an email from Jen Hofer (to Denise and I)
I was so excited to hear you talk about the process of your collaboration in terms that resonate so much with the ways I think of translation. My notes are incomplete, of course, but the basic gist of the connection had to do with that "third space" that's created in the generative gap between two bodies (or between one's own body and one's consciousness, or one's body as manifest at different times in different ways) or between two consciousnesses or between two modes of thinking and being. So much of the way you talked about collaboration -- and about writing from, within, and through our bodies (how else are we supposed to write?!?!?!) -- describes with tremendous accuracy and buoyancy my experience of working within someone else's vocabulary or speech/thought rhythms or idea-patterns, as a translator.arrives when I am thinking about what to do with the third body that gets created between two bodies that share intimate routines for a long time. When it has to be dissolved, put in the ground--so some other generative third space can be established.
And also, Jen said
Your words remain with me and I return to them often as I move through the world.
which reminds me that the only reason I write, really, is to move with people. As a means to be with. I think about that Roald Dahl story all the time--the little boy who busted the lamps to let the light flow out. My understanding was, so that he could then really be with it.