nascent tourism industry, and I was a tourist. It was a convenient relationship. I was

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Hallam Ferguson

* MRE: Meal Ready to Eat, the ­standard American self-contained ­ration. Many find them foul, I find them miraculous.

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HALLAM FERGUSON | In God’s Valley

*PRT: Provincial Reconstruction Team, militaryspeak for a coalition garrison that is supposed to do nice things like dig wells in addition to blowing down peoples’ houses.

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to be interviewed live on BBC that morning but Nadene, distracted by Kush who was hungrily pursuing the neigh­ bor’s chickens, broke her satellite feed one hour before she was to conduct the interview. Thus was my chance at fame thwarted. Whereas I in a similar situation would have shrugged my shoulders and resigned myself to enjoying the day, Nadene devoted herself to circumventing the obstacle of the broken transmitter. First a boy was sent to the bazaar to find either a spare cable or an electrician to repair the broken one; neither was found. Then Nadene’s driver in Kabul was sent to the BBC office to acquire a spare cable and drive it to Bamiyan; the woman in charge refused to surrender the equipment. Next, we drove to the local PRT* and beseeched the resident New Zealanders to apply their technical expertise to our predicament. The Kiwis, who evidently spent most of their relaxed tour in Bamiyan thrashing local NGOs at pickup rugby and playing the fearsome Afghan horse sport buzkashi on borrowed mules, fell upon the damaged satellite feed with enthusiasm. After an hour’s labor in which much of the camp was involved and during the course of which Nadene’s entire satellite transmitter was disassembled and reassembled expertly, it was determined the damage was irreparable. We paused to enjoy a meal of pork and bread pudding in the mess as the sun set and the frigid night fell. I contributed to this day’s labor by sympathetically intoning after every failure “Well, you tried your best,” ­hoping that we could now get down to the serious business o ­f touring. But when we did make forays into the valley’s sights between efforts at salvaging Nadene’s interview, I would over time come to appreciate it as appropriate that we little humans would involve ourselves with little human affairs with this, the most beautiful valley in the world, as the stage. So it has always been in Bamiyan. Nadene was descended on her father’s side from the Ghaurid dynasty that at one time ruled an empire ­stretching from Central Asia into India, and her ancestors built two giant cities in Bamiyan while mine were still stealing sheep in Scotland. The first of these was the Red City under whose shadow we passed the evening before. It was here in 1221 that the residents first turned back the Mongol hordes, in the process killing Genghis Khan’s favorite grandson. The ­Mongols returned, however, with the Khan at their head, and the people of the Red City were not successful a second time. The second city the Ghaurids built was located atop the ­strategic hill at the center of the valley. Its original name is forgotten, and it is now known as Gholghola. It is a haunted, dangerous place.

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According to local legend, the aging king of Bamiyan took a young second wife, infuriating his jealous daughter in the process. Time passed, grim rumors filtered up the passes from the lowlands, and dread gripped the soul of Bamiyan as the wind from the east carried the smoke and screams of the dying Red City. For a time the king’s guard held out against the hordes as the valley’s people huddled terrified within the city’s walls. But the spiteful daughter betrayed her house­ hold, alerting the Mongol Khan to the existence of a secret well upon which the city relied for its water. The well was poisoned, and the citadel fell. As the Mongols rampaged through the city, slaughtering every living being within and the blood of her people flowed between the cobbles, the vain daughter put on her most beautiful dress and stepped out to meet Genghis Khan, eager for the gratitude of her new lord. But the Khan was not to be found. He had left orders that the princess should be stoned amongst the ruins of her burning city, following her doomed people into oblivion. The city on the mountain came to be known by its new name: Shahr-e Gholghola, the Screaming City. Today the mountain is a barren, sun-bleached place of hollow arches and crumbling walls, under which it is said you can still unearth the bones of Gholghola’s dead. ­Scattered over the rocks and culverts among chips of faded pottery are spent shell casings, rusted weaponry and empty boxes of supplies, testament to the blood that has been spilt upon the strategic heights during more recent wars. One side of the mountain has been shorn away by B-52s. Nadene, Kush and I threaded our way up the well-worn path between broken towers and catacombs, wary of the redflagged mines still in the recesses off the path. At the top we greeted the lone ANA* soldier there, and admired the solar panels of the local Voice of America station, representatives of the new occupiers of this haunted mountain. Later, while awaiting word from the New Zealand tech­ nicians, we walked to the bazaar where I discovered that the normal spectacle of a beautiful Western woman was for once out-shown by the sight of the sleek Afghan hound loping at our sides. The locals had never seen anything like Kush, and stared in disbelief as we passed by. Soon a mob was follow­ ing us, pointing and jostling for view – we might as well have been leading a dragon. As Nadene shopped for fabric I was left to control both the uncooperative hound and the curious throng. What is it, they asked. A dog, I said, an Afghan dog. They shook their heads and smiled at one another. Where is it from? How much did it cost? From Badakhshan. I don’t know, it was a present.

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* ANA: Afghan National Army

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HALLAM FERGUSON | In God’s Valley

Soon the mob had become so close and thick that things were becoming alarming. “You are frightening my dog,” I said, pointing to the shaking Kush. The villagers were un­ deterred. “You are frightening my woman,” I tried, indicating ­Nadene. This chastened them some, but the lure of the dragon was too great. It was only when we abandoned the bazaar and fled back to the guesthouse that we lost the crowd of admirers. That night Kush repaid my efforts in her defense by urinating on my headlamp in the corner of our room and spending the night sleeping on me, despite venomous stares and thrashing legs. ——— The following morning we drove to the two giant Buddhas of Bamiyan, where a team of German archeologists were ­laboring amidst the rubble in search of a rumored third reclining statue buried at the feet of the other two. We made our way up the cliff face, passing caves in which yellowrobed monks once prayed, to a collapsing entrance that led us to a narrow stair winding precariously up into the heart of the mountain. In places the stair, or worse the wall between the stair and the snow-flecked void outside, had crumbled away entirely and our legs quivered as we edged our way up. Finally we reached the top, where a doorway led out onto a ledge without handrail or wall overlooking the dizzying fall back down to the foot of the cliff some forty meters below. Footprints in the dust indicated that souls braver than I had dared this ledge, but Nadene and I contented ourselves with moving on to another perch across which a metal pole had been recently installed as a token of safety. We were standing above where the head of the Bud­ dha had once been, seeing what he saw for the nearly two­ ­m illennia of his life. Out over the dusty ruined bazaar were forests and green fields in which brightly-clad women, ­children, men, and beasts all labored together. Sheep bleated, mules wailed, and roosters crowed. Beyond the shimmering river rose dry, brown foothills and beyond them the blinding whiteness of the Hindu Kush. The two giant Buddhas, along with any number of smaller ones and entire networks of caves, were constructed as part of a religious seminary in the valley sometime ­between the 3rd and 5th centuries. Their faces were gold, their clothes made of glazed enamel, and frescoed ante­ chambers all along their sides were lined with delicately carved statues of angels and saints. Created by adherents to a faith that r­ ejected worldly vanity and in an age b ­ efore ­tourism, these giant ­monuments were not built as an ­attraction or as testament to a ruler’s greatness, but rather as

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an offering. They were built in this, one of the most inacces­ sible corners of a remote country, because no other place on earth could be found where God would rather live. Constructed before Mohammed walked the earth, the Buddhas survived the coming of his religion, they watched over the rich caravans of the Silk Road, saw the rise and fall of countless Persian empires, watched as the Mongol terror laid waste to the Red City and Gholghola, witnessed the rise of new global empires in the 19th century, and heard of the destruction of the Musalla in Herat* and the Bila Hissar in Kabul**. Butterfly mines crowned their heads during the Soviet occupation, and warring Mujahideen chipped at their enamel for souvenirs during the ensuing civil war. During a few days in 2001, while the cowed Hazaras watched from the hills where they had fled with ­K halili***, a few dozen Pakistani-educated Pashtuns from the sun­blasted southern deserts arrived with dynamite and ­a r­tillery. They hacked away the faces and hands of the angels at the shoulders of the Buddhas, they peppered the frescoes with bullets, and painted the name of the Taliban along the walls of ancient caves. And with gurgling streams, green fields, and snowy mountains as backdrop they blew the ­Buddhas to pieces. ——— Bamiyan is the most beautiful place I have ever seen, raw and immortal, and in no other place have I felt smaller and more fleeting. In Bamiyan the mountains are unblemished, the winters harsh, the stream clean, the ruins untended and untarnished by sentimentality. The inhabitants of the valley, like the rest of their nation, have suffered almost constant tragedy throughout their history but here the burning cities, the fallen empires, even the casual demolition of the ancient Buddhas served only to emphasize the beauty of the place in which they were all blessed to exist for a time. Beneath the white Hindu Kush and giant sky the petty little tanks of the Taliban must have seemed laughable to the Buddhas, even as they blew them down. Within ten years, all of this will be destroyed. For the Mongols, the Soviets, the warlords and the Taliban had no power like ours. The valley is too beautiful for mortals to resist its exploitation, and Bamiyan will become the greatest tourist destination of Central Asia, an island of prosperity in an impoverished land. A paved road will replace the winding dirt track. The stair up the side of the Buddha will be closed because it is too dangerous and too-rapidly eroding. Gholghola will be cleared of its mines, its spent ammunition boxes and rust­ ing canteens, and informative signs will be placed along

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* Musalla in Herat: Giant and ­spectacular 15th century mosque and religious seminary built by the ­Timurids. Knocked down by the British because they thought the ­Russians might be coming, and wanted clear fields of fire. ** Bila Hissar in Kabul: Old, old Kabul castle and seat of kings until the British knocked it down because they were really mad that the Afghans had recently massacred about 40,000 redcoats and camp followers in the passes between Kabul and Jalalabad. *** Khalili: one of the warlords of the Hazara faction, made one of two vice presidents of the first Karzai administration.

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HALLAM FERGUSON | In God’s Valley

The Buddha’s View, photograph by the author.

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the path to the summit, telling of the latest archeological efforts and warning the visitor to please stay on the desig­ nated trail. Where simple mud-walled compounds now sit atop the bluffs multi-storey luxury hotels will rise, blot­ ting out the stars with their neon, and the sound of raucous pool-side parties will drift down to the valley at night. The Hazaras will become used to dogs, and much more besides. The ­bazaar will swarm with crowds of Japanese purchas­ ing mass-produced antique carpets and having their ­wallets stolen. The fields of barley will slip beneath kilometers of rental cottages, the lowing of cattle will fade, and meti­ culously crafted pedestrian bridges will crisscross the irrelevant stream. Above the valley ski slopes will scrape the majestic Hindu Kush and giant complexes of authentic Tibetan huts will serve kebabs and hot chocolate to rosycheeked Europeans. There is even talk of re-building the Buddhas. Cobbled together from their own corpses like giant stone Franken­ stein monsters, their heads crowned in Christmas lights, their dead eyes fixed upon the mutilated Hindu Kush, their blank smiles will shine over the carnival valley where God once lived ——— Back down through the passes we drive, waving Hazaras and their green fields receding behind us. The driver, evidently

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deciding that the rigors of this journey are greater than any pious man can endure, smokes, drinks, and eats with abandon and during one rest stop in a small mountain village we are quickly surrounded by the curious throng. “It is an Afghan dog,” I say, “It is hungry and it likes little boys. It will eat you.” Past the high alpine plateau on the top of the world, and down into the Tajik villages where the children are less frequent and the burqas more so. There is less waving now, and the stares seem less friendly when not coming from round Asian faces. At the road north of Kabul our cell phone reception returns, and Nadene begins checking in on her various enter­ prises. The heating stoves have still not been installed in the guesthouse, and she becomes increasingly furious as she learns of the failings of her staff, a tremble coming into her voice. “I can’t even go away for two days,” she shouts into the phone, “not even two days!” I call my own office to find that one of my staff left a day early while I was away, lying and saying that I had said that he could do so. My office manager wants to leave every day at one because of Ramadan. The traffic becomes more frequent, and the driver more ill-tempered, savagely laying on his horn and swerving around vehicles moving slower than his preferred reckless speed. Kush refuses to sit still, roaming about the backseat and adding to the irritability of both the driver and Nadene. The driver is angry when the windows are up, and Nadene cannot hear her phone when they are down. We spot our first ISAF* patrol rumbling along the highway, .50 caliber chain guns tracking passing vehicles suspiciously. The sun is ­sinking towards the mountains, and the driver says that we will be late. At the outskirts of Kabul we discover that it is rush hour, the vehicles revving angrily while they sit filling with exhaust. The dust is tainted with sewage here, and the men that line the streets are sullen. “This is the last call of the day,” rages Nadene behind me, “Have the stoves installed by 9:30 tomorrow morning, or somebody’s going to get fired. Do you hear me? This is it!” “We are late,” the driver says as we finally pull in front of my guesthouse and I hastily gather my things and flee inside with only the most hurried farewells. I lie in the garden, watching the sun set in the haze and waiting in vain for my friend Gulzarin the kitten to come. I drink warm beer and scroll through the pictures on my camera.

