Monday, April 10, 2006

"A student asks what sustained me in translating so many volumes of Jabès. I say: Envy and pleasure in destruction."

—Rosmarie Waldrop, Lavish Absence

Translation much on my mind, I have been reading Waldrop's gorgeous meditation on writing, translating, friendship and deep reading. Sartre's now perhaps half-forgotten, "Il faut s'engager," pops oddly into my head as I turn these pages. I know he mostly had something else in mind, but, vicariously experiencing Waldrop's deep engagement with Jabès, with writing, with life, I say to myself, this is what "Il faut s'engager" means. Or could.


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