Writing 16 (October 1986). Nicole Brossard translated by Susanne de Lotbinière-Harwood. “Her Hand On A Book Resting While Our Bodies Obliquely”. Brava for the French and Brava Encore for the English. But a brief impression of the delicate tensions held in place by language and image…
Rien n’est prévu sinon que la respiration, la répétition des sons entre les chairs. Fricatelle* ruiselle essentielle aime-t-elle dans le touche à tout qui arrondit les seins la rondeur douce des bouches ou l’effet qui la déshabille?
Look how “ruiselle” got rendered with perfect pitch for its place in the three adjectives all with the same ending and the deliberate control of the assonance. Astounding.
Nothing is foreseen other than the breathing, the sounds resounding from flesh to flesh. Does she frictional she fluvial she essential does she in the all-embracing touch that rounds the breasts love the mouths’ soft roundness or the effect undressing her?
I have long searched for an equivalent to the French “cyprine” which is very specific to a woman’s vaginal secretions. Lotbinière-Harwood is simply amazing in how she conveys the nuances.
aime-t-elle l’état du monde dans la flambé des chairs pendant que les secondes s’écoulent cyprine, lutines, marins.
does she love the state of the world in the blaze of flesh to flesh as seconds flow by silken salty spritely.
In how a note is worded (the intimacy of first names) we read and gain further appreciation of the work of the translator and her collaboration with the writer…
*fricatelle — from fricarelle the rubbing together of women’s thighs. Thirties slang for lesbian. Nicole explains, via Marie-Jo Bonnet, Un choix sans équivoque, and Nicolas Blondeau Le Dictionnaire Érotique Latin-Français. Blondeau’s dictionary was written in the 17th but not published until the 19th century. S. de L.-H.
And in the 20th the words were set in a different matrice to travel on to the 21st.
And so for day 969