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* ISAF: International Stabilization and Assistance Force, primarily composed of European troops responsible for maintaining order in Kabul and other major cities. The Coalition is a separate command composed of line units primarily from the U.S. and UK, and responsible for blowing things up and shooting people out in the provinces.

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Norman Fischer

Talks by Norman Fischer are available from the Everyday Zen Foundation website: www.everydayzen.org

78

The Sacred and the Lost

Being human is a tough proposition. Because we can think about anything, and have to, and because thinking i­ nvolves always a binary opposition, every thought or concept ­standing by virtue of the exclusion of its opposite, we are constantly caught on the horns of a dilemma. It’s possible of course to fail to notice this, to go on about one’s way in the certainty that everything’s all right. But this only lasts so long. Eventually the backside of who we think we are and what we think the world is will peep out at us from around a corner and problems will ensue. So it seems very much as if there is no choice but to hurl ourselves headlong into the problem. The spiritual path, in all its various forms, begins here. Religion, if this is what we want to call it, clangs about between these two poles: love of the world, affirmation of it; and dismay about the world, the denial of it and the wish for escape from it. This is certainly so in Buddhism, where we have, on the one hand, the so-called “small vehicle,” in which we strive for individual freedom from a world which is inherently distracting, troublesome, and full of ­suffering, and on the other hand the so called “big vehicle,” in which out of love for the world and all the creatures in it we embrace it in order to bring it to perfection. I want to be clear that I am not identifying the small and large vehicles with particular schools of Buddhism. They are tendencies, tensions, within all the schools of Buddhism, tendencies and tensions which also, I believe, exist in all traditions, between school and school, individual and individual within schools, and within almost any individual him or herself, if she looks closely enough. And there are perfectly good reasons for this tension. The world is wonderful, colorful and bright. But it is also overwhelming. And embedded within it, as the very essence of its beauty, is the seed of suffering. As the Dhammapada says, the flower is beautiful, but within the flower there is an arrow aimed right at us. In our experience of the Path we find the world quite often too much for us. Too distract­ ing and powerfully seductive. It pulls us in and eventually pulls us down. Our powers are no match for its relentless ongoing process of birth and death, excitement and let­ new | 1_ 2005


down, its ­endless rhythm of ideas, emotions, successes, ­tragedies, forms, and colors, its powerful creative powers and ­enormous destructive potentials. But to set all of this aside isn’t the answer either. For one thing, how could one set it aside? Where to go to escape the world? Tibet (overrun by the Chinese)? Nepal (overrun by guru-seeking youngsters)? India (full of over­whelming poverty)? The world is certainly there too; perhaps moreso. A cabin in the woods? In Humboldt county (where they are destroying old growth redwoods)? On Maui (where the ­tourist trade rules)? Maybe somewhere in the Midwest, outside a small town somewhere? But there are newspa­ pers, telephones, and neighbors. Anyway, you’ll get lone­ some. What about a monastery? Anyone who’s spent time in one will tell you that the world is very much there too. A world apart perhaps, but a world nevertheless, and one which is perhaps in some ways even more difficult than the world at large, ­because the world at large will allow, to some extent, our non-participation, will allow us perhaps some breaks, some diversions, while the world of the monastery won’t let us alone even for a moment. We must, it seems, be involved in its every controversy and personal drama. And even, ­forgetting all of this, and imagining somehow a Shangrila where we can be truly quiet, peaceful, and fulfilled (­supported somehow by an inheritance) we will still have ourselves to contend with and all the worlds of our own minds. Wars and raging storms, volcanoes and lost loves are just as much there as anywhere. And even, further, assuming we could subdue all of this and find some sort of content­ ment, I think we would soon discover that that contentment was shallow without some way to express our gratitude for this body and life. And we would be, very soon, t­ urning toward the world again, the world as a sacred place, as a field for the activity of our practice. And so we would, with a new sense of things, be confronted again with our human dilemma. The world as sacred. Asian Buddhism does not, as far as I know, have a word that corresponds to our English word “sacred.” Perhaps the world kusala, which means “wholesome” or “skillful” comes closest. Kusala is that which aids us in the Path, that which is positive or beneficial. Akusala is the opposite. These could be taken as analogs of the words “sacred” and “profane”, but there is an important difference. Buddhist thought and practice is fundamentally concerned about our behavior and our thought and so kusala and akusala are words that de­ scribe our activity, not the world. The word “sacred” refers generally to the world or something in it, or, more precisely, to our relation to, our experience of, the world or what is in new | 1_ 2005

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NORMAN FISCHER | The Sacred and the Lost

it. Wholesome and unwholesome are about how we approach things. Sacred and profane point to the place at which our human need for meaning and significance touches the world around us. The essence of the concept “sacred” lies within the idea of separation. That which is sacred is that which is set apart for a special purpose. The sacred then is the exclusive; it becomes sacred by virtue of what it excludes from itself, and it manifests it sacredness in its very difference. Because the sacred is exclusive and different and therefore special we are dedicated to it. Our activity in relation to what is sacred is magnified activity, profound, meaningful activity. The sacred therefore gives our life depth and meaning. The difficulty with this idea of course exists at its very core. It is the sacred’s exclusivity. This exclusivity wants to make us very good and very aware and profoundly moved by meaning and deep purpose in one situation, but necessar­ ily scornful or disrespectful at the very least indifferent in another situation. So there is the phenomenon found in all religious traditions of the pious person, powerfully dedi­ cated to the sacred, who is also a terrible person in situations outside those for which piety is called. And there is also the narrow-mindedness and oppression of others that seems to come with the powerful sense of the exclusivity of the ­sacred. It seems as if the sacred, in order to be the sacred, must scapegoat the profane, must, in fact, see to it that there is a profane in order to scapegoat it. The exclusivity of the sacred is its downfall. But perhaps there is another dimension to the concept of the sacred. What’s separate or exclusive is also particular and distinct. It has a strong integrity in and of itself. It is what it is and it is not something else. It is this thing, not some other thing. So perhaps the essence of sacredness need not be its exclusivity, but rather its particularity. Sacred then becomes dedicated or devoted to the particular. It implies a powerful sense of commitment to something very concrete. It i­ nvolves a certain sense of vowing, of letting go of other things outside the vow, outside the particular, of giving ourselves ­completely to one thing. This sense of the sacred as the particular is fundamen­ tally different from exclusivity. Exclusivity hoards turf; particularity doesn’t. In fact, the essence of the sacred as the particular is that it is radically inclusive. Through total devotion to the particular we find the union that produces a sense of meaning in our life. In fact there is no other way to achieve union than through particularity because the only way to come out into the open space of our living, the field on which we can meet everything, is to walk down the long c­ orridor of the particularities of our life. “All is one” 80

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might be a good idea, might carry a sentiment that we enjoy, but it is not effective as a practice, because we never really ­confront such a thing as a unity in our lives. We confront only this and then this and then this. To see the particu­ larity of this one thing as exactly also everything, and to see that only through total devotion to this one thing can we reach everything, opens the possibility of the sacred as the universal. I have found this to be true with many powerful practitioners I have met over the years, people who, through total dedication to a particular thing throughout the course of a lifetime, whether that thing be a relationship, a skill or an art, a practice tradition, or even, perhaps, and most radically, each and every moment of living, have been able to somehow transcend that particular thing, or, in other words, include everything within it, acquiring in the process an ease and a graciousness that looks quite a bit like enlighten­ ment. A traditional Sanscrit Buddhist term that might be useful for extending our discussion here is tathata, which means “thus” or “just” or”merely” or “as it is,” and indi­ cates the real nature of things as they actually are, without any additional projections, elaborations, or improvements. Things as they simply and truly exist in their realness. The word forms a part of the epithet often used to refer to the Buddha: ­Tathagata, which means “the one who really comes and goes,” or “the one who thus comes and goes” or “the one who simply comes and goes” without any extra flourish or panache. This word tathata, interestingly, is seldom used in the Pali canon. It becomes a crucial concept for the Mahayana, in which the idea of freeing the mind of its projections and defiling conceptions becomes of paramount importance for the process of awakening. One wants to see things as they are, and to relate to them as such, without any mediating ideologies or viewpoints, Buddhist or otherwise. The decon­ struction of Buddhist thought by Nagarjuna is accomplished for this purpose. Seeing the world just the way it is sounds like a good idea (we all aspire to truth rather than falsehood, to accuracy rather than foolishness) but it is a radical idea that requires more of us than it seems to at first sight, because the world as we know it is nothing other than the world of our projections and confusions. The very idea of myself is the biggest pro­ jection of all, the screen beyond which I cannot see. Every­ thing in my experience is colored by it; everything I cherish and desire is created by it. Here is the human dilemma then in its purest form: I want freedom, truth, and reality and I do not know what these things might be; I also want to enjoy my

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NORMAN FISCHER | The Sacred and the Lost

desires for myself, including my desire for truth and reality. These desires are compelling, contradictory, and confused. Although I have never seen a cake, I want to have my cake and eat it too. But if I have my cake I am going to eat it because there is no other way to have it and of course when I eat it I will not have it. That which is eaten is the nature of cake. This then is things as they really are: pure and simple and constantly passing away, coming and going, free from our desires. Things as they are, from a human perspective, requires therefore an acute appreciation of loss, total loss, loss of self and loss of world. This is what freedom means. This is the real shape of the sacredness of the world, the union we find within the particularity of each moment of our lives. We are lost. In other words, it is not a question of holding to the world or transcending it. The real world is its own transcen­ dence and our dilemma is conceptual. It is language and thought that imprison us, not the world, not even our own desire. And in order to be free we need to be free in relation to this transcendent world, because there isn’t any other way. There isn’t anywhere else to go. A monk once asked Yun Men, “When there’s no thought inside and no thing outside what is it?” Yun Men replied, “Upside down!” Our world is upside down. We long for peace outside of activity but there isn’t anything outside of activity. We want to hold onto the world but the whole world in its real form is nothing but loss, moment by moment. And there’s no hope for this. There’s only the appreciation of it for what it really is. With this appreciation we can once and for all respond to con­ ditions as they arise. With this point of view the whole world and our particular place within it is the field for our practice. How to practice then? Certainly we do practice. We medi­ tate, we go to retreats and monasteries, we study the Dharma. And we understand all of this as particular yet not exclusive. This means that when its time to sit we sit but when its time to get up we forget about sitting and get up. Practice, because it holds the sacredness of our lives, is only one thing, always one thing, but we can’t say or know what that one thing is. But didn’t the Buddha, facing a choice, leave home, renounce the world and his family and devote himself to a life of dedication to Dharma? And don’t we as practitioners face a similar choice? The story of the Buddha’s renunciation comes to us through the Theravadin canon, one of the several versions of the canon that were handed down in the various schools that existed after Buddha’s time. That this particular version of the story is the one that has been given to us in the West is simply an historical accident. It is not the “official” version or in any

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way the best version or the truest version. It is simply the one we happen to have given our attention to over the years. I’d like here to briefly give another version of the re­nun­ ciation story, a version that exists in the canon of ­a nother major early school, the Sarvastivadin school. According to this version of the story Buddha didn’t leave his wife and child in the middle of the night to go off to seek enlightenment. In this version in fact the Prince and Princess do not have a son. As he is leaving the palace, ­passing his wife’s room, Siddhartha looks in at her, is over­ taken by her loveliness and his affection for her, and doesn’t want to go. He goes to her and they make love, conceiving on that very night their child. The Sarvastivadin version of the story then proceeds remarkably and mythically along a dual track. All of the events of Buddha’s quest are matched exactly by the course of Yasodhara’s pregnancy, which, like Buddha’s journey, lasts for six years. And the moment when Buddha attains enlightenment under the Bo tree is exactly the moment when Yasodhara gives birth to their son Rahula. In the Theravadin version of the story the word Rahula is etymologized as fetter. But in this Sarvastivadin version “Rahula” is said to derive from the word meaning Moon God, because the dual event of Buddha’s enlightenment and Rahula’s birth takes place on the night of the full moon. This story, as I understand it, is about sacredness and particularity and the loss these entail. Buddha does leave home and Yasodhara does stay. They give each other up and each must pursue his and her own path with full de­votion. And as a result of this opting with full commitment to the path taken, fruition comes about: inner and outer birth ensue. But I think the story, read on a structural level, is not simply about, on one hand, the Buddha, his solitary heroic quest for enlightenment, and, on the other hand, the girl he leaves behind. Structur­ ally, the story is clearly presented as a single narrative with two halves. The implication is that the enlightenment of the Buddha isn’t just something that happens to him or is effec­ ted by him alone. Nothing in the way the story is told in the original privileges Siddhartha over Yaso­dhara. It’s quite clear that it is the whole situation, both the outer birth and the inner turning, that describe the fullness of the Path. Leaving home and staying home, re­nouncing the world and accepting the world, are seen here as parts of a seamless whole. On the one hand we can’t have it all. Our path is particular, and as such, involves renunciation. In the story Buddha is a renunciate. But so is Yasodhara. Buddha gives up the home life but Yasodhara gives up the homeless life. Both together, through their loss of each other and devotion to the individuality of their own lives, create the whole of enlightenment. Both appreciate the world as it really is. new | 1_ 2005

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Carl Caulkins

from The Avalon Songbook

Gold El Dorado, smothered in gold, Drowns like the sun going down in the lake And though Coronado’s carcass is cold His bones continue to shake with the fever Cortez, Pïsarro, Ponce de Leon Hear how they curse, hear how they moan Each one slaughtered his way to the throne And all three were brought to their knees by the fever

So dry my lips Dry as the Rio del Oro I try to grip This Winchester singer of sorrow Why oh why will my ship Not be here till tomorrow The dirt floor is starting to spin And the sweat’s pouring off of my skin Soon the Waltz of our Lady of the Flames will begin

In old Colorado the earth is a honeycomb Lined with the skulls of young men As the air grows thin and the skulls start to grin Jack wonders “How did this begin... why do I have this fever?”

