Two Lines 15: Strange Harbors
His walk was the same, although perhaps a little slower than before, his large waist had not much thickened, but it was his stocky silhouette, and above all his immaculate white guyabera which gave him away, even from behind.
—from “The Snares of History” by Georges Anglade, translated from the French by Joseph Berganza
We tell ourselves it’s universal, storytelling. It is—except what it is a storyteller tells isn’t always and everywhere the same thing. Reading stories in translation, one soon begins to wonder, “What is a story?”
One might as well ask, “What is love?” We think it universal. We think we know what others mean when they use the word. But reading translated stories about love, who can keep from asking, “Can this be love, the thing the story—if it is a story— talks about?”
We concede we do not always understand ideas. What makes us think we understand emotions any better? —JOHN BIGUENET