Hans Brückner

Visual artist and translator

Visual Artist’s Translation of Flatey–Frey: A Short Story in Three Parts

The first part of the short story is about my original and failed attempt to revisit, on the poet’s request, an existing translation. The second part is about the translation’s first renaissance. This time, I was informed of the translation’s purpose, but could still not shake off the feeling of blindness towards my task. Equally dissatisfying were the dealings with the publisher who made changes without consulting me. When the translation finally appeared in a published book, I put it away without so much as opening it. The third and final part is about yet another request regarding the same translation, which was to appear in a trilingual publication. This is the translation’s second renaissance, the moment when I escaped the void and could finally begin to draw on my original attempt. At that point, the translation felt as if I was reworking my way through it as a painter: You have a draft and some idea of the work’s composition, followed by a careful attention to all its details. Then, you search for a visual solution regarding all aspects of the original. Simultaneously, you try to come to terms with the still visible white spots that are also on some maps and can remain impossible to erase.