Page 12


Three Ways to Shape a Better World With Your Investments Domini Social Equity Fund* afters growth opportunities through a portfolio of stocks selected for their social and environmental performance. Domini Social Bond Funcr provides diversification while supporting homeowners and small business owners in struggling communities, Domini Money Market Account’ offers safety and liquidity through FDICinsured deposits that help promote community development. Please obtain a current prospectus for more complete information including risks, fees, and expenses, by calling 1-800-530-5321 or online at wwwodomini,com, Domini SOCIAL INVESTMENTS’ The Way > /rived Millier? Visit or Call us at 1-800-530-5321 the Build Dacia; *Hy Fund end the Domini Social send Fund are subject is NMI risks sad we 1111110rEnt, You My lose mow The helot Social Baal Find’s cemintmIty davalopasal investmails inif he honied and carry greeter credit risks thee the Fins outer Investments. IN WM *Wel Rued Feed cerrentiy holds a law percentage el Its prilallo to inartgagekacked uterine*. Dm% perigee at hill* interest nun these miceritiss may prepay the principal doe, notticli may lamer the Fold’s return by causing It to reinvest at lamer interest rates, 0311 *vestment Services tIC, Interview, continued from page 36 rather than what it can do for the poet as a person. FM: Are you more concerned with remaining faithful to the original document by crafting a more literal translation for it or with making a new product beautiful in English, in the new language? KM: My aesthetic is really to sustain both. I don’t compromise on the metaphors. I don’t replace a metaphor for another. The idea is to create poems in translation that widen the expanse of the language. Sometimes when we say beautiful we really just mean familiar, meaning echoing something that has already been thought of as beautiful. Precisely because the poets I’ve translated are 20th-century people and they’ve read world poets and have been influenced by them, there is that possibility that much of what I translate may be familiar to begin with. The cultures of people with high literacy are not that separate because they have access to each other. So, I really try to make the strange or unfamiliar beautiful. I would pursue the literal until I exhaust it and see if my pursuit of the strange utterance can render something that is interesting and surprising. FM: And in the service of the new language. KM: In the service of the new language. FM: Something that will broaden, rejuvenate, expand, English, in this case. KM: I don’t throw out lines, I don’t throw adjectives out. I would use the thesaurus a lot to see what one language offers that can bear what the other language has. FM: Jorie Graham [Pulitzer Prize winning poet] has said that English is one of the richest languages in the worldif not the richestbecause it’s such an amalgam of languages, including Arabic. But its use is poor; it doesn’t know its own power. KM: Because that’s the level of interaction that English has wanted to have with the world. Look at how much the French language is in our world and even in our literaturegenre, enjambment. Which realms of world culture has your language penetratedthese are things you’re talking to people about. If everybody knows the words “check” and “visa,” then that’s what you’re talking to people about. FM: And your own people? KM: And your own people as well. But that’s the conversation that you’re having with the world. And the Arabic words that have come into the English language in the last ten years, what are they? “Hamas,” “intifada,” “Al Qaeda.” Can you think of anything else? “Imam.” I don’t think that’s what the Arab world or the Islamic world has been trying to tell the rest of the world, but this is what came through. But also you can say the Islamic world is talking about jihad in many ways. You know in the ’70s Salamu-alaikam was a popular phrase. FM: Peace onto you my brother. KM: Yeah, but now I think the Arab world is kind of feeling caged, scared, and very feisty. And I would say rightfully scared during a tenacious moment. I can understand almost anything that happens over there. Understand it, not abide by it. Understand that people have been pushed to the limits. FM: Given your interest in translating the work of poets linked to Iraq, to what extent are you motivated by a kind of humanist translationtranslation as a way to increase knowledge about an “other” in the hope this would lead toward greater empathy? KM: I first want to say something about increasing knowledge. You know that now there’s greater interest in Arabic translation than ever before, and Arab culture. Much of the interest in translation is really a matter of spying. The U.S. government is finding that local translators are somewhat biased, as they would naturally be, I imagine, and try not to incriminate their own people. So the government wants to have American citizen translators, preferably people who have nothing to do with Arab culture, or are not of Arab or Muslim descent. The other thing they’re trying to do is enhance machine translation technology to better help them tap people’s phones and bug their homes. And of course, there’s Orientalism, and as Said has informed us, you can have fields of knowledge that are geared continued on page 39 1/16/04 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 37