ARTISANS OF WORDS

The translation is

the freshly-cut dress

resting on a tailor's dummy.

It is the finishing touch to a sculpture.

It is the light of a restored painting.

The translator is not an artist,

the translator is an artisan of words.

The artist creates, the artisan adjusts.

 

But, sometimes, this is done so well

as to make the object of their work even better.


If we were in the Renaissance period, we could perhaps

even consider ourselves artists.

Michelangelesque sculptors of language. No vein on the wrist,

no recess on the cheekbone, can escape our chisel.

We have to know how to represent reality faithfully, and

it matters little if this reality appears to us, on the contrary,

betraying. Our text is the reality, and however

misleading it appears, we will continue to be loyal

servants.

This is our talent, and our curse.

We can never make a mistake.


Artists are not asked to be always precise.

But artisans, yes.

Artists are not asked to be always perfect.

Artisans, yes.

For artists, mistakes are forgiven. For artisans, no.

Because the job of artisans is to make the errors disappear.

Artists are creative, brilliant, eclectic, artists are

pioneers, they look ahead, they seek universal

languages, they speak to the world.


Artisans are accurate, respectful, meticulous, focused.

Artisans do not look forward, they look into depth. They are not

creative, they are meticulous. They do not seek universal languages,

because their world is only the object in front of them,

that object that needs them. Artisans are

patient, and methodical. Great artists can also

create only once in a lifetime to be artists.

Artisans have to reunite every day with

the tools of their trade. If they do not, they are not true artisans.


Artists represent, even unintentionally,

the universality of human feelings. Artisans cultivate

the patience of love, or patience, for

that unique object which is there before them at that given moment.

Artists exhibit. Artisans sacrifice themselves. […]

 

Author: Federica D'Alessio - Translator

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