Vigoda Press Performance & Lecture
Gwido Zlatkes & Ann Frenkel: “A Pushmi-pullyu: The Collaborative Multidisciplinary Work Process at Vigoda Press”
6 pm thursday, october 22
The lecture and musical performance by Gwido Zlatkes and Ann Frenkel was a wonderful way to end the first day of the annual conference. In their presentation spanning just over an hour and a half, they provided insights into the history and function of their Vigoda Press. Gwido, originally from Poland, met Ann while she was working in a university library. Primarily, the pair publishes original translations of Polish poetry set to original scores. The two also perform their own experimental theater pieces. For each book presented, Gwido discussed the original writer and his translation of the piece, after which Ann performed one of her original compositions.
One particular piece that stood out was Gwido’s translation of “Gloomy Sunday”1 performed by Ann. With her skill as a vocalist she created the proper melancholic mood for the song. This was, as they explained, the first public performance of their translation of the song. Gwido left the audience of nearly fifty people with some final thoughts. He explained that translation is like transplantation. When a flower has been transplanted properly, it blooms in its new place. It is not the same bloom as before, but it is no less beautiful. In the same way, a translation is not quite the same as the original, but if it conveys the same meaning and emotion, it is a successful one.
- 1 Also known as the “Hungarian Suicide Song” by Hungarian pianist and composer Rezső Seress in 1933. Billie Holiday’s 1941 recording is the best known version in the English-speaking world.