News | 2015 | Found in Translation

Revista Axxón

I've just had this cool but bizarre experience I'd like to share with you. My story "Recursion," which has already been in print several times (Tesseracts Eleven, 2007; Spinning Whorl, 2006; and Apex Online, 2006), has just been published again. This time, it's appearing in issue 265 of Revista Axxón, a science fiction webzine run by Eduardo J. Carletti out of Argentina. So I guess this means I've now been published in South America! Woohoo! Okay, that's the cool part of this whole adventure.

However, this latest publication isn't just a reprint--it's a translation into another language, so in essence, it's now a new work of art. And that's the bizarre part which has me feeling a little, well, I'm not exactly sure what I'm feeling (but it's still good). Pablo Martínez Burkett translated "Recursion" into Spanish, so the story which appears on Revista Axxón is called "Recurrencia." Beside renaming the piece, Pablo has made some other changes as well, so really, this new publication is his and not mine. It's like I'm published again but then it's like I'm not. As I said--bizarre.

I've just noticed this experience feels similar to what I go through when one of my plays is produced. In both cases the original stories are mine, but after other collaborative artists get into the mix (like translators or in those cases, dramaturges, directors, actors, and stage managers), my works seem to stop being mine and become not just ours, but seem to take on lives of their own (especially in this case where I don't even know enough Spanish to be able to read my own story anymore). And that feels, well, like I said before, bizarre.

In the past, whenever I saw my work morph into something cooler than what I originally created through the efforts of other artists, it felt pretty good. And the more I think about it, that applies in this case, too. "Recursion" may not be on a stage, but it is on a foreign-language website, and through Pablo's creative efforts, some cool new art has just been created out of an old story. It's just not mine anymore.

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