TATI’S TRANSLATIONS // Your Letters Always Smell of Faded Roses by Lesya Ukrainka

Lesya Ukrainka

Your letters always smell of faded roses, my poor withered flower! Fine, delicate fragrances are like the memory of a treasured dream long gone. And now nothing can streak my heart like these fragrances that subtly, gently, yet persistently and irrevocably remind me of what my heart portends, and why I don’t want to, and can’t believe. My friend, my sweetheart, you were made for me; how is it possible for me to live alone now that I’ve known another life? Oh, I knew another life, full of a harsh happiness stabbed with regret and anguish that burned and tortured me, making me wring my hands and batter the ground in a feral desire to die, to disappear, to leave this world of happiness and woe that are so insanely interwoven… And then my happiness and woe were cut off suddenly, like a child crying, and I saw you. I had seen you before, but not as transparent, and now I came to you with all my soul, like a tearful child goes to embracing arms, seeking tenderness. It’s fine that you have never held me; it’s fine that there is no memory of kissing me, for I am coming to you from the captivity of tightest embraces and sweetest kisses! Only with you I am not alone; only with you do I feel like home. Only you can save me from myself. Everything that wearies me, everything that tortures me, I know you can take it away with your slender, trembling-like-a-string hand; everything that darkens my soul, I know you can chase it away with the fire in your gleaming eyes; no, people who are hardened to life don’t have such eyes! Those eyes are from other lands…

My friend, my sweetheart, why do your letters smell of faded roses?

My friend, my sweetheart, why can’t I wash your hands, your hands that are trembling like strings, with my desperate tears?

My friend, my sweetheart, will I die alone? Oh, please, take me with you, and let those white roses wither above us!

Take me with you.

Have you another dream where I don’t exist? Oh, my sweetheart! I will create a world for you, a whole new world of new dreams. I have begun a new dream of life for you, I have died and been reborn for you. Take me with you. I am so afraid to live! Even if I would be young again, I don’t want to live. Please take me with you, and we will walk quietly amidst a forest full of dreams, and we will vanish together, somewhere far away. And in the place that we lived life, let all roses fade and smell like your lovely letters, my sweetheart…

I reach my hands within the darkness to you, please, take me with you, save me. Oh, save me, my sweetheart!

And let the white and pink, the red and blue roses fade away.

7/11/1900
(Written four months before the addressee’s death.)

Твої листи завжди пахнуть зов’ялими трояндами, ти, мій бідний, зів’ялий квіте! Легкі, тонкі пахощі, мов спогад про якусь любу, минулу мрію. І ніщо так не вражає тепер мого серця, як сії пахощі, тонко, легко, але невідмінно, невідборонно нагадують вони мені про те, що моє серце віщує і чому я вірити не хочу, не можу. Мій друже, любий мій друже, створений для мене, як можна, щоб я жила сама, тепер, коли я знаю інше життя? О, я знала ще інше життя, повне якогось різкого, пройнятого жалем і тугою щастя, що палило мене, і мучило, і заставляло заламувати руки і битись, битись об землю, в дикому бажанні згинути, зникнути з сього світу, де щастя і горе так божевільно сплелись… А потім і щастя, і горе обірвались так раптом, як дитяче ридання, і я побачила тебе. Я бачила тебе і раніше, але не так прозоро, а тепер я пішла до тебе всею душею, як сплакана дитина іде в обійми того, хто її жалує. Се нічого, що ти не обіймав мене ніколи, се нічого, що між нами не було і спогаду про поцілунки, о, я піду до тебе з найщільніших обіймів, від найсолодших поцілунків! Тільки з тобою я не сама, тільки з тобою я не на чужині. Тільки ти вмієш рятувати мене від самої себе. Все, що мене томить, все, що мене мучить, я знаю, ти здіймеш своєю тонкою тремтячою рукою, – вона тремтить, як струна, – все, що тьмарить мені душу, ти проженеш променем твоїх блискучих очей, – ох, у тривких до життя людей таких очей не буває! Се очі з іншої країни…

Мій друже, мій друже, нащо твої листи так пахнуть, як зів’ялі троянди?

Мій друже, мій друже, чому ж я не можу, коли так, облити рук твоїх, рук твоїх, що, мов струни, тремтять, своїми гарячими слізьми?

Мій друже, мій друже, невже я одинока згину? О візьми мене з собою, і нехай над нами в’януть білі троянди!

Візьми мене з собою.

