I want, then, a French version which will increase the intensity of the shift from the deixis of proximity Into my heart to that of distance, even at the expense of linguistic correctness, though not at the expense of a certain linguistic plausibility. But I have another, larger aspiration: I want to escape the metrical pressure of through-reading.
I want to go further: employing the concepts of striated and smooth space deriving from Boulez, and from Deleuze and Guattari, I want not only to suggest, uncontroversially I would hope, that while metre belongs to striated space, to pulsed time, to the State, rhythm is a quality of smooth space, of amorphous time, of the nomadic. In developing a smooth-space version of the poem, in a tabular but non-margined layout, I am attempting to restore rhythm to itself and in so doing to liberate Housman more fully into a sub-discursive field of pulsions and erratic energies indicated crudely in minimal typographic variations—capitals, italics, bold :.
The page puts before us the rhythms of a flouted or inverted order, a release into the temperamentally ductile, into impulsive, deconstructive formal vagabondage. At the same time, this is the map of another Shropshire, not the Shropshire of spiritually replenishing landscapes, but a Shropshire that has lost its coordinates, its spatial relations, its settled topography, its very mappability, a Shropshire whose sites and dimensions are floating in free metamorphosis.
Single-minded reading wants to get to the point. But what if there is no getting to the point? In the interests of getting to the point, reading economizes on other awarenesses. At the other extreme is a reading mode without horizon or vanishing point, in which the text is never to be got through, a place of ever-changing positions, relations, motions, the place where text is less communication than an apparatus of self-discovery and self-displacement.
The text becomes not its meanings but the qualities of its activity, its dynamics: tempi, durations, accentuations, timbres, and loudnesses, in short, its paralanguage. Language exists to project its paralanguage as its affects, as its capacity to have sense, as a field of forces, rather than vice versa. What then is vital is that the translator should be a stranger in his own language.
At the same time, the language of the source text is not equal to, or not coincident with, the responses of the reader, and must accordingly be adapted, deformed, set on a path of variation. In this kind of disposition, individual elements become vulnerable to slippage and displacement. The reader operates without combinational expectations, is unable to read off something which conforms, is constantly subject to minor re-orientations.
Reading is no longer a recuperative process, the metrico-rhythmic assimilation of a text, where phonatory confirmation accompanies optical retrieval.
Poésie, Rimbaud, Arthur : "sensation"
Indeed, we might propose that this is not at all a shared or shareable text, whose properties are universally perceptible. We each experience it as a movement from point to point, in perpetual close-up, in perpetual encounter, as a process of readerly palpation. In such a text, rhythm can only become , in a condition of permanent futurity; it cannot become what it was ordained to become, in a process of self-fulfilment; it becomes as a direction of being, and of being read.
Texts have no rhythm because rhythm is a negotiation of text with reader, as indeed sense-making is; rhythm comes into existence in the process of reading, as part of the whole-body involvement of the reader. That is why rhythm is multi-dimensional. But as an event, rhythm, even as it takes place, remains only a set of possibilities, possibilities which are projected into new readings and new readers; it never becomes a property of the text.
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But tabular disposition turns us in another direction at the same time, towards smooth space, a space in which these numbers are not measures, that is to say a they are not justified by their combinations nor by any sums of syllables they may, in groupings, add up to; the idea of the line has disappeared; b they have no given rhythmic status, rather they generate rhythm as a direction in space; c they are not matter organized as form; they are materials that make forces manifest, forces operating through them in the rhythmicity of their articulation, as a series.
This word rhythmicity expresses a capacity for rhythm, a making possible of rhythm which is the expression of forces. Rhythmicity is an energy which resists all striation, which tends towards uncontrollable multi-dimensionality, towards virtuality, towards continuous variation, even where consecutive numbers are the same.
They affirm, simply, a syllabic constitution, a potentiality of accentuation, a capacity for affiliation.
