For the time being, I carry the “wine of literature” in my pockets, or cupped between my palms, without a language, without a vessel for that bit of “wine,” which is aging somewhere in me, which will soon burst forth.
I write as if on paper fat with oil--the ink doesn’t take. Or it does.
Ikh trog nokh dervayl dem “literarishn vayn” in--di keshenes, oder in di zhmenyes, keyn shprakh nishto, keyn gefes nishto far dem bisl “vayn,” vos yert ergets in mir un vet bald-bald ufraysn.
Ikh shrayb vi af papir, vos iz fet fun boyml--se khapt nisht. Oder se klekt.
Ugh, if only thought itself could hold a pen in hand! Ugh, if only my own heart could dip itself in ink and save me the trouble!
Ekh, ven der gedank zol kenen aleyn haltn a feder in der hant! Ekh, ven dos harts zol zikh aleyn kenen ayntunken in tint un farshporn mir di arbet!
A commission, according to N., must determine who has the right to talent and who does not.
A komisye, zogt N., darf bashtimen, ver s’hot a rekht tsu hobn talant un ver nisht.
I am convinced that between “raw” thinking and refined thought there stretches a great distance, and that on that road the most worthy thought, that which fights tooth-and-nail for its right to existence, is lost in the long process of investigating every last blood cell of thought and emotion until, finally, having been pinned down and thoroughly ‘felt up’ by aesthetic judgement, it is accepted in a now pallid form. Between this now ‘solid’ thought and its expression there is also a good bit of loss, thereby making that which comes to ultimate expression also that which is feeblest and most defenseless.
Ikh bin ibergetsaygt, az fun “roye” trakhtn biz dem oysrafinirtn gedank iz a groyser mehalekh, un afn veg vert dos vertfule, dos vos grablt mit tseyn-un-negl tsum lebn--farloyrn in protses un onklapn in ale blut-tropn fun di gedank un emotsyes, biz es vert vu-nit-vu ufgenumen in a blaser forem, festgehaltn, arumgetapt mit ale inerlekhe khushim. Fuen fest-gehaltenem gedank biz tsum oysdruk geyt oykh a shpor bisl farloyrn, azoy, az dos vos kumt tsum oysdruk, iz dos umbaholfnste.
By Moyshe Nadir
Translated by Corbin Allardice