editor's note

Dear readers, 

We are excited to launch the very first issue of UPenn and the Kelly Writers House’s newest publication, DoubleSpeak. This unique publication looks to focus on the art of translating. There is so much more to​ translating than simply changing words from one language to another. When translating, one needs to maintain form, style, emotion, and meaning, making it more of an art than a practice.

Doublespeak embraces all languages and all styles of writing. Pieces can be either original or taken from someone else and can be translated from or into English. In this first issue, English, Spanish, French, Chinese, and Turkish are all represented, and as we move into the future, we hope many more languages will be included. In each issue, we will also have what we call an "Up for Grabs" section. One piece of literature will be available for anyone to translate and we will showcase the best translations that are submitted in order to show that no two translations will be the same, and each translator can put their own artistic touch into their work.

We hope you enjoy reading DoubleSpeak’s first issue. If you have any questions, want to get involved, or wish to submit a piece, feel free to contact us at staff@doublespeakmagazine.org.


Alyssa Dickinson, Michael Josephs, and Ross Karlan
Co-editors

our staff

Alyssa Dickinson—co-editor
Michael Josephs—co-editor
Monica Schechter—design editor

with thanks to Kelly Writers House
at the University of Pennsylvania

 

table of contents

Up for Grabs Translation: Sonnet D’automne
    written by Charles Baudelaire
    translated from French by Alyssa Dickinson, Max McKenna, and Dr. Rebekah Zhuraw

Submissiveness [La Sumisión]
    written by Quim Monzó
    translated from Spanish by Rivky Mondal

Send You a Bullet [Canción Amarga]
    written by Liu Yu
    translated from Chinese by Phoebe Liu

Chinese Aphorisms
    written by Yu Jian and Anonymous
    translated from Chinese by Phoebe Liu

Kalamış
    written by Münir Nurettin Selçuk
    translated from Turkish by Eza Koch

Wildlife [La Fauna]
    written by Quim Monzó
    translated from Spanish by Rivky Mondal
 

 

Sonnet D’automne
Charles Baudelaire

Ils me disent, tes yeux, clairs comme le cristal:
«Pour toi, bizarre amant, quel est donc mon mérite?»
— Sois charmante et tais-toi! Mon coeur, que tout irrite,
Excepté la candeur de l'antique animal,

Ne veut pas te montrer son secret infernal,
Berceuse dont la main aux longs sommeils m'invite,
Ni sa noire légende avec la flamme écrite.
Je hais la passion et l'esprit me fait mal!

Aimons-nous doucement. L'Amour dans sa guérite,
Ténébreux, embusqué, bande son arc fatal.
Je connais les engins de son vieil arsenal:

 

Crime, horreur et folie! — Ô pâle marguerite!
Comme moi n'es-tu pas un soleil automnal,
Ô ma si blanche, ô ma si froide Marguerite?

Fall
translated by Dr. Rebekah Zhuraw

Your eyes say it straight.
“Lover, what am I worth to you?”
—Be nice and shut up! Everything irritates me,
Except the body’s truth.

I won’t reveal my hand,

The call to die,

Nor the history of my heart written there.

All this love-talk gives me a headache!

Let’s fuck quietly. Love rises

in its unlit box for the final stroke.

I know how it works:

Everything gets crazy—Then we’re pushing up daisies!

O come on, Margeurite, we’re getting old,

You’re beautiful, fuck me!


Autumn Sonnet
translated by Max McKenna

Your crystalline eyes ask me:

“Strange lover, what are we worth to you?”

Shut up and look pretty! My irritable heart,

Free from the ancient animal's honesty,

Does not want me to reveal its infernal secret—

Cradle to which the sleepy hand beckons—

Nor the written flames of its black legend.

I hate passion, and am wounded by wit!

Let us, then, love softly. Love, within its dark

And secret hut, stretches its deadly bow.

I know the devices in its old arsenal:

Crime, horror, and folly! O pale daisy!

Are you not like me, an autumn sun, O,

My so-very white, so-very cold Daisy?

Autumns’s Sonnet
translated by Alyssa Dickinson

Your fair eyes, expressive as hell, speak to me

“What makes me worthy to you, dear love?”

“Shut up and seduce me!” My heart beats like a dove’s,

And finding itself agitated by your plea,

It refuses to show its secret, too dark to see,

And craves secrecy’s caress like that of a lace glove’s,

Even light cannot reveal the intrigue of its coves

O do I hate passion and my spirit won’t let me be!

Let us make love slowly. Love heals as if from above

It subtly prepares its fatal blow with glee

I’ve seen its arsenal; it’s guarded loftily;

Crime, horror, and madness!—Oh my treasure-trove

Are we not like the sun on a fall day, shining meekly?

O my cold lover, is our adventure almost over?

Up for Grabs

This issue's Up for Grabs translation is Sonnet D'automne by the French poet Charles Baudelaire. These three translators are very different in their own way and each capture the essence of the poem in their own fashion. We hope you enjoy what Mr. McKenna, Ms. Dickinson, and Dr. Zhuraw have done with Baudelaire's poem.

