Übersetzungsprojekt: Zaubernacht

Working on it 🙂  Ich freue mich sehr, dass ich diesen wunderbaren Roman von Steven Millhauser übersetzen darf.  In einem Interview aus dem Jahr 2003, das in Transatlantica erschienen ist, sagt der Autor über „Zaubernacht“ (Enchanted Night):

I was searching for a form that allowed me to use many different voices, to use a host of pronouns. The conception of the work was musical—a theme and variations on a summer night. (…) It’s almost as if I wished to attempt in stricter, more lyrical form my own miniature version of a Dos Passos novel. Exactly what impelled me to choose a summer night is mysterious even to myself, though summer nights abound in my work …
– Steven Millhauser*

Der musikalische Grundeinfall von „Zaubernacht“ spiegelt sich einerseits im Stil wieder. Der Text ist sehr lyrisch, was für die Übersetzung natürlich besonders spannend ist. Weit wichtiger als die genaue Übersetzung ist an vielen Stellen der Klang der Worte, etwa bei den vielen Alliterationen oder Reimen, und der Satzrhythmus.

Das Musikalische setzt sich auch auf inhaltlicher Eben fort. In dem Buch werden unterschiedliche Motive kunstvoll zu einer zauberhaften Melodie verwoben. Eines meiner liebsten Motive des Romans sind die alten, „vergessenen“ Puppen, die plötzlich in dieser „Zaubernacht“ auf dem Dachboden  zum Leben erwachen. Nachfolgend eine kurze Szene:

Fresh from her flirtation with the soldier, who already bores her to death, Columbine walks with a swish of skirts and a flutter of her fan past old trunks, a tripod without a camera, a dusty baseball glove holding a grass-stained baseball into an unknown part of the attic. (…) As she rounds a barrel she sees something on the floor: it is a figure sprawled on the ground, disgustingly drunk no doubt. But at once she recognizes the loose blouse and the balloon sleeves. He is lying on his back, his head turned to the side, one arm outstretched and the other crossed over his chest. A line of moonlight lies across his throat like a bright scar. Beside the fingers of the outstretched hand lies a gun. Columbine hesitates. She does not like difficulties. Can the imbecile finally have done what he has always threatened to do? Irritably she prods the figure with her foot. It is like pushing against a sack of flour. Pierrot’s attentions irk her, his very existence puts her nerves on edge, but she is used to him and does not relish the absence of opportunities for disdain She bends over, shakes his shoulder harshly, lifts and lowers the limp hand on his chest. She kneels beside him, touches his cheek. Limp, dead: in death he is almost beautiful. Something stirs in her, deep down. „Please,“ she whispers, stroking his face. Pierrot’s eyes spring open, he stares at her mournfully. „Idiot!“ she cries. She leaps to her feet, looks furiously down at him, and strides off into the dark, though not before glancing at him over her shoulder. Pierrot, his cheek warm from her touch, watches her swish around a corner, then rises nimbly to his feet and sets off in doleful pursuit.
– Steven Millhauser, Enchanted Night

„Zaubernacht“ wird voraussichtlich im Herbst 2016 beim Septime Verlag erscheinen. Stay tuned!


* Marc Chénetier, „An Interview with Steven Millhauser“, Transatlantica [Online], 1 | 2003, abgerufen am 13. Jänner 2016.

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