Saturday, May 21, 2016

Nonsense translation at the Jabberwocky, that is, the Jagiellonian University, Krakow

Krakow  18 May, 2016

There is a gathering. There is a clustering, custarding confluence of nonfluence, here in Krakow. After the extraordinary efforts of Olga Howlonia and Agata Holobut (and please sprinkle a couple of inter-diacritical motes and specks into their names), I found myself back in our nonsense band, on a Mission from Scrod: Olga, Agata, Sirke Happonen, and Björn Sundmark—an alliance forged over continents, conferences, conifers, and scrapyard round-the-back plastic barchairs. Calgary, London, Frankfurt, Malmö, Boston, and forty ways farther yet. And here we all are, as young and as fresh as the day is long, to give a special nonsense panel at Jagiellonian University. We were joined by the chrazy talents of Elzbieta Chrzanowska-Kluchzewska, a Professor at the Jagiellonian, to complete the set, and to talk about nonsense literature in translation. “That’s impossible!” you say (why do you always say that?), but we say nay. Or I did anyway. As you might expect, I rode my Indian nonsense hobbyhorse yet again (with extra bobs and bibbins, and the aforementioned non-linear lollipops). We spoke of translation in Finnish, Swedish, Polish, Marathi, Bengali, and Svengali, all to a most fine-smelling and accommodating crowd of students, professors, and even some sugary owls and cows.

The cold Krakovian rain raved in envy, but we prevailed—huddling forth to a celebratory after-talk lunch in a local spot. The only doleful interloper being what looked like it might be a dessert--or an emo band.

Avoiding a sorrowful end, we made our way to the train station, and a cozy berth, where another joined the band, Karolina Rybicka (whom we thank with flippers, also, for organizing).  As the train chugged anti-Krakowards, we filled the compartment with Swedish and Finnish vocal/nose flute ditties and illicit zubrowka fumes (or perhaps it was vocal/nose flute fumes and zubrowka ditties?).

The old Swedish-Polish battlefields flew by, as we headed to the next and final stop of the Nonsense Tour, Wroclaw, and the Child and the Book conference.

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