Matecat Translation World Cup -
Translated by the greatest translator since John Woods.
WALLY: You know, the truth is, I think I do know what really disturbs me about the work you’ve described, and I don’t even know if I can express it. But somehow it seems that the whole point of the work that you did in those workshops, when you get right down to it and you ask: what was it really about; the whole point really, I think, was to enable the people in the workshops, including yourself, to somehow sort of strip away every scrap of purposefulness from certain selected moments. And the point of it was so that you would then all be able to experience somehow just pure being. In other words you were trying to discover what it would be like to live for certain moments without having any particular thing that you were supposed to be doing. And I think I just simply object to that. I mean, I just don’t think I accept the idea that there should be moments in which you’re not trying to do anything! I think it’s our nature to do things, I think we should do things, I think that purposefulness is part of our ineradicable, basic human structure, and to say that we ought to be able to live without it is like saying that a tree ought to be able to live without branches or roots, but actually, without branches or roots it wouldn’t be a tree. I mean, it would just be a log. You see what I’m saying?
WALLY: I mean, in other words, if I’m sitting at home and I have nothing to do, well, I’d naturally reach for a book. I mean, what would be so great about just sitting there and doing nothing? It just seems absurd.
ANDRE: And if Debby is there?
WALLY: [Slight pause.] Well that’s just the same thing. I mean…I mean, is there really such a thing as two people doing nothing but just being together? I mean, would they simply be “relating,” to use the word we’re always using? I mean, what would that mean? I mean…I mean, either we’re gonna have a conversation, or we’re going to carry out the garbage, or, we’re gonna do something, separately or together. I mean, do you see what I’m saying? I mean, what does it mean to just simply sit there?
ANDRE: That makes you nervous.
WALLY: Hunh! Hunh! Why shouldn’t it make me nervous!? It just seems ridiculous to me!
ANDRE: That’s interesting, Wally. I mean, you know, you know, when I went to Ladakh in western Tibet and stayed on a farm for a month, well, there, you know, when people come over in the evening for tea, nobody says anything, unless there’s something to say, but there almost never is, so they just sit there and drink their tea, and it doesn’t seem to bother them. I mean, you see: the trouble, Wally, with always being active and doing things, is that I think it’s quite possible to do all sorts of things and at the same time be completely dead inside. I mean, you’re doing all these things, but are you doing them because you really feel an impulse to do them, or are you doing them mechanically, as we were saying before? Because I really do believe that if you’re just living mechanically, then you have to change your life.
I mean, you know, when you’re young, you go out on dates all the time, you go dancing or something, you’re floating free, and then one day you suddenly find yourself in a relationship, and suddenly everything freezes. And this can be true in your work as well. I mean, of course if you’re really alive inside, then of course there’s no problem! I mean, if you’re living with somebody in one little room and there’s a life going on between you and the person you’re living with, well then a whole adventure can be going on, right in that room. But there’s always the danger that things can go dead; then I really do think you have to kind of become a hobo or something, you know, like Kerouac, and go out on the road. I really believe that. I mean, you know, it’s not that wonderful to spend your life on the road, and my own overwhelming preference is to stay in that room if you can.
But you know, if you live with somebody for a long time, people are constantly saying: “Well! Of course it’s not as great as it used to be, but that’s only natural, the first blush of a romance goes, now that’s the way it has to be.” Now, I totally disagree with that. But I do think that you have to constantly ask yourself the question with total frankness: Is your marriage still a marriage? Is the sacramental element there? Just as you have to ask about the sacramental element in your work: is it still there? I mean, it’s a very frightening thing, Wally, to have to suddenly realize that my God! I thought I was living my life, but in fact I haven’t been a human being! I’ve been a performer! I haven’t been living, I’ve been acting! I’ve acted the role of a father, I’ve acted the role of the husband, I’ve acted the role of the friend, I’ve acted the role of the writer, director, what have you. I’ve lived in the same room with this person but I haven’t really seen them. I haven’t really heard them. I haven’t really been with them. — My Dinner With Andre
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Great couple or GREATEST COUPLE?!
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