Smarginature: Residues, Rebeginnings, Untranslated-in-Translation

Smarginature is a project I started last year with Natasha Soobramanien, exploring the ways in which language, or languages—written, spoken, or overheard—can elude definition and trespass boundaries. The title comes from a word used by Elena Ferrante in the Neapolitan Novels, that describes the way in which one of the protagonists intermittently experiences a state of psychological and existential crisis. ‘Smarginature’ cannot be translated literally in English, and it was translated by Ann Goldstein as ‘dissolving boundaries’, or ‘dissolving margins’. It is in this untranslatability-in-translation that the conversations between Natasha and I took place.

Our conversations resulted in three texts, Smarginature: Residues (Echoes) Smarginature: Rebeginnings (Shadows) by myself and Five Notes on Smarginature by Natasha.

We also commissioned new texts by Juliet Jacques, Hannah Black, Bhanu Kapil, Jen Hofer, Ashaki M. Jackson and Mg Roberts. They are all available online here.

The project continues at Lydgalleriet in Bergen on 26 and 27 November, where we will welcome Cia Rinne and Claire Potter to present two performances and lead two workshops. 

During the same weekend, Natasha and I will record Radio Ferrante, in which we have invited a number of guests to discuss their involvement with the Italian writer’s work with us. These will be made available online as podcasts, between December and January.

…to be continued…

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