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Block print: Lily Bruder

Down on his knees, Jack crawls through the mine He prays “Let me please leave this hell-hole behind” And then, oh Jesus, the walls start to shine And Jack goes blind... he is seized by the fever

So dry my lips Dry as the Rio del Oro I try to grip This Winchester singer of sorrow Why oh why will my ship Not be here till tomorrow The dirt floor is starting to spin And the sweat’s pouring off of my skin Let the Waltz of our Lady of the flames begin

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CARL CAULKINS | from the Avalon Songbook

Bones snowflakes flew jack frost drew all new moon all too soon

Block print: Lily Bruder

and the night train was howling two white wings of an owl cut through pines that were frozen the feathers quivered & rose

bones will quit their winter bed turtles will rise up from the dead firstborn will take his milk & bread from a spoon hard for the heart to depart too soon

two black shoes tracks led to the white owl grew lost from view

stepped out through the doorway the sparkling soft forest floor ever smaller gone with the train’s parting call

bones will quit their winter bed turtles will rise up from the dead firstborn will take his milk & bread from a spoon hard for the heart to depart too soon

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Block print: Lily Bruder

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87


Eliot Weinberger

In the Wu-T’ai Mountains

I. Chang Shang-ying, in the 11th Century, rose from H ­ onorary Assistant in the Rites Section of the Secretariat to Grand Councilor, the highest official post in the Empire. He became the symbol of the forthright, principled, incorruptible reformer, one who had even accused the Emperor of un­ filial behavior for reversing the policies of his father. He led military campaigns against the barbarian tribes; he revised the standard texts of Taoist ritual; his commen­taries on the Lotus Sutra and “in defense of the dharma” were admitted into the Buddhist canon; he wrote extensively on ­political matters. His best-known piece of writing, The Book of Simplicity, claimed to be a manuscript Chang found, ­w ritten a thousand years earlier by a Taoist patriarch who had received its words from an Immortal. In 1087, he dreamt he traveled to the Diamond Grotto in the Wu-ta’i Mountains. The Wu-ta’i Shan, the Five Terraced Mountains, some­ times considered a single mountain with five flat-topped peaks, was at the edge of the civilized world, just inside the Great Wall. There, the slopes are treeless, the wind fierce, the winter notoriously bad. One of the peaks, the Mountain of Chill Clarity, is the home of Manjushri, the Bodhisattva of Wisdom, symbol of enlightenment as it is manifest in intellectual exposition, with a book for understanding and a sword to cut through ignorance, and two lotuses floating by his head. Since the time of the Northern Wei dynasty in the 5th century, hundreds of monasteries, temples, stupas, and shrines have been built there. In 676, the Kashmiri monk Buddhapala came to the Wu-t’ai Mountains on a pilgrimage. He met an old man who told him that he would never see the Bodhisattva unless he brought with him a Tantric text called the Sarvadurgatiparisodhana-usnisavijaya-dharani, which the old man said would purge the Buddhists of their sinfulness. Buddhapala, unfortunately, had left his copy in India, and went home to retrieve it. Seven years later, he returned, translated the book into Chinese, and was met again by the old man, who revealed himself as Manjushri, and led Buddhapala into the Diamond Grotto. Its walls closed behind them and have

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­ ever opened since. It is said that inside there is a pagoda n that is 1300 storeys high, musical instruments that had belonged to the Buddhas of previous eons, and an infinite library of Chinese writings in gold ink on silver paper and hundreds of millions of scrolls from all the lands of the Four Continents. A few months after his dream of the Diamond Grotto, Chang Shang-ying’s fortune changed and he was demoted to the position of Provisional Judicial Commissioner of Ho-Tung. His first assignment was indeed to travel to the Wu-t’ai Mountains to apprehend a gang of bandits who were plaguing the pilgrims there. On July 18, 1088, he reached the Temple of Chill Clarity. The chief monk told him that, at the nearby Temple of the Golden Pavilion, a long time ago, a certain Supervisor Ts’ui had seen a golden bridge engulfed by light. Chang thought to himself: “What kind of a man was this Supervisor Ts’ui, and what kind of a man am I?” When he reached the Temple, Chang, too, saw the golden bridge, but suspected it was merely an effect of the setting sun on the clouds. Later, when it had grown dark, he saw three pillars of rose-colored light, and his doubts vanished. On the next day, he visited the Hall of the True Counte­ nance, the Pavilion of Clear Brilliance, the Lodge of Man­ jushri’s Transformation, the Hall of Rahu’s Footprint. Above Dragon Hill, he saw a golden staircase leading to the sky. Around midnight, he saw something in the shape of a man holding an enormous lamp that changed from pink to white to yellow to green, and was bright enough to light the forest in the valley below. Then the lamp rose until it was directly in front of him. Its colors fused; its light condensed; it looked like the garnet held in the claws of the Great Green Lizard. He saw a five-colored cloud and a wheel of white light that spun away and kept turning. A storm blew in, with winds so strong Chang thought the mountains themselves would topple over. He saw a red light on a distant peak. He saw a single white light the color of silver, a pair of golden lights, an array of lights like a string of pearls, a radiance like a shooting star, and violet lights that crisscrossed over the valley. Then the wind died, the clouds broke, and he saw a world of blue crystal, with thousands of Bodhisattvas, towers and halls, pennants flying, thrones and terraces, ele­ phants in a forest of jewels, and, under an unending canopy woven in a purple mushroom pattern, Manjushri himself, riding a blue lion.

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ELIOT WEINBERGER | In the Wu-T’ai Mountains

II. Many heard the sound of bells and stone chimes. Some heard huge flocks of birds flapping when no birds were seen. Many smelled unusual fragrances. Tao-hsüan, in the 7th century, wrote: “Often monks appear and then suddenly are difficult to find. Sacred vestiges and temples manifest from time to time and then disappear.” In the year 679, Meditation Master Tsang of the White Horse Monastery, led a group of thirty monks on a summer retreat. On the Central Terrace, they saw a flock of white cranes, which they followed for several leagues, until the birds suddenly disappeared. They then saw a five-colored auspicious cloud and a multicolored auspicious light, shaped like the Buddha; when they moved, the light moved with them. About thirty paces south of the Great Flower Pool, they saw an enormous misty light, with layers and layers of thousands of different colors, each layer distinct from the next. The monks later said that “within this light all could be seen, as if one drew near to a bright mirror.” They said that the light dazzled their eyes, but their spirits felt lost. Hsu-yun, in 1885, saw fireballs of different sizes that split into more fireballs. The Japanese monk Ennin, on a nine-year pilgrimage in the 9th century, saw a light the size of a begging bowl that grew as large as a hut. Then he saw another light, the size of a rainhat, that also grew. John Blofeld, in the 1930’s, saw innumerable “fluffy balls of orange-colored fire. . . unhurried and majestic,” “moving at the stately pace of a large, well-fed fish aimlessly cleaving its way through water.” He wrote: “Assuming that a Wisdom Force does exist in the universe as a separate entity — sepa­ rate, that is, on the plane of differentiated phenomena — it is still difficult to understand why it should manifest itself materially in the form of slowly moving balls of fire.” Han Shan Te-ch’ing was living in seclusion on the Northern Terrace. One day in 1575, as he was cooking rice porridge, he saw “a great radiant jewel, perfectly clear and still, like a huge round mirror, which reflected in its center the mountains, rivers, and the great earth.” Doubt disap­ peared; everything became clear within and without; he saw the majestic creation and destruction of all things; his mind was at rest. When the moment ended, he noticed that his cooking pot had become thick with dust. Ch’ang-yü, in the 9th century, had a vision of Man­ jushri, and for the rest of his life, when asked a question would respond by hitting the ground with his walking stick. When his stick was taken away from him, he would answer by leaving his mouth ­gaping.

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Shen-ying, in the 8th century, saw a sign that read “Cloister of the Dharma Flower,” and wandered into a vast monastery with halls for meditation and lodges for guests, an enormous four-gated stupa, and a tower with images of jade. When he left the Cloister, a few steps beyond the gate, he turned around and it was gone. He vowed to build what he had seen, gathered patrons and craftsmen and artists, and spent the last forty-years of his life in an actual Cloister of the Dharma Flower, chanting the Lotus S ­ utra. In 1607, the monk Chen-I met a woman who had spent many years in the Wu-ta’i mountains. She lived under a leaking thatched roof, three feet high; she rarely ate; her hair was matted. When asked her name, she said, “I have no name.” When asked her age, she said, “I have no age.” She said she came from nowhere. When asked her method of meditation practice, she said, “I merely sit. There is no method.” When asked what she come to realize, she said, “My ears hear the sound of wind, rain, and birds.”

III. Late one night, alone in the meditation hall of the monastery on Amitabha Terrace in Nan-yueh, the Amitabha B ­ uddha appeared to the monk Fa-chao and taught him a way of chanting the Buddha’s name, na-mo A-mi-tuo-fo, in five tempos. First, a leisurely chant in a high tone. Second, a leisurely chant in a high and rising tone. Third, a chant that is neither leisurely nor fast-paced. Fourth, a chant with a gradually increasing pace. Fifth, a very rapid recitation of the four syllables A-mi-tuo-fo. The Amitabha Buddha told him that this method exactly replicated the five-toned melodies emitted by the jeweled trees in the Pure Land. Fa-chao wrote: “These five forms of chanting proceed from the leisurely to the fast-paced, during the course of which one concentrates one’s thought wholly on the Buddha, dharma, and sangha and abandons all other thoughts. When thought becomes no-thought, it is the door of nonduality of the Buddha. When sound becomes no-sound, it is absolute truth. Therefore, practicing mindful recollection of the Buddha for the rest of your days, you will always be in accord with the nature of reality.” The next year, 767, while eating his breakfast in the refectory of the Cloud Peak Monastery, an image of the Wut’ai Mountains, where he had never been, appeared in Fachao’s bowl of gruel. He saw the Monastery of the Buddha’s Radiance, and a stream nearby, and a single stone gate, and beyond, a magnificent complex of buildings with a sign that read, “Bamboo Grove Monastery.”

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ELIOT WEINBERGER | In the Wu-T’ai Mountains

Times were bad, and it took him three years to reach the Wu-t’ai Mountains, and the Monastery of the Buddha’s Radiance, which was the same as he had seen it. On his first night there, a white beam of light descended from the moun­ tains and came to rest in front of him. “What is this strange light?” he asked. The monks shrugged, “Here we often see the inconceivable auroras of the great sage Manjushri.” Fa-chao followed the light, and came to a mountain stream, and a single stone gate. On either side of the gate were two young boys, dressed in blue. “Why did it take you so long to come to see us?” They led him through the gate to a golden bridge, and across it, a sign that read “Bamboo Grove Monastery.” Inside were clear streams and flowering fruit trees, a golden tower and jeweled pagodas, and Man­ jushri himself, a hundred feet tall, teaching the dharma to ten thousand bodhisattvas who circumambulated his lion throne.

IV. Niu Yun, whose name means Ox Cloud, lived in the town of Yanmen, Goose Gate. He was apparently not bright. He stared dully, never spoke, and could not learn a single character at school, but whenever he saw a monk or nun he would raise his hands and kneel in veneration. At twelve, he was sent to the Cloister of the Good Dwelling Pavillion in the Wu-t’ai Mountains to become a monk. There he drew water and collected water, and was ridiculed by the monks. When he reached the age to accept the monastic precepts, he was unable to memorize any of the prayers or scriptures. At age thirty-six, in the middle of the winter, in snow and intense cold, he decided to go barefoot into the moun­ tains in search of Manjushri. At the summit of the Eastern Terrace he saw an old man sitting by a fire, though there were no footprints in the snow. Ox Cloud told the old man that he was in despair at his stupidity and had come to find the Manjushri Boddhisattva to beg for intelligence. Ox Cloud left and went to climb the Northern Terrace. At its summit he saw the old man again, sitting by a fire. “How did you get here before me?” “I know the shortcuts.” Somewhere in his heart, Ox Cloud knew that this was no ordinary old man and prostrated himself. The old man pro­ tested that he was merely a man and that Ox Cloud should get up, but Ox Cloud wouldn’t move. At last the old man said he would enter deep concentration to investigate the karmic acts that had led to Ox Cloud’s dullness. The old man opened his eyes and smiled. “In your ­previous life you were an ox, and because you transported

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the canon of scriptures to a monastery, you have been reborn as a monk. Bring me a mattock and I will chop off that flesh on your heart and head.” Ox Cloud brought a mattock from the vegetable gardens by the Dragon Hall, and the old man told him to close his eyes. He felt his heart being cut in two, but he felt no pain. His mind cleared, as though someone had lit a lamp in a dark room. He opened his eyes and saw that the old man had been transformed and was indeed the Manjushri Bodhisattva. As Ox Cloud descended the mountain, his eyes could see, his ears could hear, there was nothing he didn’t understand, and his body felt so light he thought he was flying.

