„Almost seventy years later I remember clearly how the magic of translating the words in books into images enriched my life, breaking the barriers of time and space...“

Mario Vargas Llosa photo
Mario Vargas Llosa14
écrivain péruvien et espagnol, auteur de romans et d'essais… 1936
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„Books break the shackles of time. A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic.“

—  Carl Sagan, Cosmos
Context: What an astonishing thing a book is. It's a flat object made from a tree with flexible parts on which are imprinted lots of funny dark squiggles. But one glance at it and you're inside the mind of another person, maybe somebody dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, an author is speaking clearly and silently inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people who never knew each other, citizens of distant epochs. Books break the shackles of time. A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic. 42 min 33 sec

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Wisława Szymborska photo

„I remember it so clearly —
how people, seeing me, would break off in midword.
Laughter died.“

—  Wisława Szymborska Polish writer 1923 - 2012
Context: I remember it so clearly — how people, seeing me, would break off in midword. Laughter died. Lovers' hands unclasped. Children ran to their mothers. I didn't even know their short-lived names. And that song about a little green leaf — no one ever finished it near me. "Soliloquy for Cassandra"

Camille Paglia photo

„The only antidote to the magic of images is the magic of words.“

—  Camille Paglia American writer 1947
Context: In a media age where books are no longer the primary medium for information storage and exchange, language must be reclaimed from the hucksters and the pedants and imaginatively reinforced. To save literature, educators must take command of the pre-rational world of images. The only antidote to the magic of images is the magic of words.

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Larry Wall photo

„tt>break; /* don't do magic till later */</tt“

—  Larry Wall American computer programmer and author, creator of Perl 1954

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Fyodor Dostoyevsky photo

„How it could come to pass I do not know, but I remember it clearly. The dream embraced thousands of years and left in me only a sense of the whole.“

—  Fyodor Dostoyevsky Russian author 1821 - 1881
Context: How it could come to pass I do not know, but I remember it clearly. The dream embraced thousands of years and left in me only a sense of the whole. I only know that I was the cause of their sin and downfall. Like a vile trichina, like a germ of the plague infecting whole kingdoms, so I contaminated all this earth, so happy and sinless before my coming. They learnt to lie, grew fond of lying, and discovered the charm of falsehood. V

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Primo Levi photo

„Translation is difficult work because the barriers between languages are higher than is generally thought … knowing how to avoid the traps is not enough to make a good translator.“

—  Primo Levi Italian chemist, memoirist, short story writer, novelist, essayist 1919 - 1987
Context: Translation is difficult work because the barriers between languages are higher than is generally thought … knowing how to avoid the traps is not enough to make a good translator. The task is more arduous; it is a matter of transferring from one language to another the expressive force of the text, and this is a superhuman task, so much so that some celebrated translations (for example that of the Odyssey into Latin and the Bible into German) have marked transformations in the history of our civilisation. Nonetheless, since writing results from a profound interaction between the creative talent of the writer and the language in which he expresses himself, to each translation is coupled an inevitable loss, comparable to the loss of changing money. This diminution varies in degree, great or small according to the ability of the translator and the nature of the original text. As a rule it is minimal for technical or scientific texts (but in this case the translator, in addition to knowing the two languages, needs to understand what he is translating; possess, that is to say, a third competence). It is maximal for poetry... As quoted in "Primo Levi and Translation" http://www.leeds.ac.uk/bsis/98/98pltrn.htm by David Mendel http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4158/is_20070320/ai_n18738601/print, in Bulletin of the Society for Italian Studies (1998)

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John Dryden photo

„It is almost impossible to translate verbally and well at the same time“

—  John Dryden English poet and playwright of the XVIIth century 1631 - 1700
Context: It is almost impossible to translate verbally and well at the same time; for the Latin (a most severe and compendious language) often expresses that in one word which either the barbarity or the narrowness of modern tongues cannot supply in more.... But since every language is so full of its own proprieties that what is beautiful in one is often barbarous, nay, sometimes nonsense, in another, it would be unreasonable to limit a translator to the narrow compass of his author's words; it is enough if he choose out some expression which does not vitiate the sense. Works of John Dryden (1803) as quoted by P. Fleury Mottelay in William Gilbert of Colchester (1893)

Jacob Maris photo

„On the other hand, I am accused of not finishing my paintings, no matter how much time I spent to my airs. Well, 'finished' in the common sense of the word, they are certainly not! Finishing in that sense would drag the life out of it. (translation from original Dutch, Fons Heijnsbroek, 2018)“

—  Jacob Maris Dutch painter 1837 - 1899
version in original Dutch / citaat van Jacob Maris, in het Nederlands: Daarentegen wordt mij verweten dat mijn schilderijen niet af zijn, hoe ik mijn lucht ook doorwerkt heb. Nu, 'af' in de gewone beteekenis van het woord is mijn werk zeker niet. Door in dien zin het af te maken, zou ik er het leven uithalen. in Jacob Maris (1837-1899), M. van Heteren and others; as cited in 'Ik denk in mijn materie', in exhibition catalog of Teylers Museum / Museum Jan Cunen), Zwolle 2003, p. 76

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