Haruki Murakami is probably my favourite author. When I think about people translating his books I feel like a calm, warm ocean. Translating someone that you feel strongly about would mean that you are giving other humans a present. Merry Christmas, other humans. But it made me think about being made to translate things that you don’t have any strong feelings about, maybe even actively dislike. Does the ‘joy spring’ from the reinterpretation of a good text because the text is good, or is it because the act of translating that makes translation fulfilling. I’m not sure how much sense that made. It’s hard to talk about. Is cooking, or eating the most fun. You have to eat, but you don’t have to cook. And someone else can always cook for you, but they can’t do your eating.
Last night I kept saying things and then people would say ‘what?’ and I would say ‘nothing’ because I didn’t feel it was worth their time. I didn’t want them to make a special effort to hear me say something stupid. Don’t cook this food I am giving you, it will taste bad. It is a cabbage. If you know that someone is going to translate you, then I think you really have to say something which is worth them translating. This is a human person’s life you are eating up. You should only do it if you have good reason to.
But I can’t tell. Maybe, for some people, translating is fulfilling regardless of the text. Now it is making me think about people who say things like ‘it’s the journey, not the destination’. Hi, people who say that. I don’t believe you. What if you know that the destination is terrible? What if you are journeying inside of a large, rusted iron container? What if it smells of urine? What if you are having to listen to a child wildly sob the whole time?
Get out of the iron container. Journeys aren’t always fun and you don’t always have to do them. I would run away quickly. As quickly as my tiny feet would let me. I guess that means I would be a terrible translator. I would be picky. Sometimes, you just want to use hand gestures and loud, meaningless sounds. Last night, at about 4, I went out to try and find some food. The kind man at hotel reception pointed me in a direction. At the food place, a man who worked there started coming very close to me and rubbing my jaw. I said no and moved his hand. He said some words I couldn’t understand. He grabbed my shoulders and moved his face very close to mine. I shouted and pushed him backwards and ran away. The whole time, he was saying words I couldn’t understand. Maybe he was explaining why he was doing what he was doing. I was too scared to listen. Bye bye, iron container.