I don’t think I write for freedom; I feel like when I write and read, what I go for is saturation, for intensity, that I am indeed operating “under the influence” of art. That’s a sensation that feels like a kind of freedom, but also the removal of agency, perhaps even of enslaving. Art connects me, ties me up, more than liberates me; and what it connects me to is often unpleasant because, as you note in your review of Kim Hyesoon, we live a blood-bucket world. I don’t feel like I’m “innovative” or progressive. I feel like poetry is dead, but I would rather wander in the Hades of poetry than in some new and improved world without poetry and its necro-glamorous excesses.
- Johannes Göransson, in conversation with Mia You here on the Poetry Foundation blog
and that quote builds off of something like this:
A translation – like a poem – is not a whole, complete item, as the monoglossic illusion would have us believe, but a zone into which we enter when we read and when we write. This zone contains boundaries but it also traverses boundaries; it contains contexts but the contexts might extend beyond the national boundaries; they may for example suggest that the U.S. and South Korea are intimately connected through wars and global capitalism. Translations are constantly taking place. Rather than try to quarantine them, or instrumentalize them for pedagogical purposes, we want to be overcome by them, possessed by them, changed by them. Just like we would with a work in English. That doesn’t mean that we forget about “context”: we forget about context as a field of mastery, as a way of accessing the “true meaning” of the poem, as an “over there.” It brings here and there into the same zone; the context becomes part of the deformation zone. We become gross sensationalists.
- By the same author on The Volta's Evening Will Come