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6th ProZ.com Translation Contest: "Relationships" » English to Albanian » Entry by Blerta Alikaj


Source text in English

Translation by Blerta Alikaj (#4697) — Winner

Eroticism has this in common with an addictive drug: that there is a coercive element to its pleasure with which part of us is in complicity, and part not. Thus ever since time began men have been trying to enjoy eroticism without being destroyed by it. Societies, religions can be defined in the way they deal with this conundrum. Polygamy, monogamy with repression, monogamy with affairs, monogamy with prostitutes, serial monogamy. Not to mention individual solutions of great ingenuity, or desperation: Victor Hugo with the door knocked through the wall of his office, to let in a girl each afternoon. Auden's flair for finding call-boys in every town. Picasso who simply refused when wife and mistress demanded he choose between them. Then there is always the hair-shirt of course. But perhaps the thing to remember when you wake up with a life full of fresh paint and tortuous complications is that eroticism wasn't invented for you, nor merely for the survival of the species perhaps, but for a divinity's entertainment. Nothing generates so many opportunities for titillation and schadenfreude as eroticism. Which is why it lies at the centre of so much narrative. How the gods thronged the balconies of heaven to see the consequences of Helen's betrayal! And your friends are watching too. Your antics have put the shine on many a late-night conversation.

On the borders between mythology and history, that wily survivor Odysseus was the first who learnt to trick the gods. And perhaps his smartest trick of all was that of lashing himself to the mast before the Sirens came in earshot. There are those of course who are happy to stand at the railings, even scan the horizon. Otherwise, choose your mast, find the ropes that suit you: sport, workaholism, celibacy with prayerbook and bell... But the kindest and toughest ropes of all are probably to be found in some suburban semi-detached with rowdy children and a woman who never allows the dust to settle for too long.




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