Ти, може, маєш яку іншу мрію, де мене немає? О дорогий мій! Я створю тобі світ, новий світ нової мрії. Я ж для тебе почала нову мрію життя, я для тебе вмерла і воскресла. Візьми мене з собою. Я так боюся жити! Ціною нових молодощів і то я не хочу життя. Візьми, візьми мене з собою, ми підемо тихо посеред цілого лісу мрій і згубимось обоє помалу, вдалині. А на тім місці, де ми були в житті, нехай троянди в’януть, в’януть і пахнуть, як твої любі листи, мій друже…

Крізь темряву у простір я простягаю руки до тебе: візьми, візьми мене з собою, се буде мій рятунок. О, рятуй мене, любий!

І нехай в’януть білі й рожеві, червоні й блакитні троянди.

7.11.1900
(Написано за чотири місяці до смерті адресата.)

Original text by LESYA UKRAINKA
Translation & Art by TETIANA ALEKSINA

© All rights reserved 2022

TATI’S TRANSLATIONS // Axis by Alice Munro (Excerpt)

Avie waited until they were comfortable to tell Grace about her dream.

“You must never tell anybody,” she said.

In the dream, she was married to Hugo, who really was hanging around as if he hoped to marry her, and she had a baby, who cried day and night. It howled, in fact, till she thought she would go crazy. At last she picked up this baby—picked her up, there never was any doubt that it was a girl—and took her down to some dark basement room and shut her in there, where the thick walls insured that she wouldn’t be heard. Then she went away and forgot about her. And it turned out that she had another girl baby anyway, one who was easy and delightful and grew up without any problems.

But one day this grown daughter spoke to her mother about her sister hidden in the basement. It turned out that she had known about her all along—the poor warped and discarded one had told her everything—and there was nothing to be done now. “Nothing to be done,” this lovely, kind girl said. The abandoned daughter knew no way of life but the one she had and, anyway, she did not cry anymore; she was used to it.

“That’s an awful dream,” Grace said. “Do you hate children?”

“Not unreasonably,” Avie said.

“What would Freud say? Never mind that, what would Hugo say? Have you told him?”

“Good God, no.”

“It’s probably not as bad as it seems. You’re probably just worried again about being pregnant.”

Эви подождала, пока они устроятся на сиденьях, и начала рассказывать Грейс свой сон.

«Только никому не разболтай», – предупредила она.

Во сне она была замужем за Хьюго – парень действительно не давал ей проходу в надежде, что Эви согласится стать его женой, – и у неё был грудной ребёнок, который плакал день и ночь. Вернее, орал благим матом, доводя её до белого каления. В конце концов она взяла младенца – это совершенно точно была девочка, – и снесла в тёмную подвальную комнату с толстыми стенами. Она заперла дочку там, чтобы не слышать её бесконечного плача. И ушла, позабыв о ней. А потом оказалось, что у неё есть ещё одна малышка, спокойная и милая, которая выросла, не доставляя родителям никаких хлопот.

Но однажды уже повзрослевшая дочь заговорила с матерью о своей сестре, спрятанной в подвале. Оказалось, что она знала о ней с самого начала – сломленная и позабытая всеми затворница рассказала своей сестре всё, – но теперь с этим ничего уж не поделать. «Ничего уж не поделать», – кротко повторила любимая дочь, отрада и утешение матери. Всё равно, её покинутая сестра ничего не знала о жизни снаружи, она больше не плакала и давно смирилась со своей участью.

«Какой ужасный сон», – сказала Грейс. «Ты что, ненавидишь детей?»

«Не без причины», – ответила Эви.

«Что бы на это сказал Фрейд? Ладно, это неважно, но вот что бы сказал твой Хьюго? Ты ему рассказывала?»

«Боже, нет».

«Возможно, всё не так плохо, как кажется. Наверное, ты просто опять переживаешь, что забеременела».

Original story by ALICE MUNRO
Translation by TETIANA ALEKSINA

© All rights reserved 2011

Oops!… We Did It Again (Bilingual Вірш)

Erm… hullo there. (This is rather awkward…)

Dear Reader, the stuff that was originally posted here has been removed.

We have done this because said stuff has since been included in one of our published books. We hope you’ll believe us when we say we’re not trying to be stingy. No, this has been done to honour the people who have already spent their hard-earned money on our eBook creations.*

If, however, for some reason you’re unable to buy one of our books, and feel you’ll die without seeing this piece of writing, then please contact us via admin@unbolt.me. We won’t allow our Dear Readers to fade away in the dark. We’ll send you the piece in question, and it will be absolutely free. All you need do is ask.

