ترجمه/TARJOME/_UU/TRANSLATION is a text installation. The text is based on four different translations of a Persian poem, written on four sides of a column in the Luke Lindoe Library at the Alberta College of Art + Design. The piece explores different methodologies in translating poetry inspired by Jacques Derrida, Jorge Luis Borges, and Vladimir Nabokov’s suggestions on translation.
Each side of the column follows a thinker’s suggested approach to translation. The first side has the poem written in Farsi. The second side follows Derridean ethics of translation: The “admitting the lack,” and, “making the lack functional.” poem is written in Farsi and spelled phonetically using Latin letters. Derrida believes the original text always lacks translation.
The third translation follows Borges’ idea of the translation being nothing like the original, celebrating the space created between the source language and the target language. The written symbols on the column are visual elements of the metric system, or in other words, Western syllabic notation of the poem.
The fourth is a Google translation of the poem in Farsi to English which follows Nabokov’s solution for perfect translation. Nabokov considers “free translation” a crime, and believes that the clumsiest literary translation is more useful than the prettiest paraphrase. He gives priority to “utility” in translation over aesthetic considerations in literary translation.
ADĪB-AL-MAMĀLEK FARĀHĀNĪ wrote the original poem in Farsi in early 19th Century. In his poem he disagrees with lending books while instantiating it to lending the bride on the wedding day.