Saturday, January 19, 2013

Add Salt To The Water If You Thirst.


Friday Night


I get drunk
sort socks
taste lemon bitters
listen to traffic

flickering lights
time themselves
to syllables
in your name
who pays the electric?
No one home, no one home



Now, a review! Yes! The ply of bloggers on hard times! Reviews are the shiny little gallstones we pass off as diamonds among what we've pushed out. 


Okay. Maybe not. 


Translations, by and large, fall into the category of either success or failure.

      "The Scar" is one of the few modern translations I've read recently, and the success of this translation is like uncorking a very good vintage that could stand aging a few years - yet you find you've quaffed a whole bottle of the stuff while ruminating on it, and in the end you sit surprised with an empty bottle, missing every drop. 

    In a Grimm-like style with a dash of Aesop, these Russian (If you want to be picky, Ukrainian) writers pack quite a punch. I was looking for something off the beaten path, and this is it. The rhythm of the language is lilting, unusual. In Russian style, the Dychencko's plumb the multifaceted depths of cowardice, fear of helplessness, and impotency. But by all means, while these dark manifestos hover in the rafters always, hope flits here and there, hovering with stark humor.  

    If you're not quite into Fantasy or Sci-Fi, this novel is still heavily into Realism, with enough escapist tendencies to satisfy us nerds. A unique balance, the tale at once concise yet wrought with beauty and action. 

   And please - don't read the back cover and be put off. I mulled over this pick for weeks, simply because the description was a bit too soppy for me. I didn't want a wailing wall of soap opera for 436 pages. 

    In short, "The Scar" has enough dashes of violence, a bit of rape, starving wretches and revenge to satisfy those who need tougher stock in their reading material, while the Grimm lover will rejoice in the simplicity of a finely wrought tale with touches of lyrical genius. 






Oh, and I was nominated for a Pushcart, which was my goal before I turned 30. So now I don't have to Sylvia Plath myself.