Two Lines 1: Battlefields
We would be lying if we said we had no sense of mission. We think translation is important, urgent work. Language which is venerable is language which has lost the ability to refresh itself.
We wanted to make a place for translation in which the act of translating was central. We wanted to share our work in a place where the contradictions and frustrations of translation were part of the ground rules.
— Editors’ introduction to the inaugural issue
We asked for submissions about battlefields, real or imagined. We read letters and recollections, prayers and complaints and newspaper reports. Some battles were purely ceremonial. Some were so real we felt we had to look away. Some were fought within a single heart, with no outward sign at all…
To have called for submissions and to have discovered that so many people understood instinctively what TWO LINES was trying to be about was a great and unexpected satisfaction. We hope that the magazine serves as a kind of reference or marker for the reader’s own work—for we are rash enough to imagine that you would not be reading this if you were not interested in translation yourself—and our warmest hope is that some of the readers of this issue will become contributors to the next.
— Founding editors Olivia E. Sears, Antonia Saxon, Mark E. Francis, and Paul LaFarge