Legacy as a translator

La traducción es el agua de mi tercera sed

Quote from Silva Estrada’s essay on his translation methods, entitled Translation is the water of my third thirst (“La traduccion es el agua de mi tercera sed”). He writes:

” ‘One consecrates oneself to others in order to know oneself better,’ my friend the Swiss poet Vahé Godel, translator from Armenian to French, has written. Although there could be a great deal of truth in that affirmation, I confess I have never, at least in a conscious manner, guided myself by that desire. But in each translation, inevitably, one undoubtedly projects oneself up to a certain point and finds a piece of oneself, a partial, mysterious affinity which had not been felt at the beginning of the work. I want to add that I do not only translate poets for whom I have an explicit affinity, but also those whose strange palpitation, quite different and distant from my own, captivates me from the first reading. I translate (I prefer to say: I pour) as though moved by a fatality, a passion and an insatiable curiosity of my spirit, and a need to give myself to others, to open my borders.”

Alfredo Silva Estrada