 

La Sumisión

Quim Monzó 

La mujer que está tomando un helado de vainilla en la primera mesa de este café ha tenido siempre las cosas muy claras. Busca (y buscará hasta que lo encuentre) lo que ella llama un hombre de verdad, que vaya al grano, que no pierda el tiempo en detalles galantes, en gentilezas inútiles. Quiere un hombre que no preste atención a lo que ella pueda contarle, pongamos, en la mesa, mientras comen.

No soporta a los que intentan hacerse los comprensivos y, con cara de angelitos, le dicen que quieren compartir los problemas de ella. Quiere un hombre que no se preocupe por los sentimientos que ella pueda tener. Desde púber huyó de los pipiolos que se pasaban el día hablándole de amor. ¡De amor! Quiere un hombre que nunca hable de amor, que no le diga nunca que la quiere. Le resulta ridículo, un hombre con los ojos enamorados y diciéndole: «Te quiero.»

Ya se lo dirá ella (y se lo dirá a menudo, porque lo querrá de veras), y cuando se lo haya dicho recibirá complacida la mirada de compasión que él le dirigirá. Ésa es la clase de hombre que quiere. Un hombre que en la cama la use como se le antoje, sin preocuparse por ella, porque el placer de ella será el que él obtenga. Nada la saca más de quicio que esos hombres que, en un momento u otro de la cópula, se interesan por si ha llegado o no al orgasmo. Eso sí: tiene que ser un hombre inteligente, que tenga éxito, con una vida propia e intensa. Que no esté pendiente de ella. Que viaje, y que (no hace falta que lo haga muy a escondidas) tenga otras mujeres además de ella.

A ella no le importa, porque ese hombre sabrá que, con un simple silbido, siempre la tendrá a sus pies para lo que quiera mandar. Porque quiere que la mande. Quiere un hombre que la meta en cintura, que la domine. Que (cuando le dé la gana) la manosee sin miramientos delante de todo el mundo. Y que, si por esas cosas de la vida ella tiene un acceso de pudor, le estampe una bofetada sin pensar si los están mirando o no. Quiere que también le pegue en casa, en parte porque le gusta (disfruta como una loca cuando le pegan) y en parte porque está convencida de que con toda esta oferta no podrá prescindir jamás de ella.

Submissiveness
translated by Rivky Mondal

The woman eating a vanilla ice cream at the front table of this cafe has always had things very clear. She’s looking for (and will look until she finds it) what she calls a “real man,” one who goes straight to the point, who doesn’t lose any time in attentive details, in useless chivalries. She wants a man who doesn’t pay attention to what she may tell him, let’s say, at the table while they’re eating. She doesn’t put up with the ones who try to pretend to be understanding, and, with angelic faces, say that they want to share their problems with her. She wants a man who doesn’t worry about what she may feel. Since puberty, she avoided the kids who spent the day talking about love. Love! She wants a man who never talks about love, who never tells her that he loves her. She finds it ridiculous, a man with infatuated eyes saying “I love you.” This she will say to him (and she’ll say it often, because she’ll actually mean it), and when she’s told him she’ll relish his look of compassion. That’s the type of man she wants. A man who uses her in the bedroom as he pleases without worry about her, because his pleasure will be her pleasure. Nothing gets on her nerves more than men who, during every moment of intercourse, ask if she has orgasmed or not. That being said, he has to be an intelligent man, successful, with an intense life of his own. A man who wouldn’t devote every minute to her. Who travels and who (without wasting time on discretion) has other women in addition to her. She wouldn’t mind, because this man will know that, with a simple whistle, he’ll always have her at his feet for whatever he commands. Because she wants him to order her around. She wants a man who brings her to heel, who dominates her. Who (when he feels like it) gropes her without hesitation in front of everyone. And who, if she happens to show him a hint of modesty, stamps a slap on her without wondering if they’re being watched or not. She wants him to beat her at home, also, partly because she likes it (it drives her wild when she’s hit) and partly because she’s convinced that with this offer, he will never be able to do without her.

 

A ma mère
Liu Yu

Send You a Bullet
translated by Phoebe Liu

How alluring is a dream. How fatal can it be! Startled by their

dreams, people try to seek psychological refuge in fame and

fortune, or in the feeling of resentment that comes after fame

and fortune cannot be attained.

 

When a system (of theories, of government, of rules) can answer

all your questions and ensure the correctness of these answers by

its logic, why do you need to endure the burden of freedom?

 

Chinese Aphorisms
translated by Phoebe Liu

1. Poetry begins from language and ends with language. —Yu Jian

 

2. We express love through poetry; we become poetry through the expression of love.

 

Kalamiş
David Diop

Istanbul’u sevmezse gönül

aşkı ne anlar.

Aşkı ne anlar.

Düşsün suya, yer.

Yer erisin.

Eski zamanlar

Sarsin bizi akşamda şarap

Regin dumanlar,

Şarap rengi dumanlar.

Bir tath huzur almaya geldik Kalamiş’tan

Kalamiş
translated by Eza Koch

If a soul cannot Istanbul,

how can it love.

