Wednesday, December 7, 2011


This morning I finished the final draft of "Grüne Zone New Orleans." I wanted to have the thing done back in August, but a whole bunch of other stuff came up etc. etc. I've been working on the thing since the summer of 2008, having started from scratch a couple of times and then compared the results of several drafts. Yakich has a lot of great word play throughout, as in the last lines of the final part: "As is is, take refuse." It was fun to navigate through the poem, especially as I usually did so first after studying Mandarin and Korean for a few hours. To enter into German after two high-context languages is to invite a looseness that I found refreshing. Often my head would cross out its thoughts—nope, that's not the right language. Its editing out was usually in Mandarin—不对—though I always try to think in the language I'm currently writing and talking in. But so how will this translation read to German speakers?

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