MOUTH: EATS COLOR
Sagawa Chika Translations, Anti-Translations, & Originals
by Sawako Nakayasu with Chika Sagawa
(Rogue Factorial, 2011)
Available for purchase here from Amazon.
Now also available for purchase directly from the publisher, here:
Review in The Constant Critic by Vanessa Place
Review in HTML GIANT by Saehee Cho
Edges of the Zone (academic paper) by Steve Dolph on Academia.edu
Interview with Thomas Fink on Galatea Resurrects
Poetry, Translation. Ten poems by Sagawa Chika are conveyed into English and other languages through a variety of translation techniques and procedures, some of them producing multilingual poems. Languages used include English, Japanese, French, Spanish, Chinese.
Mouth: Eats Color is a brilliant infra-textual work, brainchild of the bi-cultural poet/translator Sawako Nakayasu. The collection provokes, expands, and disavows the parameters of language and person and tradition, to forge a beautiful weave of performance and interrogation. This is a project of multilingual wit and passion, echo upon echo upon echo…
You will not read this book. Your mouth is full of birds, believe me. Their song is vulgar, coarse and that’s not their natural coloring. Or you either for that matter. If a translator is not polite, what good is she, if she asks what it matters who is speaking?
Glorious transgressive inventivity of permutation! Reveling glissement, poem into poem—it’s really a single poem, it’s the single poem that realizes the dream in which there is no “original”—which implicitly asks, then, what a poem is: a burst of moving words, words moved, like the reader is, deeply. The glass, the gloves, the sun pouring down. The reader is mostly the sun pouring down. The text.
Don’t ever let anyone tell you that literature exists for the sake of truth: rather, it exists to create better and more beautiful lies, and to enshrine like insects frozen in crystal the gorgeous and inventive asymmetry of mistakes. In this rigorously irreverent book, Sawayaka not only accepts the fact that every translation is “always already” [sorry] a mistranslation, but capitalizes on it, romping, torquing, messing up, re-galvanizing. A tour de force!