For a long time I avoided reading any work translated from another language into English. I believed something important and possibly crucial to comprehending the author’s message would be lost in translation. This changed when I read several books by Albert Camus. ‘The Stranger’  is possibly the most unsettling book I’ve read in terms of the questions it raised in my mind.

Herman Hesse is another author whose novels I only recently began to read. Out and about yesterday I found a collection of 31 Hesse poems. Hesitant at first due to my linguistic prejudices, I thought translating poetry, so that it retained its effectiveness, would be a much larger obstacle to overcome compared to prose. Turns out I was wrong. Here is an example-

Destiny

In our fury and muddle
We act like children cut off,
Fled from ourselves,
Bound by silly shame.

The years clump past
In their agony, waiting.
Not a single path leads back
To the garden of our youth

(Hermann Hesse – 1911)

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About Marcus

Who me? Introverted, neurotic, self-absorbed, increasingly cynical observer of human nature and part time social critic in hiding. Most of my life spent avoiding growing up. The naive idealistic passions of youth have evolved into the eclectic eccentricities of adulthood. Northeast Florida small-town native, related to people I can't relate to. Simultaneously my own best friend and worst enemy. Politically and spiritually unaffiliated, my personal ideologies put me all over the map or off it completely.
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2 Responses to

  1. papoose says:

    Camus
    ‘The Stranger’ was a disturbing novel.
    ‘The Fall’ I is one of the most brilliant novels I have ever read. That’s my favorite Camus.

    • marcsuttle says:

      Re: Camus
      ‘The Plague’ is probably my next favorite. I think I anticipated the ending of ‘The Fall’ for it to impact me as much as it should have. (I intend to re-read them all)

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