V. Years later, Chang Shang-yin had a dream that the Ch’an Master Wu-yeh was beckoning him. Wu-yeh had lived in a monastery in the Wu-t’ai mountains studying the scriptures until he saw eight meteorites, which he interpreted as a sign that his studies were complete, and then went into seclusion for twenty years. After he awoke, Chang consulted the recorded sayings of Wu-yeh, and found a dialogue with an older Master, Ma Tsu. Wu-yeh had asked his teacher an esoteric Ch’an question, about the meaning of the “mind-seal from the West.” Ma Tsu replied, “You’re getting on my nerves! Get out of here.” Wu-yeh, stunned and distressed, stood up to leave. Just as he reached the gate, Ma Tsu called out to him. As Wu-yeh turned his head to look back, Ma Tsu said: “What is it?” When Chang read this, he suddenly understood all that he had seen in the mountains. He wrote a poem that reads, in part:

Four times I went to the Wu-t’ai mountains, seeking visions. Five times the clouds were full of light. . . What is it? What is it? . . . The wind at the end of the world blows. . . When the egret is blind, the fish swim by.

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J.B. Bryan

from Scatter of Buffalo Grass, album of watercolor & ink drawings

Placitas (Turtle Mountain Las Huertas Creek Watershed) Perhaps it is sublimated voluptuousness, and that may not be visible to everyone. —Henri Matisse “Little places” — a village near Las Huertas spring. Not landscape, but ecological pleasure. Distinctly rock ­garden tone dance. Not realism, but a mutually interactive, inter­ dependent plant jazz. An array of contrasts, tension & release, chordal asymmetries, arabesque entwined with intricate surface toward musical brightness. Botanical sprawl mixed out of calligraphic gestures, cobbled shapes & riffs of floral articulation. Necessary structure improvised from counterpoint & flux — what’s apparent in branching & chaotic growth. Instead of abstract, what arises is p ­ attern & play. Rise & fall of seedheads, lines of yarrow stalks in front of sourcherry shrubs against the afternoon sky or wet dirt. Color wheel of gourd, chamomile, globe mallow, elm bark, corn husk, tulip & iris, wisteria, peach blossom, rotten fruit. An alchemy of baffling results. Square inch by square inch, bare paper, swipe, scratch, stain, overlays, drips & odd awkward incidentals, fat brush or stick, whole gamut built into long threads of concern, plus raking leaves, turning compost, even a begrudging admiration for weeds. Ooze becomes solid, materials thrive. Observer’s conscious­ ness & reverence of common essence as a given. How to let it ­happen, finesse without glib acceptance. To love the effort. To trust that what you do is what you are supposed to be doing. Marks accumulate into lyrical, idiosyncratic ­congruency. “Thelonious”

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grass clumps into meadow ink on paper 22 x 30 inches

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J.B. BRYAN | Scatter of Buffalo Grass

snakeweed claims the hillside ink on paper 22 x 32 inches

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breeze trembles leaves & twirl watercolor on paper 22 x 30 inches

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J.B. BRYAN | Scatter of Buffalo Grass

cracked mulch spindly lives ink on paper 22 x 30 inches

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Paolo Uccello’s “Rout of San Romano”: Order from Chaos

Renaissance painters who pioneered linear perspective and the systematic representation of light, shade and cast ­shadows were, in their own precocious way, in the busi­ nesses of plotting forms in space according to three coordi­ nates and of ray tracing. It seems natural, therefore, to turn to computer vision to analyse forms in spaces in Renaissance paintings. Generally computer analyses have been accom­ plished by the extraction of data from the painting and their feeding into a CAD programme. The results are only as good as the quality of the data extraction allows, and there is no automatic assurance that the CAD programme sits comfort­ ably with the artist’s original means. The newer method of single view metrology has proved to work highly effectively with paintings, not least because it works directly from the painted surface to the spatial ­a nalysis, with minimal user interaction1. Given a perspective image of a slanted planar surface (e.g. a wall, the floor, the ceiling) it is possible to compute a geometric transformation (namely planar homography) that uniquely maps each point on the world surface onto a corresponding point on the image plane. The computed homography can then be used to measure distances, angles and object dimensions directly from the image plane; or to construct a new, rectified view of the observed surface (see fig. 4). Machine vision provides algorithms for the accu­ rate estimation of the homography transformation and its compact mathematical representation. Furthermore, single view metrology provides techniques for the measurement of heights of objects and/or people2. By combining planar measurements with height measure­ments, single view metrology “removes” the per­ spective distortions which inevitably arise when ­i maging/ painting a three-dimensional scene on a two-­dimensional support. Consequently, accurate three-dimensional measure­ments can be extracted from single images such as photographs, drawings, and paintings. This process can be thought of as inverting the rules of linear perspective. Single view metrology has proved its worth with ­paintings in which the perspectival clues are overtly

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Martin Kemp and Antonio Criminisi

1. Antonio Criminisi. Accurate Visual Metrology from Single and Multiple Uncalibrated Images. Springer-Verlag London Ltd. Aug. 2001. ISBN 1-85233468-1.

2. Antonio Criminisi, Martin Kemp, Andrew Zisserman. Digital Art History: A subject in transition 2005 Bringing Pictorial Space to Life: computer techniques for the analysis of paintings A. Bentkowska-Kafel, T. Cashen and H. Gardner editors. ISBN 1-84150-116-6.

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KEMP & CRIMINSI | Order from Chaos

­ eometrical and prominent, such as Masaccio’s Trinity and g Piero della Francesca’s Flagellation. However, when the depiction does not involve such obvious motifs as tiled floors and architecture, the perspectival techniques are necessarily more implicit and less immediately evident. It might seem obvious that landscape settings would not lend themselves to geometrical plotting. However, such was the conviction of some artists that there were underlying orders both in nature and in the act of seeing that every naturalistic representation demanded a systematic plotting of forms in space.

Figure 1. Paolo Uccello. The Rout of San Romano. ca.1440. National Gallery, London.

3. Martin Kemp and Anne Massing, ‘Paolo Uccello’s Hunt in the Forest’, The Burlington Magazine, CXXXIII, 1991, pp. 164-78

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Paolo Uccello is probably the most notorious advocate of this stance. His supposed retort to his wife when nagged to come to bed – “what a sweet thing is perspective” – is an established part of artistic myth. His works testify to the spirit of this anecdote if not its reality. When the Hunt in the Forest in the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford was scientifi­ cally examined in 1990, a “ghost pavement” was discovered in the underdrawing on the white priming of the panel3. The “pavement” provided the sliding scale for relative heights of the figures, horses and dogs into the depth of the notably columnar forest. Recently, working on the Television Programme, “The Private Life of a Masterpiece” for BBC TWO, transmitted on 16 April, we looked at Uccello’s Rout of San Romano (fig. 1) in the National Gallery in London (one of three com­ panion paintings of the 1432 battle). In this instance, no “ghost pavement” has yet been detected through scientific examination, but the painting itself contains telling clues that such a “pavement” did indeed provide the armature for

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the scaling on the foreground stage. The clues lie (literally) in the a­ rtfully arranged lances on the ground, a significant number of which have fallen conveniently along the lines of the implied “pavement. One, in the lower right quarter of the ground, has fallen along one of the diagonals of the implied squares. Such diagonals are known to have provided Uccello with one of his prime constructional tools, using the later­ ally disposed “distance points” (fig.2)4.

Figure 2. Geometric reconstruction of the ghost pavement (green lines) and distance point (blue lines).

4. Martin Kemp, The Science of Art. Optical Themes in Western Art from Brunelleschi to Seurat, Yale University Press, London and N ew Haven, pp. 37-41

Figure 3. The rectification process applies only to objects lying on the ground plane. Therefore, before rectification is applied we need to mask out all the objects which do not lie on the floor. This process eases visualization.

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Figure 4. The rectified floor. This image shows the ground plane as it would appear if seen from above.

KEMP & CRIMINSI | Order from Chaos

Figure 5. The rectified floor. In this figure the red/green grid of figure 2 has been rectified together with the ground plane. Now the grid is made of perfectly square elements which can be used as measurement unit. The dead soldier is approximately four units tall.

Figure 6. The same grid units of fig. 5 can also be used to measure heights. Niccolò da Tolentino is approximately four units tall, consistent with what is found in fig. 5. Interestingly, the whole knight and horse figure is inscribed in a 6x6 square grid.

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The evidence is not such as to provide cast iron evidence of the precise disposition of the “ghost pavement”, but the one we are proposing is the kind of construction that would have existed under the paint surface or in a scaled ­d rawing. Some items in the debris lie slightly off-line, no doubt to avoid what even for Uccello would have been excessively improbable tidiness. The detection of this underlying regularity provides the basis for the rectification of the ground plane with its orga­ nised debris of the lances and the fallen warrior, who lies slightly off the relevant orthogonal in the implied grid (figs 3-5). In this case the rectifying homography was accurately computed from reference points provided by the grid struc­ ture of the estimated ghost pavement. If the modules of the grid are used for the purpose of analysis to judge the scaling of the horses and riders (fig. 6), we find that the scaling of the combatants is gener­ ally consistent with the recession of the “ghost pavement”. This is confirmed by the animation in which the Florentine ­commander. Niccolò da Tolentino, and his grey horse are slid diagonally backwards into the painted space in a pre­ determined direction (figs. 7-8). The effect may be likened to the moving of pieces on a chessboard when viewed from a relatively shallow level – in this case along a horizontal level close to the horses’ backs. Where Uccello has most conspicuously not followed the logic of his construction is in the more distant landscape, in which scattered warriors indulge in various pre- or postbattle activities. He has combined his measured foreground

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Figure 7. The red point shows the direction in which we wish Niccolò da Tolentino and his grey horse to move.

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stage with a landscape backdrop that functions well for ­pictorial purposes without attempting to establish any ­optically consisitent realtionship between them. What Uccello has achieved is a fine balance of decorative complexity and geometrical order, as was fitting in a work which served as part of a decorative ensemble in a domestic palace (originally of the Bartolini Salimbeni family and later of the Medici) and as a patriotic rendering of the famous Florentine victory. Decorative chivalry was a real feature of Renaissance battles, but commanders would have killed to achieve such spatial order in an actual engagement. Figure 8. The geometry computed for the ground plane allows us to make Niccolò da Tolentino and his horse move back and forth in the direction of choice in a realistic way; i.e. in a way which is consistent with the overall geometry of the painting.

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Les Origenes En Jeux, En Fance

Claude Mollard

Histoire de Took Les hommes crient, les arbres, les pierres crient… Tout crie… Et Took rit… Car Took est le seul qui ne crie pas ! Même si tout crie.

Enfance Lorsque je regardais la tapisserie de ma chambre à Bourg-enBresse (j’avais sans doute 5 ou 6 ans), avant de m’endormir, mon regard suivait les dessins qui la parcouraient, il s’égarait entre les myriades de formes qui l’animaient. Et il composait ou recomposait des êtres de chair : animaux, monstres, hu­ mains… Celui qui avait conçu et réalisé ce décor beige, avec des sortes de gouttelettes de peinture qui formaient comme un étrange et dense réseau, avait sans doute pensé à ­recréer une ambiance discrète et calme, un peu passe partout, ­n’arrêtant surtout pas le regard. Il ne se doutait pas qu’il avait peint la matrice de mon imaginaire d’enfant de six ans. Ainsi, chaque soir, mon ­regard voguait de tache en tache, de goutte en goutte, pour reconstruire des mondes irréels et fantastiques, voire in­ quiétant. Je m’éveillais alors souvent une heure plus tard, ayant fait un cauchemar, à en claquer des dents. Seuls un câlin maternel ou paternel en viendrait à bout. J’avais atteint dans mes rêves fondés sur les dessins de la tapisserie les limites de l’étrange, du monstrueux et de l’irréel.

