The art of translation: Alessandra Serra and Harold Pinter

The art of translation: Alessandra Serra and Harold Pinter

At PinterMonAmour we usually start the week with a poem.

We are opening this week of snow and Christmas lights  with the poetic sense of an encounter: that with the person who brought the essence of Pinter to Italy, of his works, his silences, the musicality of which only a few people would have been able to feel, to understand and to transfer in a translation.

Alessandra smiles as she opens the door. And somehow we find ourselves sitting at the table together as if time were a dilated dot, and all the works I read which bore her name next to Pinter’s and my yearning to listen to her talk, had always been there waiting for it all to begin.

We immediately get the small talk over with: “What shall we talk about? Pinter is a brilliant author “ Alessandra begins without waiting for us to ask any questions. “Pinter says terrifying things which should make you laugh. The audience is supposed to laugh. “Many of his works are comedies and in the countries in which they are performed his humour is well understood. Chekhov wished the same for his works.

As Alessandra speaks, theatre and real life merge together, as do the memories, those that make us smile, those that move us, those that are exactly as we expected them to be. Coincidences and similarities, because in the end Pinter wrote about what is human, in all its facets , and of what would seem impossible, because  of our reticence to see and discover. He wrote about us, about others, about relations, about politics, about love, about betrayal, about war.

From Alessandra’s life stories, Pinter emerges as the author we have always known, with his intellectual honesty and his ability to denounce anyone committing an injustice beyond all ideologies. With his passions, such as that for cricket and for Proust, whose works he knew by heart. With his music, his ability to rediscover a different rhythm of the human spirit, also made of pauses and silences.

It was supposed to be an interview about Pinter. It became a journey, in time and into the soul, during which Alessandra plunged us into different lives, memories and feelings, revealing unxpressed thoughts. Without us even realizing it evening  fell, an evening imbued with a different sense, like those evenings when you ago to see a play by Pinter.


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