January 30, 2008

I have been yours all along

So Tinha De Ser Com Voce (Tom Jobim)

No one can say how much love I have saved
Unaware it was all meant for you

You, it had to be with only you
It had to be for only you
Or else it would lead to more pain
My heart would retreat yet again
A love that's beyond the whole world
This love that I've come here to bring
A love like you've never seen
This love that I've come here to bring
A love like you...

You, your beauty was born out of blue
Please let me come close to this blue
Won't you let me search for my peace
By bringing your heart in my reach
If only you knew, as I do
That I have been yours all along
And that you were mine all along
That I have been yours all along
And that you were mine all along

(Lyrics by the singer, Mary Rose Bussard)
I'm paying attention to the way Bussard translated the Tom Jobim lyrics, alongside the subtitles to his son Daniel's rendition in the first video. Also touching, the original song sung by Elis Regina, as a young woman and older, her ecstasy in the latter nearly overwhelming her performance.

Translation is an interesting problem, especially when it comes to work like this. I'm thinking of the attention to issues of translation (in reference to coping with the problems associated with globalization) from Elkins and Relyea in those BAS podasts in the blogpost The healthy self..." It seems to me that translation of one (art) language form into another is something that requires resonance and empathy. Empathic resonance (I'm visualizing tuning forks, the resonant frequencies of each solitary fork vibrating together, translation in this case would be to build a tuning fork --of another material-- that will vibrate at the same frequency as the original). Without resonance, the attempted translation can gutter ball into either mere transliteration or misrepresentation. There is also this thing about the ability to translate cultural norms that may not be present in both cultures... unless there is a universal humanity that is captured in the prism of each culture. To refract the contents of one facet through another is to lose the precision of meaning but refraction itself (translation) relies on a totality of meaning, the hotly contested ghost we call human nature.

Posted by Dennis at January 30, 2008 1:16 PM

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