Minas Geiras Il en va de même des origènes que je décrypte sur les troncs des arbres, les formes des roches et les murs des villes, ­comme sur celui de ma chambre d’enfant. J’aurai mis soixante ans à leur trouver un nom. Les origènes que je débusque sur les pierres des t­ rottoirs d’Ouro Preto au Brésil, sont présents au monde depuis plusieurs centaines d’années. Ils attendaient mon regard de photographe pour prendre vie, exister et se sentir libres. Magie de la photo. La bouse de vache, l’excrément de ­l’animal que les Indiens réservent à leurs seuls « i­ ntouchables»

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CLAUDE MOLLARD | Les origenes en jeux, en fance

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CLAUDE MOLLARD | Les origenes en jeux, en fance

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et dont nous laissons le traitement aux travailleurs immigrés de nos pays riches, sont transformés en visages d’hommes. Le peau-rouge existe parce qu’il reçoit dans la nature la confirmation que son enveloppe terrestre peut-être rouge. Au premier regard, les pierres livrent des visages de souffrance plutôt que de plaisir ou de joie. C’est un fait. ­P risonniers, comment pourraient-ils être heureux ? Il est curieux que les pierres, la terre et les arbres ­puissent nous offrir toutes les variations de couleur que l’on puisse imaginer, comme si la chimie n’avait rien trouvé de plus que ce que la nature nous offre dans ses surfaces et dans ses profondeurs. Et lorsque on a la chance d’accéder aux mines du Minas Geiras, plus encore. En repérant toutes ces couleurs venues des plus lointaines profondeurs de la terre, je ne puis m’empêcher de penser que les mineurs ont exhumé à la lumière des minerais noirs comme est noir le fond de la terre. Mais aussi des roches multicolores venues du plus profond des entrailles, dans leur transparence et leur lumi­ nosité, comme si elles n’avaient pas eu encore le temps d’être altérées par l’oxydation provoquée par l’atmosphère. N’est ce pas l’air et la lumière qui façonnent les couleurs ?

Camera obscura J’ai commencé à rêver dans une camera obscura. La ­fenêtre de ma chambre à Bourg-en-Bresse donnait sur une rue et une sorte de cours piétonnier planté de platanes. Elle était fermée par deux volets fixes constitués de cadres de bois sur lesquels étaient tendues des toiles goudronnées. Des trous avaient été perforés dans ces toiles au gré de leur utilisation. Donc le dimanche matin lorsque l’on pouvait s’attarder au lit, le jour se pointait et la lumière entrait dans la chambre comme dans une camera obscura projetant sur le mur opposé aux volets les formes à l’envers des automobiles, des passants sur le trottoir : comme un cinéma d’ombres portées projetées à l’envers… Je suis né dans un appareil de photo !

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CLAUDE MOLLARD | Les origenes en jeux, en fance

Histoire de Took Les hommes crient, les arbres, les pierres crient… Tout crie… Et Took rit… Car Took est le seul qui ne crie pas ! Même si tout crie.

Childhood When I stared at the wall paper of my bedroom in Bourgen-Bresse (I might have been 5 or 6 years old) before falling asleep, my gaze would wander among the drawings and I would lose myself among the myriads of shapes I could find, giving a real life to each of them. Again and again, my eyes constructed on and on living beings: animals, monsters, strange human shadows. The painter who designed and created this beige decoration with tiny drops of paint that seemed to form a strange thick net, had thought, no doubt, to recreate a discrete and quiet atmosphere, common enough, certainly nothing worth staring at. He couldn’t imagine that he had painted the womb of my six-year-old fantasies. Thus, every night, my eyes used to wander from one blot to another, from one drop to another, to build unreal, fantastic, even threatening worlds again and again. Then, I would often awake myself an hour later, teeth chattering after a nightmare . My only relief was a hug from my mother or father. Through these drawings on the wall paper, my dreams had reached the limits of strangeness, monstrosity and the unreal. Minas Geiras It is through that same imaginary process that I identify the “origenes” on the trunks of trees, the shapes of rocks and the walls of cities as figures I saw on my bedroom walls. Sixty long years, it took me sixty long years before discovering their existence and giving them a name. The “origenes” I chase down in the paving stones of Ouro Preto, Brasil, have existed in the world for several ­hundred years. But they were expecting that my glance as a photographer would give them birth, life and freedom.

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Photography is magic. Cow dung, the animal excrement Indians put aside for the “untouchables”, and of which we, in wealthy countries, leave to be processed by immigrant ­workers, is transformed into the face of man. The red-skin exists because, looking on nature, a man can see in the color of the earth the confirmation that his ­human envelop can be red. At first glance, stones offer faces that express more pain than pleasure or joy. It is a matter of fact. As prisoners of stones, how could these faces be happy? It is strange to notice that stones, earth and trees are able to show us so many unthought-of changes in colors, as though chemistry had not found more beauty than what can be seen among the surfaces and depths of nature. And, when you have a chance to get to the mines of Minas Geiras, there is still more. When I observe all these colors coming from the most remote depths of the earth, I cannot but think of the miners who have taken the black ore out to the light, ore as black as the bottom of the earth itself. And think at the same time of multi-colored rocks, coming from the deepest ­cavities, with a transparency and brightness that time would not be able to alter through oxidation provoked by the atmo­ sphere. Isn’t it air and light that bring colors out? Camera oscura As a child, I began to dream inside of a “camera oscura”. The window of my bedroom in Bourg en Bresse opened on a street and a sort of pedestrian alley with plane trees. The window was closed by two separated shutters, made of a wood frame covered by tarred canvas. Through long use, holes had been punched in them. On Sunday mornings, when I could remain in bed, the day arose and the light came inside the room as in a “camera obscura”: I could see on the wall opposite to the shut­ ters the reversed shapes of automobiles and passers-by on the sidewalk, as in a moving picture film with reversed shadows. I was born in a camera. (English translation by Claire Macheras)

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Theodor Holm Nelson

Transliterature™ In Brief

Deep Flying Documents, True Connections Non-Hierarchical, Parallel, Profusely Linkable

Note: “Transliterature” is here trademarked not for commercial reasons but to prevent semantic creep.

=== KEY PROBLEMS OF THE CURRENT COMPUTER WORLD — documents are incompatible — no linking except for web — web links are too weak — web structure is too complicated

=== WEB ISSUES The web consists of— — one-way pointers — pigeonholes — the Andreessen browser, which interprets certain file types as simulated paper The web combines several questionable models— — paper simulation — WYSIWYG— only one exact way of seeing a document — heirarchy simulation (imposing heirarchical document structure) — this is metaphysically questionable — embedded markup — one-way outpointing links These prevent (or make extremely difficult) — annotation — overlapping links — seeing incoming links — profuse links by many viewers, seen together — legal re-use of contents — entry points that are not prearranged — seeing things any way but one fixed original layout — no alternative arrangements, markup or decorations

“Trans-” here means, above all, ­seeing the relations among documents.

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=== THE TRANSLITERARY ALTERNATIVE Transliterature, embodied in the TRANSLIT™ open-source project, will allow all this and much more. — converting different document formats to a shared linkable form

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THEODOR HOLM NELSON | Transliterature In Brief

— providing a new publishable form with far deeper connections than weblinks — simultaneous selectable and combinable link overlays — visible and reachable origins of all content — easy version management — not WYSIWYG: many views, many possible renderers and renderings — some views will work in Andreessen browser... — ... but most of the interesting ones won’t — all contents directly accessible (no fixed entry points) — all contents directly quotable (under transcopyright permission) — visible connections — selectable and combinable link overlays — profuse links may be seen simultaneously. — visible transclusions — different ways to mark up the same document — selectable visualizations

= BASIC TRANSLITERARY STRUCTURE: 1. Separate content from structure — we separate content from structure— Perlis’ famous “one more layer of indirection” — structure is maintained and distributed separately from content — this makes everything possible 2. Content is published separately and never changes — content (text, audio, video) is stored and made available separately from structure. — every character or frame has (in principle) an absolute or stabilized address — content never changes; only lists change 3. Document distrubution in hollow form as changeable lists — we distribute content list (also called Edit Decision List), of type .edl — this “hollow” format tells what portions to obtain, how to set them up — only lists change, content never changes — each version is a new list — this makes version management much easier 4. Content is obtained separately — the client fulfills the EDL by sending for the separate pieces — (this is similar to sending for separate GIFs and JPEGs for a complicated web page)

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— micropayment in principle may be imposed — publishers may be interested in making their content available on this basis — users may set their clients not to pay, thus not receive the content — content may be kept private in protected directories 5. Multiple re-use of content — many documents may re-use the same or overlapping content — since content is externally available, any document may use it — any EDL may point at any content 6. Original content for all quotations is available — original contexts and shared content among documents may be easily found by comparing content lists — this allows easy viewing of transclusions, separate from links

= NOT HIERARCHICAL BUT PARALLEL 7. Parallel data structure Data is internally represented (cached) as parallel strands — content streams — markup lists — link lists Such strands may — come from different sources — be selected and combined by the user 8. Links and markup are hooked to content itself — instead of connection to internal addresses, links and markup are hooked to absolute/stabilized addresses of the content itself. — this makes all links and markup transferrable to all instances of the content

= CLIENTS 9. Limited clients are possible using HTML and XML — e.g. our first example, “The Little Transquoter” (see below) — However, HTML is a paper simulation with all the disadvantages already mentioned. Instead of paper simulation, clients may be in other more powerful formats.

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THEODOR HOLM NELSON | Transliterature In Brief

10. More powerful clients are possible — flying — zoomable But that means leaving the Andreessen browser behind. We might use, for example— — Flash — VRML — SVG — OpenGL ... and, in principle, many others.

The Little Transquoter: http://xanadu.com.au/transquoter (Note that the Little Transquoter uses the link mechanism to maintain connections to the original context; this unfortunately encourages the popular misunderstanding that transclusion is a kind of link.)

= THE FIRST CLIENT EXAMPLE We have just released one small piece of software, the Little Transquoter (designed by Ted Nelson, programmed by Andrew Pam) which acts as a client and illustrates part of the system— — it takes a series of span addresses — it concatenates the resulting content — it shows the result in a web page = A GOOD NEXT IMPLEMENTATION LEVEL EMAIL ­A NNOTATION AND RE-USE Email intrinsically has stabilized addresses, since all in­ stances of a given email have the same absolute ID. This means we can create a linking and transcluding docu­ ments addressing portions of already-delivered emails. — highlighting of emails — links between emails — annotations of emails — new composites made from emails KEY BENEFITS — the merging and annotation of emails for collaborative work — showing many people’s annotations on the same emails simultaneously — rewriting annotated emails dynamically — streamlining the process of collaborative work A META-CLIENT This will be a client (actually a meta-client) that initially works with email systems of the .mbx form (such as Macin­ tosh OSX “mail”, Mozilla, Eudora etc.) and opens its own documents above and beyond these existing clients, but integrating smoothly with them.

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PROTOCOLS We will also have a protocol for such deliveries, and presum­ ably mime type for delivering — such connections — such composites — new content

= DESIGN ISSUES The key issues of TransLit are different from other text sys­ tems. For instance, — ADDRESS STABILIZATION. In principle every typed character should be given a permanent absolute address (as in Xanadu® xu88). However, dealing with ambient web and Internet content rules this out. This makes the maintenance of addresses and synonym addresses an ongoing issue. — definition of link types — resolution of link types in the client. 11. Client structure is very different from other applications — the principal representation is hollow format — the maintenanace and stabilization of addresses is a considerable issue

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Grégoire Paultre

Equinoxe de Printemps avec Monsieur Yusef Lateef

Lundi 28 mars Pour la journée de studio décisive, la rue de Seine était lourde. Tous en T.Shirt avaient gardé leur manteau. Le ciel était gris et l’air avait gardé la buée des premiers jours de 20° hallucinants après deux mois de tempête et de neige. Il fallait un sandwich cher, trop mou et étouffant dans cette rue où déjà l’été n’en avait que le monde. Mais il y avait une montée de lune. L’avant-veille, nous avions du mal à remarquer en rejoignant la voiture après le concert, que le plein disque ne serait que pour demain. Un peu de champagne et de cacahuètes nous avaient consolé de la longue course et finalement des petits panneaux, l’un détourné vers un sens interdit, qui nous avaient enfin montré la route de Banlieue Bleu. Ce soir là à Clichy-sous-bois, l’on sentait que l’on venait de loin ou de près, de tous les âges et chacun sachant, sauf celui qui définitivement de près, énorme et bedonnant, s’endormit sur mon épaule à plusieurs reprises ou se réveillait veule en sursaut lorsque la batterie avec le sax ou la trompette explose. Tout le monde était donc réveillé pour accueillir « ce monsieur ». 13 musiciens plus un. Quel nombre cela fait-il maintenant, car dès le dimanche soir on s’étonnait un peu fatigué que l’un présent ne sache plus ses quatre points cardinaux, et que son frère enfin lui mime le seul piège : le sud, à ne pas enfoncer comme un piquet. Il n’y a presque rien à dire. La troisième journée ­devait être consacrée à enregistrer comme la veille, pour une quasi-laine de verre molletonnée dont les jeux de forme aug­ mentent le silence dans lequel plongent des bises, paroles, rires, larmes, barre espace d’un doigt et après. Petite ou grande, une musique sans contraires, isolée donc seule de tout autre mot. Musique. Même pas. … musique … C’est bien elle dans cette tenue dont il s’agit, si l’on pose la question à l’homme à la toque mi-tête blanche et brodée.

