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The Physics of Sorrow

A Conversation with Georgi Gospodinov

A Conversation with Georgi Gospodinov

A feature by Maria Dimitrova

What was the translation process like?

I wanted translation, or the impossibility of translation, to be an intrinsic part of the text. Because of that, its starting point was the untranslatability of the Bulgarian тъга (“taga”: sorrow, melancholy), the concept as well as the word itself. The text is made of various personal notes which take their structure from the notebooks I travel around with. I always have one with me, I am now probably on volume 67 or so.

Do you have it with you currently?

Yes, I always have the latest one. Though I travel a lot and carry at least the last fifteen with me.

Do you ever write on a computer?

Yes, but it all starts from the notebooks: the ideas, the phrases. I develop these further on a computer of course, and I do write prose on it, but poetry I can only write on paper. I am an analog poet. Poetry on a computer is a different genre altogether...