Thursday, 4 June 2009

As theory would have it, transliteration is essentially an exercise in cartography where one system of writing is mapped into another. Its exactitude should be the primary ambition - through meticulousness and codes that allow for non-literal transliterations (where source and destination do not correspond), original forms can be fully recreated by an interested party.

So it is here, with the following presentations of these words. These are not carbon copies; they were copied by hand from notes under the duress of time and are not without omission or error. However, they are without doubt transliterations, in spite of their incompletion, in spite of their identical alphabets.

The transliteration of a text between two identical languages should be a contradiction; it is by definition not a transliteration. But what if other events, what if all that which is beyond the circle drawn by the original notebook, renders the two alphabets as entirely different systems? What if, on the face of things, the alphabets appear to be the same, what if the majuscules and serifs and medians are identical, and yet beneath the typeface invisible shifts occur, like the hidden rivers beneath Krakow? Beneath these typefaces might rivers not run?

This act is therefore one of transliteration, it is a mapping of systems. It is a necessary movement I undertake, one that allows the recreation of the original form, a form that can only now exist through its copy. Here, finally, destination precedes source. Strangers slowly become known to one another.

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