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De longues mains bercées dans un foulard; puis un vêtement jusqu’au bas du genou, qui n’est pas à la veille de Pâques. Il n’eût pour preuve, pas à se perdre votif en Meurthe et Moselle, en ce vendredi qu’ils dorment. Entre le jour de concert et de studio, la pleine lune s’était finalement faufilée, pour que le mouvement ne s’altère aux moments cruciaux. À l’aéroport, il allait mettre l’unique valise pour deux, dans la voiture pas tellement des années cinquante. Le jeune homme est toujours là, il pense lui aussi que le moi ne peut rouiller en égoïste, s’il reconnaît simplement que le métal ne concerne que les coffres. Il marcha d’abord lentement jusqu’au lendemain et diable rythme de lune, augmenta sa marche d’autant, pour regagner les loges, les mains parallèles au corps, du seul mouvement utilisé en cas d’effective accélération. Le geste isolé sans sa réalisation. Plus tard, on retrouve les membres du petit paysage dans les loges. On a même des récits de bagarres d’after-gig et d’altercations unilatérales sur messagerie. On s’exclame parfois : « Il groove vraiment pas à la flûte, tu trouves pas ? » Beaucoup de rires et un sentiment de paix pour chacun. « une musique auto- physio - psychique » ? … musique … Où est donc passé le reste ? Peut-être là, crayonné du lundi au mercredi pour la pre­ mière impression que donne ce monsieur à cet instant précis, indissociable du souvenir de la musique de tout à l’heure : « - For a pen to sign his new friends: « … that’s very kind from you sir… » Sir called me sir. That’s how he cancels himself. Let the painter give tight swirls on brass or thin ­connected branches on flute. Morning of all, pushing eye for previous tear. » Le lendemain, le vieux monsieur brandit un peu plus ses yeux malicieux, non pas comme la veille où étourdit par la circonstance, il rentrait dans l’instrument directement, ou regardait le chef, par-dessous ses lunettes, tout à la fois parcimonieux, humblement appliqué. Le lendemain, il leva la tête, l’écoute subit une éclosion particulière en vue d’une lune pleine. Petit à petit même, on le vit se lever de plus en plus,­ ­jusqu’à trottiner en cabine pour l’écoute, à la vue de quoi, tous stupéfaits, s’exclamaient gaiement. Puis le jour J du samedi. Plus de sainteté aucune pour la sainte Larissa.

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GREGOIRE PAULTRE | Equinox de Printemps

Il fallut calmer un photographe hystérique, et écoper les émois inquiets des témoins de la presse : « il est de quel journal lui ? ». Bref on eut vite fait, installer et renseigner ce petit monde. Il vint aussi des choses, des entrées et les départs, des larmes que l’on tait. Un accord de fin de tous les cuivres : « ouf », « on avait passé toute la nuit à l’écrire », ou alors davantage décrété sa présence tard dans la nuit. Il y eut un dernier souffle, un intermède à effectif ­raccourci, une prière égale entre silence et recueillement. On s’éparpilla sous la pluie. Au petit-déjeuner de paroles, on pensait que plus per­ sonne n’aurait de force. Mais la discussion vagabonde entre deux canapés de velours rouge un dimanche de Pâques au matin dans un grand hall parisien. C’est à nouveau lui qui réveille les autres et maintenant pose les questions sur le sol ou le do et obtient des réponses en termes de texture d’accord par des artisans de la feuille. Le maître dévoile sa maïeutique aimable. Jamais de pause, « you want to interview me », « I am ready », s’asseyant instantanément, se posant chacune de ses mains normalement sur la cuisse comme s’il allait se les taper, - et tous, rient de bon cœur, écopent du regard malicieux de l’homme toujours dans le geste de s’asseoir et donnant ainsi – ce même regard – par en dessous. Avec le détail d’un tout petit geste, l’amitié lègue son observation, le regard sur la scène était malicieux. On sort même les fauteuils dans la rue, au risque ­d’hystérie mondialement affichée en ce lieu « international », pour un souvenir de bonshommes en bitume. … miles … ahead .... spent two years in Philadelphy to quit … I used to be living there … Enfin, après un adieu, traversant les clous , « ne vous retournez pas … ». Il semble tarder parfois le temps où l’on tente de mesurer le temps depuis le dernier pleur sans retenue, ou le sourire a posteriori du commentaire simple « pas très viril tout ça ! ». …. distingue la petite toque blanche qui seule émerge du reflet des baies vitrées battantes. Le soir, chacun entendit de son côté ou réuni, le coup d’éclair cinglant et succinct d’un tonnerre diluvien, après un long hiver de sécheresse…

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Some Jazz

James Koller

for Steve Lacey 21 Oct 04

Take it where it wants to go, take it slow.

Motion

makes it grow.

What a notion.

Got some

lotion?

Take it slow, where it

wants to go.

O

take it,

O,

O,

go slow.

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Mirtha Dermisache

I encountered the work of Mirtha Dermisache at a group show held at Gallarie Satellite in Paris in April 2005. Her Newsletters were stacked in one corner, multiple copies of ten compositions. People attending the opening were invited to take as many copies as they wanted. I took several, in­cluding the one reproducede below. The more I looked at these pages, on a table, pinned to a wall, in my hands, the more I could see the work oscillate between visual and verbal form. This section presents five recent Newsletters, chosen by the artist to fit this page format. Essays by the Argentine film-maker and writer Edgardo Cozarinsky (written and first published 35 years ago), American critic Carrie Noland, and the publisher Florent Fajole, provide some context and ­possible views of Dermisache’s art. —PK

Reportaje from Nueve Newsletters / Un Reportaje

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Cursive Dermisache Carrie Noland

It is easy to view a work by Dermisache through the lens provided by Roland Barthes’ famous essay on gesture in Cy Twombly. But to do so would, I believe, be a mistake. There is no “gaucherie,” no aimless scrib­ bling in D ­ ermisache, no evocation of soiling or ­effacing. ­Dermisache is clean, systematic. In this respect, she is much closer to the German artist Hanne Darboven than she is to Twom­ bly. But if Darboven is preoccupied with writing’s relationship to the passage of time, to graphs and mathematical measuring sys­ tems, Dermisache is clearly concerned with print c­ ulture’s formatting principles. She in­ vestigates the units of measure (the length of words, hemistiches, clauses, or columns) par­ ticular to notation, verse, epistolary account, or announcement. And she does so with the hand. She comes to understand (and perform) the conventional measures of different in­ scriptive genres by embodying their rhythms in the choreographies of a pen. In Dermisache there is always a dialogue between the techne that is handwriting and the techne that is print. And I would suggest that this dialogue takes place not on the level of the character, the word, the page, or the volume, but rather on the level of a unit that I will call “the cursivity,” a length of unbroken line, an irregular meander, evoking a script produced by a hand. A cursivity can be thought of as the minimal unit of a cursive language. Cur­ sive writing distinguishes itself visually from ­other forms of handwriting, such as the type of printing one learns in primary school: its letters are not isolated or detached but strung together by semantically and phonetically void lengths of line. We know we are confronting a cursive language because of how units look,

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not because of what they say; yet at the same time this visual difference is loaded with con­ tingent historical and cultural associations. Since the advent of the printing press, the cursive unit has been increasingly identified with that which is specifically not typeset or mechanically reproduced. Cursive writing is the scribal form of the signature, the paraph, the individual mark. When modern West­erners are asked to sign official documents, they sign their name first in print, then in cursive, the latter rather than the former standing as an index of individuality, as guarantor of con­ tractual obligation. Cursive script thus bears a close, if conventionalized relation to expressi­ vity and individual personhood; it belongs to the space of embodied identity and signals the presence of the human hand. According to the dictionary, cursive writing is precisely this: “handwriting in ­ which letters are set down in full and cursively connected within words without lifting the writing implement from the paper.” Etymo­ logically, “cursive” describes an action of the body. Invented to denote the type of connected script used in Medieval manuscripts, the word “cursive” derives from the past participle of the Latin verb currere, to run. One letter runs into the next. The hand never breaks contact with the support until the unit—in Dermi­ sache, a “cursivity”rather than a “word”—is complete. Consider, for instance, Reportaje from Nueve Newsletters / Un Reportaje (MobilHome : Manglar : El Borde, 2004). Here, sim­ ple, individual lines obviously constituting one unit (say, the word “a”) find themselves adja­ cent to longer, more complex lines also con­ stituting one unit (say, the word “alphabet”). The eye reduces both these units, despite their

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MIRTHA DERMISACHE

Page 13 from Libro n° 8 - 1970

­ issimilarity in length, to the verbal unit called d the “word” not because these units appear to be composed of iterable letters (although some near repetitions do occur), and not be­ cause the viewer can distinguish an alphabet or character series (although stylistic unity is often maintained on the level of the page), but because the length, shape, and directionality of the units resembles the length, shape, and directionality of words— “a”s or “alphabets”s —produced by a cursive script. Dermisache’s mastery inheres in her ability to suggest the presence of entire “words,” not individual characters. In fact, it is often impossible to distinguish individual ­character-forms within the cursivities, or ex­ tended, continuous criss-crossing lines, that make up her “texts.” Not legible, these cursiv­ ities nonetheless appear as if they should be, largely because, like words, they are squat and roughly rectangular, and they appear to move horizontally from left to right, to be orga­ nized in rows, and to respect borders, gutters, and formatting rules. What aids us in making ­visual sense of a work like Nueve newsletters – Un Reportaje is precisely the modular qual­ ity of the line figures set on the posterboard.

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We approach clusters of modules as syntactic sets, and assume that we are looking at either an individual letter (one loop unconnected to another), one word (several loops connected together), or a full sentence (continuous me­ anders arranged in close proximity). Working with the unit of the cursivity as opposed to the character allows Dermisache to play with our scribal expectations in various ways. In Libro n° 1 – 2003 (Xul : Mobil-Home : Manglar, 2003), for instance, D ­ ermisache displays in regular horizontal rows a set of markings that, viewed individually and out of context, would by no means resemble alpha­ betic, hieroglyphic, cuneiform, or even calli­ graphic characters. But because of the dis­ position of the marks on the page, the c­ odex format, and the regulatory presence of cursiv­ ities, even dots and splotches of ink or s­ lashes of a pressed pen tip can take on the ­visual ­character of meaningful units of a verbal lan­ guage. Once we have interpreted a cursivity as a unit of signification, other units, such as splotches, ­appear to be pertinent vehicles of verbal meaning as well. Of course, not all of Dermisache’s works contain what I am calling “cursivities.” ­Several foreground instead the stamp, the repeated imprint of an object, or else contain a com­ bination of stamped and written lines, as in the Luna Park series of 1976 or the Carta (Cayc, 1971). More often than not, however, ­Dermisache composes her “texts” with se­ quences of linked figures, series of loops with either closed (folded back) or open (trailing off) endings. ­Libro n° 8 - 1970 (Xul : MobilHome : M ­ anglar, 2003) is a particularly inter­ esting case because it is composed exclusively of cursivities but does not associate them with the unit of the word. Instead, the cursivities of Libro n° 8 - 1970 seem to represent something like a syntactical unit, or a hemistich, but one that is m ­ easured by the length of a breath. That is, each ­cursivity in Libro n° 8 - 1970 con­ stitutes an utterance or a melodic riff, after which there is a pause, or caesura. The rhythm of the voice is thus marked by the length of the cursivity. We are, after all, in the domain of

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the lyric: for the most part, Libro n° 8 - 1970 imitates the format of the poetic volume. It contains a sequence of twelve pages, each of which, as in a collection of poems, is only partially filled with markings justified on the left hand side. However, the degree of white dominating the page varies, and the poetic measurement of space begins to give way to a prosaic measurement as the volume proceeds. The organizational principle deter­mining the number of lines stacked up on a page (from 4 to 18) and the length and number of cursivities composing one line is by no means clear. If at the beginning of Libro n° 8 - 1970 lines contain several cursivities, by the end the lines contain only one long, dense, twirly meander. Further, as the volume proceeds, the demand for right justification as well as left grows until we con­ front on the ultimate page a single thoroughly justified column of unbroken cursivities. It is significant that this last page, which most re­ sembles a page of prose, also contains no lines with more than one long cursive unit. It is as though the lyric breath, indicated by caesurae between cursivities, need no longer be graphi­ cally marked in the column of prose. Other qualitative differences indicate a distinction between prose and poem as well. Whereas on the last page every line of ink respects the same width (and Dermisache is accomplished at applying a uniform, almost mechanically consistent quantity of ink throughout an en­ tire cursivity), in contrast, on the preceding “lyric” pages, lines of ink thicken dramati­ cally, producing a rhythm of stresses and full stops. Cursivities scrunch down into shorter bundles, and flourishes suddenly sprout up. Thus, if in the first part of Libro n° 8 - 1970 cursivities suggest the emotional tenor of the vocalized poetic measure, by the end they convey instead the steady, pause-less texture of read prose. Strangely enough, ­Dermisache manages to employ cursive script, conven­ tionally identified with individuality, ex­ pressivity, and the drama of the self, to ­suggest the ­written as opposed to spoken nature of mechanically reproduced prose. First, cursive evokes the lived body, the breath that animates

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the lyric utterance as well as the uneven hand that transcribes it. But then, cursive abandons its cultural associations with expressivity and gesture to become a vehicle for the beautiful, mechanical monotony of form. Expressivity, Dermisache’s work im­ plies, is relational. It is not that one type of inscription is intrinsically mechanical and another intrinsically expressive. An intimate script can, in relation with itself, take on the tonal quality of a mass-reproduced, anony­ mous typeface. Ultimately, relations among diffe­rent inscriptive modes and even relations within one inscriptive mode, such as cursive script, produce the illusion of expression in writing. Yet this illusion has consequences of its own: by entering the play of relations we can produce dramas without words.