Sensation - A.Rimbaud
First, rhythmicity extends rhythm in its narrower sense, of patterns of weak and strong syllables. These elements might be isolated, and it might be argued that only a small number impinge on the reading consciousness as determining factors. But there is a danger that we economize on paralinguistic awareness, that we dull the diversity of our response by falling back on age-old and unquestioned priorities weak and strong syllables. Even if it is impossible, analytically, to capture the play of rhythmic elements in their full complexity, we must continue to try to keep them in consciousness, to mark their presence in scansional translations.
Rhythm, as we have said, is not in the text; it is a negotiation between text and reader, between a text and a psycho-physiological enactment. Rhythm is the present of the performance of text, whether read aloud or inwardly phonated or enacted; but since it is not a given, but a produced, or producible, it constantly maintains a virtuality. Rhythm is thus the dynamic of the production of sense, the sense of self-text.
Since rhythm, unlike metre, cannot exist prior to its manifestation in a reader, since it is always an immanence, so it serves to guarantee and safeguard the orality and the historicity of the reading subject. Translators, for example, often speak of trying to capture the rhythms of the source text. But rhythm while it may indeed become manifest, does not resolve itself. It may take on particular forms, but only on the understanding that it presupposes other forms, that those other forms accompany, are the polyphony of, the manifest form.
Mémoire : art et hallucination chez Rimbaud
This is one of the reasons why I reject the notion of an optimal translation of a text, a fairest of fair copies: because translation deals with all that is unresolved in a text, because translation wishes to keep alive this principle of continuous variation; accordingly, the translation of a text must be always ongoing, tirelessly multiplying. Our own trajectory for translation, therefore, would be the translation out of metre into rhythm, and, beyond rhythm, towards rhythmicity.
Because translation translates readers not texts. Because it is readers who are the agents of textual proliferation, of intercultural connections, not texts. Translation takes readers into account and develops forms of reading which are not about the consumption of texts, but about the distribution and radiation of texts into the spaces of linguistic apprehension. In other words, this visual paralanguage covers both vocal events and psychic and cognitive associations.
It tells us more about the forces at work at different points in the text than about their specific operation; scansional translation rocks between record and proposition, accuracy and indeterminacy, actuality and virtuality 6.
But such a translation is also designed to engage its readers in their own adventures with the source text; the target text becomes that instrument through which other polyglot readers undergo a confrontation with the source text. And in order that all these functions can be fulfilled, the target text must be left in a state of becoming, unfulfilled, a play of directions, captured at the heart of its own dynamic, its own unfolding performance, having thrown off the inertiality of pure text; in this sense, the reader of the target text does not so much receive it as join it, as participate in its ongoingness.
Rhythmicity is designed to capture this restless and proliferating activity, this urgent animation that translation restores to the source text. Housman , A. John Sparrow, Harmondsworth, Penguin. Lawrence , D. Anthony Beal, London, Heinemann. It should be observed that Rimbaud further heightens our sense of sudden shifts in consciousness or perceptual acuity by his rather idiosyncratic use of colons in lines 4, 10 and I realize that, in providing this notation, I am in danger of undermining my own argument and of implying that the metrico-rhythmic basis of rhythm remains paramount.
Il faut dire tout de suite que ces deux aspects se rejoignent, car emprunter la.
Ce Non est beaucoup plus absolu, par exemple, que celui, pourtant. Dominent la blancheur et l'or dont les nuances proviennent d'abord du mouvement.
Translation and the expansion of the rhythmic sense
Je ne chante pas ce monde ni les autres astres. Quand un homme sans yeux sans nez et sans oreilles. Qui se trouve au coin de la rue Simon- Le-Franc. A quelle heure un train partira-t-il pour Paris. Les pigeons des Moluques f ientaient des noix muscades. Mission catholique de Borna qu'as-tu fait du sculpteur.
Une jeune fille amoureuse du maire. Mais nous qui mourons de vivre loin l'un de l'autre. Tendons nos bras et sur ces rails roule un long train de marchandises. Tu me ressembles tu me ressembles malheureusement. Nous allons plus haut maintenant et ne touchons plus le sol. Et tandis que le monde vivait et variait.