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ISSN 1409-6900 | UDK 82+7     Blesok no. 116 | volume  | October-November, 2014



                     Peer-reviewed journal
Blesok no. 116October-November, 2014

“The Absence of Language Is the Reason for My Eternal Insomnia”: We Are Summoned to Resurrect the Word

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Elizabeta Bakovska


“The Absence of Language Is the Reason for My Eternal Insomnia”: We Are Summoned to Resurrect the Word

July 2017

I read Ognen Čemerski’s book Holy Sail! Or about Translating and Trans-faring (Триста ветрила! Или за преведувањето и за пребродувањето, Блесок, 2015), in which he writes about his experiences, adventures, challenges and excitements when translating the novel Moby Dick, soon after its publishing. Almost from the very beginning of this reading, I wanted to write something about the book, and as the reading advanced, this feeling was becoming stronger and stronger. I also spoke with Ognen and wrote to him in November and December 2015, announcing this intention of mine. And yet, here I am, finally writing this text more than a year and a half later. I can find many reasons for this delayed writing, but there is only one truth – all this time, the pressing need to write about this book could not overcome the equally big resistance inside me; the resistance precisely towards writing about it.
     The above might seem paradoxical, but it comes down to the fact that I initially wanted to write a paper in which I would praise not only the book, but also the thinking, labour and dedication that Ognen had. I wanted my paper to be a critical review, i.e. professional, objectively and (“)scholarly(“) written one. It was this wish that I had that kept on giving birth to my resistance to such a paper, because I simply could not write about this book in such a way. Holy Sail! Was not (and is not) only an expert piece that I found exciting, but also an intimate, personal writing, which touched me not only when it comes to intellectual thrill, but it also (and maybe much more) provoked a spontaneous emotional reaction inside me. Therefore, I have finally accepted as inevitable that this review that I write at times becomes overflooded by the personal. Thus, I am leaving this text that follows, just as the book that it speaks about, to shape itself as a free hybrid of the scholarly and lyrical.
     Holy Sail! Is the first original book by Ognen, published when he was forty years old. The adjective original is here, of course, used conditionally, because this book of around two hundred pages, organised in six parts, concluded with a small English-Macedonian seafaring glossary of 262 units, comes after a

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