A writing degree zero Edgardo Cozarinsky The book has a hard stained cover which con­ tains no less than five hundred pages, some of which are right on target. It’s creator is Mirtha Dermisache, a pale girl with a fine and thoughtful voice, who feels that her ­personal data is unconnected to the book: “It is a ­product. I want it to be completely indepen­ dent of my person.” What these pages contain is the testi­ mony of a unique enterprise, a project of the first ­order, regardless of the manner in which we see the current relationships between the written and the semantic, between the ­plastic and graphic arts: from the conventional space of the page and from the conventional or­ ganization of succeeded lines, the graphic signs move far away from writing and refuse

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MIRTHA DERMISACHE

to a­ pproach the gestures of fine arts. The im­ mediate, powerful fascination they exert on the “reader” comes from the ambience they ­established between the two domains. A rigorous and harsh discourse, totally incomprehensible, conquers and cultivates its meaning in its own space. “I began three years ago, on loose leaves” Mirtha Dermisache confesses coolly. “I ­studied fine arts, one year of philosophy, and I was traveling; one day I felt a kind of knot inside me unravel, and this started a process whose expression was still confused. Three days ­later, sitting on a patio, I began to draw ­crochet patterns on wrapping paper, as en­ tangled as a ball of wool, but with independent titles and paragraphs; later these took the form of true l­ etters. I decided it would be necessary to make a binding for this book: an arbitrary but consciously chosen division and volume.” That the result is a book is important. (Jorge) Romero Brest, who is profoundly inter­ ested by this enterprise, took the author to the Paidos publishing house, where the ­volume was on the verge of being published; its diffi­ culty resides in its number of the pages, its incompatibility with the established relation­ ship between production and consumption in the world of industrial publishing. “They asked me to present a portfolio, with an introduction and, if we could say that, about twenty reproductions. But this proposal would mean putting these pages in the catego­ ry of engravings, objects whose meaning and use are entirely different. I want these pages to be in a book, an object with a cover, perfect bound on one side and opened on the other. If somebody wants to attach one of these pages on a wall, let him ripped it out, and in that way his gesture has the sense of ripping a page 128

from a book and putting it somewhere else.” It is easy to imagine the mixture of amazement and misunderstanding with which publishers less advanced than Jaime Bernstein studied the project. Dermisache does not know if she will continue in this direction. She perhaps will try something smaller, in a different form. ­Regarding this book, some things are no longer valid for her, forms that began to stray towards decoration, works with colored ink closer to a trivial idea of fine arts. And she jealously avoids this confusion. There is no doubt that, with its linguistic references (the line, the page, the book as a space imposing its own limits and handling), there is nothing innocent in this humble choice. Dermisache goes where other angels fear to tread. Her book, which will be pub­ lished in Europe and in United States, will not have (or must not have) a single printed word, only one detachable note present on the inside cover, presided over by the instruction “for tossing.” This same author had written her inten­ tions some time ago: because she wants to express them spontaneously, intuitively, as ­ she can in a moment, before the coming ex­ periments give to them more complexity or verbal repetition, modifying them beyond recognition. Quite simply, those pages take this intention on themselves showing to any­ one who wants to look at them: “What I am doing has no meaning, and only takes some value when an individual person making it his own, expresses himself through it.” “Un grado cero de la escritura” from Panorama, año VII, n°156, 21 - 27 de abril de 1970, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Translated from Spanish by Paul Kahn and Dominique Negel. new | 1_ 2005


The editorial device, or how we publish the written form of Mirtha Dermisache Florent Fajole MIRTHA DERMISACHE

Mirtha Dermisache’s individual publications constitute two or three independent spaces, each possessing its own specific characteris­ tics: a graphic space where the writing is re­ produced; a semantic space where the edi­torial information is brought together; and a space that is at once functional and semiotic, free of all writing or printing, serving as a ­container of the work. Similar distinctions promote cogni­ tive and intersubjective micro-situations and give the publications their own signifi­ cance in accor­dance with the perception each reader brings to the work. In 1970, Edgardo ­Cozarinsky concluded the article he dedicated to Mirtha Dermisache’s books by citing her own words: “What I am doing has no mean­ ing, and only takes some value when an in­ dividual person making it his own, expresses himself through it.” Based on these assump­ tions, Mirtha ­ Dermisache established the foun­dation of a publishing device that needs a human glance to materialize and establishes these three spaces in “les mises en scène de la vie quotidienne” (the French translation for Erving Goffman’s book, The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life) to which, in reality, they never cease to belong. All in all, it is easy to step from the two dimensions of paper to the three dimensions of the bodies and on to the four dimensions of the space-time connections. The relation­ ship, originally posed on and by the paper alone ­between graphic, semantic, functional and semiotic elements, can now be situated in a new editorial space. As soon as you are confronted with the ambivalent or intermedial form of Mirtha Der­ misache’s writing, the necessity appears to ex­

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tend the dimensions of the paper while at the same time associating it with other m ­ aterials. In fact, they can be apprehended from a plas­ tique or scriptural/cursive viewpoint at the same time. This supposes, in theory, ­spaces of diffusion with distinct dimensions that their intermediality allows later to merge as envi­ ronments, installations or description we call the editorial device. The editorial device is initially deployed by a reproduced work which is its raison d’être. As such, it constitutes a publication with ele­ments which — whether those ele­ ments are ­tables, chairs, shelves, or a printed edition — can be freely taken away or in some cases bought, during or at the end of the event. In this way, the publishing takes place in a ­context where all the connections between the multiplicity of signs, their written forms and their diffusion are explored in a polysémique perspective, while still keeping their inde­ pendent nature. Thus, the publication can be dis­tributed in a bookstore in the most con­ ventional manner. By doing this, our objective is to go beyond the division between the modes of disclosure and their dimensions. From that moment, the publishing process divides and follows an ex­ pansive logic, far beyond its traditional spaces or formats. Our thoughts are oriented as much on the nature of artist’s publications as on the way they are diffused and distributed.

Translated from French by Paul Kahn and Dominique Negel.

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« Escrituras [:] Múltiples », editorial device, El Borde, ­Buenos Aires, August 2004. Photo by Gustavo Lowry.

Some individual publications by Mirtha Dermisache Nueve Newletters / Un Reportaje : Mobil-Home (Marseille) : Manglar (Nîmes) : El Borde (Buenos Aires), 2004. Libro n°1 – 2003 : Xul (Buenos Aires) : Mobil-Home (Marseille) : Manglar (Nîmes), 2003. Libro n°8 - 1970 : Xul (Buenos Aires) : Mobil-Home (Marseille) : Manglar (Nîmes), 2003. 4 Cartes postales : Guy Schraenen éditeur (Antwerpen), 1978. Diario n°1 - año 1 : [third edition] Guy Schraenen éditeur (Antwerpen), 1975. Cahier n°1 – 1975 : Guy Schraenen éditeur (Antwerpen), 1975. Libro n°1 - 1969 : Arte de sistemas en latinoamérica, Internationaal Cultureel Centrum (Antwerpen), Centro de Arte Y Comunicación (Buenos Aires), 1973. Diario n°1 - año 1 : Centro de Arte Y Comunicación (Buenos Aires), 1972. Carta : Arte de sistemas, Centro de Arte Y Comunicación (Buenos Aires), Museo de Arte Moderno de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires, 1971.

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Paul Kahn

from PĂŠriple

The Woman on the Moon I was dreaming I had gone to the Moon. She had spent the day driving to the factory where the engines were manufactured for the rockets that hurled satellites into space. She had told him about the tour of the assembly plant followed by the testing stands surrounded by forests. The two old men had sat in the back of the car, arguing about the plans for their project while she drove the car. What color is the Moon, he asked. He could feel it was morning, but the light was very faint. He kept his eyes closed and moved his arms around her. He placed his head behind her head on the pillow, so that his mouth was beside her left ear. Everything is gray, she said. The shadows are green. The shadows come from the light of the oceans overhead. She was lying quietly beside him. He could feel the heat of her body on his arms. There is no life on the Moon. Nothing is moving. Then I came into a crater and it was filled with light. The light was so strong that it burned my eyes. I’ll tell you the story of the woman who went to the Moon, he said. He was speaking directly into her ear. The woman was walking through a crater and the ground was covered with the rocks. There are two kinds of creatures that live on the Moon. There are silver octopus that lives in the cracks in the rocks and overhead are brightly colored parrots. Whenever she stopped walking she could feel the arms of the octopus gently moving around her legs. It reminded her of the sand shrimp when she walked along the beach. If she stopped walking in the shallow water, the shrimp would move between her toes. When she stopped, the fingers of the octopus came up from the ground and circled her ankles, then moved up her calf towards her knees. The parrots would land on her head and spread their wings over her hair. She would rest for a moment and when she began to move, the arms would fall away like seaweed. The parrots would rise up and join the others flying in the air. There is life on the moon, she said, and there is a king. She was looking for the king, the Man in the Moon. He is a giant with very long legs. His face is at the very top, very far away. She was going to find the Man in the Moon, he said. There

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was no other sound in the bedroom. He had chosen a clock for the night table that did not tick. The clock had no light to illu­ minate the numbers marking the time. The Man on the Moon is very tall. She could see him from far away. As she approached, she could see him standing like an enormous tree in the middle of an open field. When she stopped walking she was standing in front of him. She could feel the octopus moving around her feet, coming from several directions. There were many different arms touching her now, and each one wrapped a finger around one of her feet and began to move slowly up her legs. The parrots nestled in her hair and began to remove their feathers. She could feel that her hair was covered in bright colored feathers and the p ­ arrots were flying away. Other parrots would land on the shoulders of the Man and then rise up into the air and circle overhead. The only thing covering her body now was the silver tentacles woven around her legs and the covering of feathers in her hair. The Man was looking at her, standing in front of her. I’ve come from very far away to see you, she said to the Man. She was looking up at his face. His skin was a mixture of silver and gray. His skin was as bright as the color of his eyes. He bent down towards her face. As his body bent forward, she could see that he was flat. He looked like a card bending over from the sky. You have a choice, said the Man. You can return to where you came from now. You can return to your husband, to your children and your family. You can open your eyes and you will be back where you came from in a moment. Or you can decide to stay on the Moon. He could feel her hair against the lids of his eyes. How does the story end, he asked. I want to stay on the Moon, she said to him. As soon as she spoke, the Man reached out his hands and grasped her ribs. His thumbs were under her breasts and his ­fingers covered the skin on her back. She could feel the moisture on her skin sinking into his hands. He lifted her into the air. She felt the tentacles sliding off her legs and the feathers falling from her hair as she rose up into the air. He lifted her up to his face and looked into her open eyes. Do you want to live alone, the Man asked her, or do you want me to swallow you? I would like you to swallow me, she answered, so I can stay with you. And then he swallowed her whole, she said. Then she was floating. She began to move her arms as if she were swimming and she was flying inside his chest. The front of his chest was made of glass and she could look through the glass at the surface of the Moon. Reflected in the glass she could see the image of a little doll with the tail of a fish.

