The Act of Transgression

On the 5th of October 2022, for less than an hour, we found ourselves in the world of a translator from a Swedish language- Dominika Górecka. Translation is a kind of transgression, understood as entering the original author’s way of thinking and attentive, empathetic disentangling of the text. The translator’s master is Antoine Berman, creator of the ethics of translation and the famous essay entitled “The Experience of the Foreign”.  Górecka emphasized that the most important thing in her work is respect for the “Other”, anti-ethnocentric treatment of the text and constant begining work with the text anew. Literature is a field of experience, therefore the role of the translator is not to explain the author’s thoughts, but to make the text understandable and felt by the reader of the translation in a way similar to the emotions evoked by the original. To achieve this, you need to create many versions of one sentence or word, you have to be open to understating the content or hearing the rhythm of the text, which often bears hidden chains of meanings. Sensitivity to the text is also developed by play lists created by her for translated works of literature, as well as direct contact with the authors themselves. The source of inspiration for the choice of her life path was her teenage exploration of the old Konin and buring herself into the world of books of the library located in the former synagogue. The meeting ended with an encouragement to translate a poem by the Swedish poet, Helena Österlund, from English into Polish by each of the students.

(text: Beata Ciacek; photos: Beata Ciacek)