marcel barang

Veni vidi veto

In English, Reading matters on 29/04/2011 at 3:59 pm


Maybe I’m a lousy translator. Or just a lousy reader: when I found this story in the last issue of Chor Karrakeit, I was dazed and impressed. But then I set about translating it, that is, made a first draft, and the longer I laboured through it, opening dictionaries for every other word, trying to make words meet and generate some kind of sense, the more I wanted to laugh. In despair. And in despair gave up after less than a page. Here it is:

The faces of the controllers/Faces of domination [?]

Theeraphon See-in

First-time control/takeover [?]

Revision of the kangaroo’s pouch

I’ll tell you a few stories. Lend me your ear. Fun-dancing with chaos. Tell you stories about myself by myself. Friends who fear festivals, sweetly captivating performances of enticing music, have all long flocked here. We who pile up in the thread [field of study?] step in to observe world happenings by the edge of the wall [within wall confines?]. There is quiet lonely emptiness as a building to take shelter in. I swear before Hun Sen: if at that time we haunted windmills, we’d have dashed upon, blown, torn, yanked the Don Quixote figure to have it smashed to bits in front of Sancho. We the cloddish and half-hearted disregard the nature there is in it, repeatedly, endlessly, confusedly, hastily, suspiciously, hot-heatedly. No time to think carefully. We should assemble at the Pigs Monument and set up a stage to ridicule our own dullness, issue declarations, raise the flag to wear down language to the utmost, by way of our seeing that this is the only way to convey the meaning of meaninglessness, try to listen to the wind blowing fickle, to lullaby the fields, flocks of exhausted birds streaking the clouds. I get up to pee very frequently, several times a night. Water flows in dribs and drabs. A single stream thus spurts enraged, multiple streams flows unhurriedly. Mine is of the latter [kind?]. Revising the life of a madman about to board a train with coconuts piled on his back. I like the face of a writer adorned with a gloomy beard. Forget about it. At least, don’t mention it again. The teller of tales lies dead in the subconscious. The ugly, frightening, hair-raising nature of idealism’s shattered dream, like a dead dog, a dead cat, a dead snake, a dead bird by the roadside. Wind the mosquito net into a sole long-handed umbrella in the middle of the Suphan Buri fields. Bangkok is no place to be. There’s only persons who repeat unreasonable stories. I slept with a prostitute at Wongwian Yai. She had small red birthmarks all over. I cried after intercourse…

And I, before intromission. Why go on? Too bad for the lovely ‘flocks of exhausted birds streaking the clouds’, though.


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