Foreman y Yo

I will never get used to the weird feeling that comes with reading an article discussing the work of the translator A.Z. Foreman. Who is his guy? I have the dissociative sense that this Foreman is someone other than Alex.

I, Alex, am the man who eats, sleeps, shits, goes on walks, drinks rum and Redbull, and works. There is also someone named A.Z. Foreman who translates literature, writes footnotes of childish eccentricity, and sometimes writes poetry. It is he of whom I just read that "with a swoosh of his translatorial magic wand, Foreman rewords these two lines." Foreman is a far more interesting man than I am, clearly. Reading about his translation choices, I ask myself how he contrived some of them, and can come up with no answer. I am very bad at being anyone other than myself and would probably not be good at translating literature, and so I read with interest and bewilderment how Foreman has subsumed himself into the author he is translating.

I like poetry, and I love language. So does Foreman, but he takes them as costumes to wear, declaiming in other people's accents as he performs strange stunts on the page. Foreman and I were once close, to be sure, but we grew apart. He remains in the hold of many illusions from which I have been rather forcibly delivered, though he does purloin my disillusionment for his own inscrutable purposes from time to time. There is much about him that I find disagreeable. He does not seem inclined to care. I continue to eat and sleep and drink, and Foreman will continue at random intervals to do his work of dressing up as other people. He and I are alike in one respect: we both do our best work as other people. Or at least by unconsciously imitating them. It is only now that I feel on my brain a breeze from Buenos Aires.

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