* Of course, we would be like two happy puppies if you too decided to buy one of our books.

by TETIANA ALEKSINA & TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2018

TATI’S TRANSLATIONS // Desire by Sudeep Sen

Under the soft translucent linen, the ridges around your nipples harden at the thought of my tongue.

You — lying inverted like the letter ‘c’ — arch yourself deliberately, wanting the warm press of my lips, their wet to coat the skin that is bristling, burning, breaking into sweats of desire — sweet juices of imagination.

But in fact, I haven’t even touched you. At least, not yet.

Твой пеньюар стекает мягкими полупрозрачными волнами, и рябь вокруг сосков дрожит при мысли о моем языке.

Ты выгибаешься упругой тетивой, предвкушая прохладное прикосновение моих губ. Их влажность успокоит твою пылающую, пьянящую, пряную кожу, истекающую липкими соками желания.

Хотя я еще даже не коснулся тебя. Пока не коснулся.

Poem by SUDEEP SEN
Translation by TETIANA ALEKSINA

© All rights reserved 2017

Privilegee (based on a true story)

I jumped into a marshrutka and climbed onto my favorite corner seat in the back row. It’s a bit higher than the other seats and you feel like you’re sitting on the upper circle at the theater. You can see and hear everything without attracting a lot of attention. Today, though, I wasn’t about to watch passengers.

I untangled the headphones that always managed to tie themselves into mysterious reef knots. It never mattered how carefully you packed them before. Then I found the next MP3 file on my phone and delved into an audio book in English. It required a hell of a lot of effort to recognize formerly familiar words now disguised in quirky pronunciations. I don’t know who invented the rules of English but this person definitely must have had an upset stomach. I had no another logical explanation as to why they mocked the human race so cruelly.

While still in a state of shock over how the word ‘cautiously’ sounded in actual fact, I hadn’t noticed that the marshrutka had not moved in a while. And I eventually realized that the leaflet advertising lessons promising guitar playing virtuosity in record time had been hovering near my nose for a suspiciously long time. I turned my head from the window that the leaflet was stuck to and looked towards the passenger compartment. Something was happening near the driver and it wasn’t a pleasant scene, that’s for sure.

An old man was standing there, waving a pensioner’s card in front of the driver’s nose. He was insisting on a free ride but the driver would not comply. There were only two priority seats, and unfortunately both were occupied. The driver suggested that the old man get off the bus and wait for the next one. This suggestion obviously wasn’t to the old man’s taste.

The old man looked highly strung, while in contrast the driver was the very image of calm. The old man threatened to write complaints to all known authorities, from the boss of the driver to the president of Ukraine. The driver, wordless, offered him a pen.

And the bus still didn’t move. Passions were rising.

The passengers quickly divided themselves into sides. The first side eagerly supported the old man, cursing the driver and government for being so heartless and humiliating poor, defenseless pensioners. The other side wisely reasoned that the bus wasn’t made of rubber and that the driver was duty bound to fulfill the daily revenue target. There was no place on Earth where a retired person could be late on a Saturday morning.

I sat on my VIP loge in the back row of this bus theater. I was not enjoying this stage play at all. The perfect voice with posh English pronunciation was still whispering something in my ear but I was no longer listening to it. The ugly La Comédie humaine had grabbed all of my attention.

The crowd started to demand that the bus continue on its route. Someone yelled at the driver while someone else threatened to help the old man to leave the bus if he couldn’t do this on his own… and suddenly I felt unbearable shame for everything that was happening here. No. I refused to be a part of this crappy play!

I left my seat and approached the driver, holding forth a five-hryvnia note. He took it without a word, tossed it into the money box, and shut the door. The bus moved ahead.

I was back at my seat. No one said a word. The other passengers went back to their private affairs. Someone poked a nose into their phone. Someone looked out the window. Someone else continued their conversation. I tried to concentrate on my audio book again.

“Stop here!”

The bus stopped at literally two hundred meters. The old man disembarked. Only he. No one else. And when he was passing me, our eyes met. I was ready to see any emotion in his stare… gratitude, embarrassment, surprise. But hatred? What the fuck?!

A bit later, I understood the reason. At the time, however, I was dumbfounded at the unpredictability of human nature and just went back to the book. Moominmamma had called everyone to the dinner and I didn’t want to be late.

by TETIANA ALEKSINA
© All rights reserved 2017