How can it understand love.

Let them submerge, beneath,

Let them melt beneath you:

the olden times.

Caress and surround us, smokey wine-red

Smoke of crimson wine-red

I’ve come for the sweet pleasure, Kalamiş.

 

La Fauna
Quim Monzó

Glühendes Sandkorn im Auge,
den Himmel,
                     er saß
                     Jahre ungezählt
vor der befragten See :
hohlhallend,
jenseitiges Weiß, die Wellen.
Innehausend dem Brustkorb
Antwort:
                           der Meerkiesel
                           altes Verrollen.


Ans Schwarzkliff
                          beiseite gespült
hartschaliger Auswurf, kalt.
Seine Finger darin
spielten
muscheltot mit der Zeit.
Als ob Zeit
etwas ändert,
                                 die Wolke.
Schrumpfend
ein Vogelknochen im Blickkreis (hat
             der Stein denn gesungen).
             Er fror,
aufhorchend : oben,
Spitzmesser in Fels,
Schaufeln gruben
den Schrei aus der Luft. (Er
kennt ihn), saß,
den unerreichten Hohlraum
eng
um sich.


                            Rücklings
                            die Todesharken aufwärts :
Antennen, die sangen
Kindern unter das Dach
das tausendjährig
              verjährte Eurydike.

              Noch
vor der Hütte, hölzernes
Schweigen, er stand,
Frauen, breithüftige Schatten (er
streift sie).
Auf Eisenrosten sand-
entwundene Früchte. Ihm
unter der Zunge das Meer,
er aß,
er trank
Bittres den haarigen Fischern zu.


Als im rissigen Holz spät
das Dorf
anschlief den Tod,
                            seine Adern,
sagt man, haben in anderem Fleisch
gesungen, das
bog sich— 
               oder war's
draußen? Wind,
der in die schneidenden Schalen
der Muscheln
griff— 
 

Wildlife
translated by Rivky Mondal

The cat chases the mouse throughout the house and falls, one after the other, into the traps that he himself placed for the rodent. He falls inside the can of tar, slips on a banana peel and was going to stop at the meat grinder, but it tears him to shreds. When he still hasn’t recovered, he touches the doorknob without knowing that the mouse has connected it to an electric current; every hair stands on end, he goes from black to white to yellow to violet, his eyes spring from their sockets and spin eighteen times, his tongue doubles and unfolds in a zig-zag, he collapses, scorched, and turns into a pile of smoking ash. The lady of the house thereupon arrives with a broom and a dustpan, gathers him up and throws him into the garbage can.

 

But he immediately returns to lying in wait. Oh! What he wouldn’t give to get rid of that nasty mouse, who shouldn’t around anybody’s sympathy. Why didn’t he ever win? Why is the one that’s saved always the critter? The cat knows, additionally, that mice disgust a good portion of mankind. Of all the vicissitudes of war, what many men recall with most terror (more than the bombs, more than the dundum bullets, more than the sleepless nights, more than the days without eating and the treks without shoes, with feet wrapped in cloths) are the rats. Why, then, do said humans forget that repugnance and side with the mouse? Merely because it’s the smallest animal?

 

The cat is ready for a comeback. He swears once more that this time the mouse will not escape. He sets fire to the house. Everything is burned down, but the mouse survives. And when he comes back from work, the master chases after the cat, beating him with a broom. The cat doesn’t give up. He returns to chasing the mouse. Finally, he catches him, puts him in a cement mixer, and when he’s at the point of starting it up, the dog appears. By a law as incomprehensible as it is ancient, the dog is always friend to the mouse. This dog is always carrying an enormous club in hand. He lands it upon the cat’s head, leaving it flattened like a piece of paper.

 

But he recovers at once; now he receives a package in the mail and smiles. He fills the mouse’s hole with gunpowder and sets it on fire. Everything explores, just in time for the cat to realize that the mouse was not inside, that he’s watching him from the door of the house with a revolting smile. Always the same.

 

Until one surprising day, many episodes later, the cat succeeds.

 

After a pursuit through the corridor (a pursuit much like many others), he catches the mouse. However, this has happened many times…The cat has had the mouse in his grasp many times, just like now, and the mouse has escaped, so not even the cat himself believes that this time would really be it. He skewers the mouse with a three-pronged fork, and a stream of blood gushes from every one of the three wounds. The cat lights the fire. He puts a frying pan on. He pours the oil. When the oil is boiling, he puts in the mouse, which fries little by little in between such frenzied squeals that the cat has to plug his ears with cork plugs. He then begins to realize that this time something different is happening. This time is really going to be it. The mouse’s body stiffens, each time turning blacker and smokier. The mouse looks at the cat with eyes he will never forget and dies. The cat continues to fry the corpse. He then takes it out of the frying pan and burns it directly in the flames, until there is not even a black and wrinkled hide. He takes it from the fire, looks at it closely, touches it with his fingers. It breaks off into ten thousand charred bits that then wind, swirling, scatters toward the four cardinal points. For just a moment, the cat feels immensely happy.

© doublespeak magazine 2020

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