Verbal Disengagements: Translating Language Games in Annie Abrahams’s Separation/Séparation
Born out of a generative conversation between a PhD candidate working on e-literature and an Italian poet-critic and translator working on experimental women writers, our Italian translation of Annie Abrahams’s Separation/Séparation aims at highlighting the importance of ‘behavioural code’ both in human and machinic practices and has become an inquiry into the ways in which Abrahams’s responsive literary device (involved in linguistic and extra-linguistic practices) partakes in reconfiguring our rule-guided intersubjective behaviours at the level of literary negotiation. In Abrahams’s work negotiations of visualized words are purposefully meant to undergo readjustments and modulations whose effects are rarely under complete control of either the author or the work’s reader/“empathizer”/interpellator. As Wittgenstein remarks in Philosophical Investigations, “it is in language that an expectation and its fulfilment make contact.”
Assuming, with Henry Meschonnic, that translation does not concern the sign, rather the organization of the movement of speech and the negotiation of elements such as rhythm and prosody, pauses and positions, expectations and deviations, we address the translation of an electronic work considering the procedure as constitutive of the creative act and its subjectivization. All the more poignantly in the case of Separation/Séparation, a work conceived as an exercise in the managing of respite and excess in the human-machine interaction.