A bilingual dialogue on Trafika Europe Radio between Franca Mancinelli and her translator John Taylor, about her new book The Butterfly Cemetery: Selected Prose 2008-2021 (The Bitter Oleander Press), a collection of autobiographical narratives and personal essays on landscape and poetics. The dialogue can be found in the « Bowery Poetry Speaks » series of Trafika Europe Radio.
The English-language transcript of the dialogue is available on the literary website Eurolitkrant. An excerpt:
Franca Mancinelli: « Writing gives me this marvelous opportunity of living beyond myself, on a threshold where I stop being myself and meet up with other living forms. It is a way of existing that is not allowed in everyday life, except at the cost of great— even fatal—dangers. This is why, when writing, one can live at times within the perception of something similar to a recovery, to a reparation: it is as if language, our mother tongue, gives back to us a form of presence that belongs to us much more than that to which we are constrained to by the world: a presence closer to the origin, to the source of all things. Inside the creative matter of language, we can again live through the primordial experiences, the childhood of humanity: speaking through silence, stammering and interrupting ourselves, shattering thought, trying to find the names of things. Staring into their eyes, awakening them as if from a long sleep. »