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вторник, 13 декабря 2011 г.

Poetry through suffering

Primo Levi was an Italian Jewish chemist and writer that survived the horrors of Auschwitz concentration camp in Nazi-occupied Poland. The dark memories of the concentration camp, etched deep in his being, defined and directed his writing after World War II was over. One of his poems, translated from Italian, is currently on display at the National Museum of the United States Air Force, in the hall that commemorates Holocaust. Last summer, when I went on a tour there while staying in Dayton, OH, I took a picture of Primo Levi's poem and then asked one of my students to translate it into Russian. You can see what came out of this. Share your thoughts on this translation. Some changes that have been made by the translator - do you think they can be justified?

You who live safe
In your warm houses
You who find, returning in the evening,
Hot food and friendly faces:
Consider if this a man
Who works in the mud 
Who does not know peace
Who fights for a scrap of bread
Who dies because of a yes or no.

Consider if this is a woman
Without hair and without name
With no more strength to remember,
Her eyes empty, and her womb cold
Like a frog in the winter.

Meditate that this came about:
I commend these words to you.
Carve them in your hearts
At home, in the street,
Going to bed, rising;
Repeat them to your children.
Or may your house fall apart,
May illness impede you,
May your children turn their faces from you.

Primo Levi, Survival in Auschwitz.

Вы живёте беспечно в тепле и уюте,
Вкусный ужин едите, домой возвращаясь,
Вас родные встречают с радушной улыбкой...
Но кто вспомнит рабочих, что «пашут» в грязи, 
Не зная покоя, в нужде изнывая
И хлеба кусок видев едва?

И разве о женщинах кто-то подумал
Безымянных и лысых,
Что в слабости память утратили?
Глаза их пустые, тела же холодны,
Словно лягушки зимой.

Задумайтесь, люди, я к вам обращаюсь,
Пусть врежутся эти слова в ваше сердце!
Где бы вы ни были, круглые сутки
Вторите их детям своим, 
Или крова лишитесь!
И смертельным недугом пусть вас поразит, 
А дети от вас отрекутся!

Примо Леви, «Спасение в Аушвитц».