Anand Fadeout

Mdeii Life - Anand Krishnamoorthi's blog

Friday, August 22, 2003

This post concerns just that: translations. Not just from one language to another, but from one medium to another. Any story can be assumed to have two aspects: form and content. When translating from one medium/language to another, only the latter is translated; as the form is intrinsic to the specific medium.
The thing about classics is that, unless we have access to both the original (in language and medium) and the translation, one cannot be sure if something is a good translation or not; i.e. does the translation do justice to the original.
Some works of art are said to have �achieved their form�. This means that they take their value not only from what they convey (the content), but also from how they are conveyed (the form/medium/language). Therefore, can that kind of art be really translated?
I myself aspire to be a filmmaker. There have been a thousand books, plays, and poems etc. that have been translated into films. If these films have to be considered as works of art, they have to justify the medium, as the content is already �art�. They have to add something that is unique to the new language. Another point here is that translations are also art: there is never pure art; in fact the best art is �inspired�.
The form-content dualism is a reasonably good way of identifying what can be translated and what cannot. Then there are those that are untranslatable. There are poems that lose meaning when translated, even if read/listened to in the wrong context. There are works of art that are pure language, pure form. I want to make a film that is pure cinema: untranslatable. This means that it cannot even have a written script. Pure cinema would mean nonsense read or heard. Scriptwriters would know this. There are some scenes that have to go straight from the head into celluloid: making no sense on paper.
Ok! Where did all this proto-philosophising start? I am a stuck-up reader, wishing to translate every book I read into a script. I am a stuck-up person who wishes to translate every life experience into a film. I came across some things that cannot be. I am humbled!

9:27 pm



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