Writing is the language of ideas and the spirit
I’m working with award winning Georgian writer Mikho Mosulishvili. This is an interesting and an amazing experience as we are working with roughly translated text which was originally written in Georgian. I am then editing the work then going back to him to check that I’ve understood what he is trying to say. The reason we are engaged in this collaborative exercise is that I really enjoy his use of language.
For example here is part of one of his ‘miniatures’ below.
This is the first one that caught my eye and is just on 220 words long:
Lady with Poppies
A twenty-year-old girl with an excited appearance is walking in the room which is lit in a very low light of the lamp light. The nervous paintings on the walls and the sound of rain coming in from the street create a specific feeling of comfort. The girl is a painter. She is trying to take her eyes off the guest – a writer, and thinks that taking too many drugs overdosing is the best way of suicide. “One will leave this world without pain,” she says.
Which became this…
Lady with Poppies
A twenty-year-old girl walks into the room which is lit by low light from the lamp on the stand in the corner. There are paintings on the walls and the gentle sound of rain coming in from the street creates a feeling of comfort. The girl is a painter. She is trying to take her eyes off the guest – a writer. As she looks at him she thinks out loud that the best way of suicide is to overdose on drugs.
“One will leave this world without pain,” she says….
(used with permission from Mikho Mosulishvili).
I loved this prose and as we continue to work on putting these stories together I become excited by the insights I gain. It is also something I have never done before and would never have dared attempt once. But Mikho is patient and explains what he is trying to say. I believe we are working on a unique piece of writing that will add a unique and wonderful dimension to The Story Mint’s collection of publications.
His work reminds of the Russian writers I have studied and loved and of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, which was translated by Fitzgerald. All tese novels are translations and I have often wondered what we miss when a piece of writing is taken from one language to another.
I hope that as Mikho and I work together we capture Mikho’s intention and the spirit of his writing. That is certainly my aim.
By the way, these blogs are now public. I could see no advantage in continuing to keep them private now that we are getting so close to launching The Story Mint.
Submitted by Suraya Dewing on Friday 10 February 2012