Title: Meqenëse Sytë (Since the Eyes)
Author: Parid Teferiçi
Place of Publication: Tirana
Year of Publication: 2003
Review: “He is very complicated in his fantasy, demanding in his choices and cultural taste which is mature in its manifestation.” (Agron Gjekmarkaj)
In Obot, While Waiting
In Obot, as he waited for the ferry to take them over to Bar, Gjergj Nikolla decided to while away the time by cheering up his twelve-year-old son (it was the first time the lad had been away from Shkodra). He took a stone, flung it across the Buna and invited him to outdo him if he could. The son smiled at the unexpected challenge from his father, chose a stone with great care and clambered down to the riverside.
Clasping the stone to throw it farther than his father’s and perhaps even to the other bank, he felt a sharp pain in the palm of his hand. His wish was simply to hurl the stone and the pain as far away as he could. But he did not outdo his father, and he still has the pain to this day.
…sarebbe stato il più leggiadro e capriccioso ingegno
che avesse avuto da Giotto in qua l’arte della pittura,
se egli si fusse affaticatò tanto nelle figure ed animali,
quanto egli si affaticò e perse tempo nelle cose di prospettiva.
Carts in perspective roll on one wheel;
Horses hide behind their tails; trees – beneath the grass,
And people have no hands to greet one another.
What remains of us beyond our visual perception?
Man, in perspective, is his visual perception.
Our strongest point, our ultimate strength,
Is the fact that we appear when seen from a distance.
Levers of light, with it and only with it,
Succeed in exalting us to our dignity.
Distance is the wall which separates us
From the truth, from forms.
It is the wall where truth casts its shadow
And we can draw forms.
But there, the light, thought bright, is not enough.
How can our visual perception ever suffice?
Do not confuse visual perception with light,
As death confuses the farmer with his fields.
Exactly, in perspective, we are dead.
We are our visual perception. Death – a form.
They shoot at me where I am not to be found.
It comes to pass that they raise my hand from the table
To see if I am not hiding there.
It comes to pass that I must give way
To someone hastening by in search of me.
It comes to pass that they set me on fire
To look for me in the darkness.
However much I stand with my back against the wall
They do not shoot me.
The extract is translated from the Albanian by Robert Elsie