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The Story of Simon

PAUL KAHN | from Périple

As a young man, he had gone to Paris. He had left New York, the city where his family settled, and returned not to their country of origin, but to Paris in a time he later knew as between the wars. He spent his time collecting books. When he returned he settled not in New York finally, but in the capitol, where he found an uninteresting but reliable job with the government. He lived alone and never married. He went hiking in the moun­ tains of Virginia, dressed like a scout in the photos he sent to his eldest nephew. This nephew, a fastidious man of many ­deferred hobbies kept neatly in compartments in the basement of his home, including the parts of watches to be repaired and a complete set of jeweler’s tools, was his only correspondent. They would talk on the phone occasionally and exchange cards on holidays. The bachelor uncle felt ill one day and called the nephew, perhaps with a sense of premonition, perhaps to share his ­feeling, perhaps to keep someone informed. He died on the phone, dropping the receiver as he fell to the floor. The nephew, himself the receiver of the chest pains of a heart attack some years before, understood the message and instructed the p ­ olice to find his uncle where he had fallen. A few days later he was able to retrieve only a few books from the apartment, as ­another relative arrived first to clean out the old man’s ­possessions and water had destroyed other books stored in another relative’s basement. He returned with a Modern Library ­edition of Baudelaire: His Prose and Poetry from the 1920s, by evidence of an internal stamp purchased at Macy’s in New York; a Borzoi edi­ tion of a novel by a French symbolist no one had ever heard of, in an illustrated slip case that crumbled when touched; Robert Frost’s Collected Poems 1939 wrapped in a badly disintegrating dust cover but otherwise sound; and one item from Paris, a late Shakespeare & Co. printing of Ulysses. These books he gave to the man, an aspiring writer making his living with odd jobs in the city north of New York, who had married his daughter. This man, who received such an unexpected gift, had read Ulysses several times. The book had formed in him the ­concept of an aesthetic philosophy. He thought it was the structure of the perfect mind, the example of how language and ­narrative forged by a master, a man in complete control of the ­English language, could tell a story while demonstrating that the ­author knew everything there was to know about the mate­ rial stories were made of. This novel defined the form, the material and the theme of the journey-return-redemption in its most ironic form, at once a highly serious work, a satire, a parody and a super-human demonstration of mastery of liter­ ary art. The story included the most mundane and base details

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of ­human life, which in its own time had brought a judgment of obscenity, but to him seemed to capture the essence of human thought between two covers. From reading this book he learned that the literary artist was the author of the numinous, which appeared in the mind of the reader through the powers of the Master of Form. This book, while it came from Paris, was not an e­ specially rare edition, being a late printing and showing evidence of ­rebinding in the present covers in the opinion of the rare book­ seller who, at his request, established its monetary value. It differed from the two popular editions he already had in his library in some trivial variations in the text he had no interest in determining, but for one. On the final page, not of the final soliloquy representing the thoughts of the faithless heroine, where I was a flower of the mountain yes, but in the account of the end of the hero’s day, in answer to the question Where, the punctuation mark was a black square. In the American edition there was a bullet which looked as if it meant to be the start of a list, while in the British printing he had found in London there was nothing at all. This edition contained the original typo­graphic design approved by the author, a black square set in the middle of the otherwise empty line. This was the ending the author intended to be set in type. This detail set the reproduction apart in his mind. It was a gift he could not keep for himself and so he gave it to the library of the college where he had first studied the common edition of the text. He executed transmission of the gift by mail, as the college was now far from where he lived. He imagined it would remain in the rare book room with a plate declaring it a gift of the original owner, his father-in-law’s bachelor uncle, to be found by another student wishing to see an uncommon ­re­production of that book. The story is a city of memory, reproduced at a great ­distance from maps and charts. The characters in the story are pieces of a plant, shoots and cuttings of a single tree, father and son by asexual transmutation, turning around the unmoving light of an alien female star. He went to the city of memory in his youth, traveling by train and night ferry, to arrive in the morning where the novel begins, at the stone tower. It had recently been transformed into a museum so that entrance, once the morning had be­ gun in earnest, was possible for a small fee. There were pho­ tographs of the real people who had lived there on the stone walls, the author as a young man, and the two cohabitants who became his characters. There was a bus into the city. He ­recognized the names of the roads. He had read them in the

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book. The­­characters on the bus crossed themselves as they past a c­ emetery. As he gazed out the window of the bus, he thought of the Master of Language, selfishly closing his eyes as he walked along the sand. The uncle’s given name was Simon, not Christian as he was not, nor did his surname match the name of his Euro­ pean f­amily, which changed with their location to erase the world they came from. The uncle had lived in a time when the new could be made from the old in the belief that the old should be changed like a name in the new world. Years later he heard about another man with the same name, pronounced­­­ Shi-mon in the old way, who had served as a culture minister in the govern­ment of the country that the uncle’s parents had fled. This gentleman had saved a man who would become his friend and mentor, as this friend explained one night while he drove them across a bridge connecting cities in the western edge of the new world. On what he thought would be his last day in Paris, his friend told him, he had been presenting himself to prospective employers, hoping to find a way to gain work and thereby not go back to his own country. He had failed and was now stand­ ing on the platform of the metro with his portfolio, resigned to the ignoble return he would face the next day, without the money left to buy himself a dinner, when he met this Simon by chance coming off the train. The cultural attaché recog­ nized him, as they had met some years before in the city they both called home, and scribbled for him on a scrap of paper the name and address of a magazine editor. He walked to that ­address to ­receive a job that would keep him in Paris for several years, until his father’s death brought him back home and the government took away his passport. Several years passed. One day he finally met this Simon, at a gathering of professors, artists, and exiles at his friend’s home. Simon was a small man, as the bachelor uncle had been in photographs. His hair was white as snow. He sat in a chair as the party moved around him, living through the decades few men are allowed to experience, speaking to a young woman sitting beside him, recounting his annual swim in the ocean to mark the New Year, planning the next cultural cabaret perfor­ mance by the art students at the university before returning once again for another spring in his solitary apartment in the city where he was born. He looked at Simon. He could sense the collective gaze of all the men at the party, all of them much younger than the old man in the chair beside the young woman, all of them feeling the diseases eating their lives, all of them glancing at Simon or watching him from the corners of their eyes, each of them wondering how this man had lived so long.

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Inventing a Camera Sheldon could not get himself to point a camera at anyone. All his photos were of stationary things – walls, doors, roofs, bal­ conies, facades – or of landscapes. Occasionally he could focus on an animal if it did not move quickly. A person might a­ ppear within the frame, even a group of people with their backs turned, or passers-by reflecting light for a moment against a wall. But if people appeared their faces were vague. He could not focus on a face and was never able to record the expressions he saw. The human face, he knew, was a rich and complex set of communication signals. None of the literature he reviewed could explain why we recognize a face, what attributes of shape, color, or proportion is recorded in the memory so that, among a million images of faces he might experience, a single pattern will match some bit of information stored in his brain. He often recognized a person’s face but could not remember their name. He was sitting on the metro, leaning against the ­window on the left side of the train. As it pulled into the station, ­another train was already stopped, traveling in the opposite direction. He looked through the window into the other train. There was a young woman sitting in a position similar, against the ­interior window, facing the back of the train. He focused on her. He guessed she was in her twenties. She had straight blond hair. She was wearing a red sweater and holding a closed book in her hand. He could not read the title of the book. She was staring towards the empty seat in front of her. Then she was re­ turning his gaze, looking at him illuminated in the opposite car. He registered that she was aware of him and he looked down, then back at her. He could tell from the expression on her face that she had noticed he was looking at her. For a m ­ oment they looked at each other. She smiled. He heard the doors of the train close and her train pulled away. Over a period of several days he designed a camera. He began by writing the specifications. The first problem to solve was the relationship between the photographer, the camera, and the subject. Holding the camera, pointing it, and visibly taking a photograph created the wrong relationship. The device would blend into his clothing. It would have to be unnoticed by his subjects. The action of focusing and shooting the picture must be as natural as focusing with the eyes. Nothing should be introduced to separate the photographer and the subject. Many people were wearing a variety of headsets for ­music systems while they traveled. The device needed to be small enough to blend in with this environment of portable tele­ phones and music systems. The focus would use an eye ­tracking system, so that only the muscular movements of the eyes were

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needed to select a subject. The focus would be controlled by the focal point of his retina. He would use a wide angle lens to simulate the normal field of vision – he could crop the ­image later after it was captured. Given sufficient resolution, he had no need for magnification. The aperture would adjust to any natural light. The picture would be what he saw with his eyes. He would mount the lens on his glasses and the selection mechanism would be an object in his hand. He selected the electronics required from components in other digital cameras and music systems. He went from the hotel to the office each day on the metro, following the same route, changing at the same station. By the second day he had calculated where to stand on the platform at the station near the hotel so he would be standing in front of the middle door of the first train car when it arrived. Com­ ing out from this door was the shortest walk when changing trains. A ­ fter exiting the first train, he had to mount the stairs, turn right, and walk down a tunnel to the stairway leading to the platform for the next train. In the evenings, he built a proto­ type, using the electronic parts he disassembled from c­ ameras he bought in the shops near the office. He selected an MP3 player in the shape of a pen as the storage device. As he rode towards the office, he began the first test. He moved his gaze around the train. The car was crowded, with many people standing between the seats. He could only fix his gaze on people close to him. When he entered the train, he had chosen a position standing against the inside of the car, away from the opening door. He captured images of people standing around him. The people changed each time the train stopped, as people exited and entered the car. After several stops, the train reached the station where he changed, and he followed the group of people standing by the door out onto the platform. He turned to his left, towards the exit to the stairwell. People pushed onto the train as he was leaving, while ­others moved down from the stairs heading towards the waiting cars. The bell sounded, announcing that the doors would close. He noticed a woman leaving the train from the first door, heading towards the stairwell. To his right he could see a tall thin man wearing a long coat heading down the stairs. The man’s gaze was fixed on the open door of the train. As the bell sounded, the man began to move quickly towards the door. It was clear that he did not see the woman coming towards him. His forward motion opened his coat, which fluttered like a cape, and his left arm swung outward from his body as he accelerated towards the train. Sheldon saw them collide on the platform. The woman walked into the man’s embrace. His arm swung back towards his body and for a moment she was folded into his coat, her

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head resting on his shoulder. While he appeared to be holding her, his gaze was still fixed on the open door of the train. Excuse me. Sorry. Excuse me, please. He could hear the release of the doors, a pneumatic sound mixed with the textures of sliding metal. The doors of the train began to close. The man and woman slid past one another and the man leaped through the closing doors onto the train. As he witnessed this event, Sheldon had continued ­walking towards the stairwell. The reflexes of his hand had not been quick enough to photograph the embrace, yet the image of the man folding his arm around the woman, and the woman r­ esting her head against the man’s shoulder had registered in his vi­ sual system and remained in his mind. He continued up the stairs, through the tunnel, and down the stairwell to the next platform. The train arrived and he sat in a seat facing the front of the car. He looked at the passengers around him, wanting to select someone to photograph. He immediately recognized the woman. Her face, the pattern of her clothing, was the same as the image in his mind. She was sitting at the front of the car, in a folding seat facing him. When he reached the office, he reviewed the images on the computer at his desk. The focus controls needed adjustment. He looked at various images of the woman sitting in the train. He had looked at her shoes. She was wearing polished black shoes with sharp toes and low heels. He looked at her hands. She appeared to have something pressed between the thumb and forefinger of one hand, resting on her lap. In one image she was clearly looking at him. He wondered if she realized he had seen her collide with the man coming down the stairwell. He remembered an experiment described in a book he had read. The book was about consciousness. The author was discussing current theories of where conscious decisions ­occurred in the brain. He summarized an experiment in which ­researchers had sought to isolate the location in the cortex for specific muscular movements of the hand. A patient had volun­ teered to have a brain implant. They had placed the ­patient in front of a screen in a darkened room with a slide projector, and given him a remote control device to control the slides. In fact, the button was unconnected to the slide-changing ­mechanism. Instead the mechanism was controlled by the electrical field measured at the implant in his brain. When the patient pressed the button, the slides would change. The data they collected could not determine the difference between the moment in time when the electrical field in the brain registered

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PAUL KAHN | from PĂŠriple

a measurable change and when the patient pressed the button. When the patient was interviewed, however, he reported that the slides appeared to change before he actually pressed the button. He had the impression that the slides were changing when he thought about changing them. Sheldon send email to his assistant and asked her to find the name of the published paper in the book. He would have to locate the original data set. Later that day, she sent him the citation. He located the paper in a database. He made copies of all the later research papers that cited the study. Several of these papers were written by a group at a nearby hospital w ­ orking with paraplegics and artificial limbs. This hospital was located in a nearby city. Diana’s fashion show was Thursday evening. He copied the train connections for Friday morning.

new is set Quiosco and Antenna. Both fonts have been recently designed by Cyrus Highsmith. new logotype by Krzysztof Lenk. Printed in Belgium, August 2005. 144

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new FEATURE | Translating Gary Snyder

FEATURE 4

Translating Gary Snyder

Translations and Essays by Olivier Delbard, Nacho Fernández, Luboš Snížek, Irina ­ Dyatlovskaya, Luci Collin, Reidar Ekner, Shigeyoshi Hara, Chiara D’Ottavi, Francesca Mengoni

Willie Alexander 68

Fred Buck’s Footsteps Hallam Ferguson

71

In God’s Valley Norman Fischer

78

The Sacred and the Lost Carl Caulkins

84

The Avalon Songbook Woodcuts by Lily Bruder

Eliot Weinberger 88

In The Wu-T’ai Mountains J.B. Bryan

94

Scatter of Buffalo Grass Martin Kemp & Antonio Criminisi

99

Paolo Uccello’s “Rout of San Romano” Claude Mollard

105

Les Origenes En Jeux, En Fance Theodor Holm Nelson

114

TransLit™, the new open-source Xanadu Grégoire Paultre

120

Equinoxe de Printemps avec Monsieur Yusef Lateef James Koller

123

Some Jazz for Steve Lacy Mirtha Dermisache

124 125 127 134

Cursive Dermisache by Carrie Noland A writing degree zero by Edgardo Cozarinsky The editorial device, or how we publish the written form of Mirtha Dermisache by Florent Fajole

Paul Kahn 136

Périple

Cover image from Les Origenes by Claude Mollard 146

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NEW 2005_1  

Translating Gary Snyder, Olivier Delbard, Nacho Fernandez, Lubos Snizek, Luci Collin, Irina Dyatlovskaya, Shigeyoshi Hara, Chiara D'Ottavi,...