Saturday, August 15, 2009

the fine nuances of their mother tongues

Poate e nefiresc, sau exagerat, insa eu ma gandesc in continuare la ce mi s-a intamplat in canada, cu consecintele pe care le stim, si pe care le indur si astazi. Stiu ca ceva s-a rupt acolo. Ceva din fiinta mea, din identitatea mea s-a dislocat. Inca nu inteleg deplin cum s-a intamplat asta si nu pot nici sa las lucrurile asa, sa le rezolve timpul. Ma indaratnicesc sa inteleg, sa inteleg pana la capat, ca sa ma linistesc si sa ma asigur, atata cat se poate, ca nu o sa mi se mai intample asa ceva.

In firul acesta al gandirii, pe care merg logic, gasind cauze, facand legaturi intre ele, eliminandu-le pe cele care nu se sustin, am ajuns sa imi dau seama ca la radacina dislocarii despre care vorbeam se afla despartirea mea de limba romana (limba romana e patria mea). De cand ma stiu m-am miscat printre cuvinte, cuvintele propriei mele limbi. Cand eram copil, mama imi citea din dictionar, iar eu abia asteptam unele cuvinte, pe altele le detestam. Inventam eu insami cuvinte. De cand am invatat sa citesc, am citit neintrerupt, cele mai multe carti in limba mea. Mereu am tinut jurnale. Orice mi se intampla trebuia notat, ceea ce simteam se cerea consemnat. Mai apoi, timp de opt ani, mi-am castigat painea din scris, ca ziarista. Ma cutremur de ras, de placere sau de oroare la unele cuvinte si la unele expresii. Cum sa spun, in afara cuvintelor nu ma pot orienta. Sunt pierduta. Nu cred ca sunt o scriitoare, sincer nu am crezut niciodata ca am talent. Scrisul si cititul in limba mea au fost doar mediul prin care am supravietuit. Apoi am ajuns intr-un loc unde absolut niciunul din cuvintele care mi-au construit fiinta nu mai aveau nicio insemnatate. Nici una. Am fost pierduta. Totusi, am incercat sa mi le insusesc pe cele ale lor, chinuindu-ma sa descifrez fiecare nuanta, sa detectez trasaturile cuiva dupa cuvintele folosite, pe scurt, sa ma pot orienta in noua mea limba. Cu fiecare zi care trecea, stiam tot mai sigur ca nu voi fi niciodata in stare sa ma simt stapana pe acea limba. Poate dupa 20 de ani, 30 de ani. Nu m-am simtit in stare sa ma inham la o asemenea munca. Ironia face ca si acolo mi-am castigat painea tot din scris. Scriam revista asociatiei pentru care lucram. Tot ce scriam imi parea exterior, fals, strain. Instrainata de limba in care ma desfasuram, m-am instrainat de mine insami. Am pierdut legatura cu mine. De aici au inceput toate celelalte.

Astazi am dat peste un text, scris de un autor de origine turco-evreiasca, Moris Farhi. Nu stiu nimic despre el, decat minimele informatii de pe site si de pe wikipedia. Nu stiu mai nimic nici despre organizatia pe care o serveste. Tot ce stiu este acest text, in care el explica, mai bine decat am putut sa o fac eu, ce se intampla cu un scriitor in exil. Redau un pasaj din textul lui, pe care il puteti citi integral aici.

The first condition we should always remember is that writers are wordsmiths. Language is their only tool. Unlike other artists - painters or composers who may be able to create their art anywhere - displaced writers face an unenviable choice. They must either continue writing in their native language in a foreign land or learn to write in a new and totally unfamiliar language, one steeped in its own traditions.

Either option, particularly if the displaced writers are of a certain age, is a Sisyphean task. Those over 35 will have arrived at the host country cooked in the splendour of their native literature and in the fine nuances of their mother tongues. Moreover, because of their mature age, displaced writers would find it virtually impossible to master a discipline as complex as a language foreign to them in every sense. (I managed to surmount that difficulty only because I came to England when I was still a youngster. But imagine a Sudanese writer who has never heard English spoken nor ever encountered the Latin alphabet, trying to adapt himself to living and writing in London or Oslo or Berlin.)

Consequently, in most cases, displaced writers will be forced to continue writing in their own mother tongue. You might say that, in a manner of speaking, is precisely what a painter or composer does, so why not the writer?

The answer is simple: language is what philosophers would call "hyle", a quintessence - and a living quintessence at that. Though in its basic confection, it remains the same, a language evolves day by day. It constantly nurtures itself either through the perpetual flow of its people's innate poetry and vernacular or through influences from other languages. Sometimes a language even incorporates foreign words. Consequently, when writers are banished from the land where their language continues to evolve, they find themselves more and more alienated from that language. Soon they start losing the fresh nuances of their mother tongue and fail to comprehend the etymology, even the logic, of the new words. Thereafter it's a fall into the void. They lose their mastery of their mother tongue. That loss erodes their confidence. Thence, aware that what they write no longer carries the pedigree of their former work, they either cease to write or, bravely and desperately, try to learn the host language. Since in the latter case, they more often than not fail, they disintegrate. They become invisible even to themselves.

3 comments:

d said...

exact asta imi spunea cineva acum cateva zile, ca n-ar pleca din tara, cuvintele sunt aproape tot ce are :)

ai dreptate, daca am trai asa... 500 de ani, sa zici ca avem timp sa nah. dar nu traim atat.

si mie mi se pare f bine ca tu incerci sa stabilesti unde a fost "fractura" >:D<

stingo said...

Da.

Alt.L said...

Gombrowicz in Argentina...