I am indebted to Susan K. Riggs for writing a reflection on my post, “No Longer in Translation,” and I am delighted to publish it in full here on my blog:
“No Longer in Translation” is an Odyssey for the 21st century and its author is a weary traveler returning home from a voyage of self-discovery that has led him to seemingly disparate geographical and biographical “ports of call”. Appreciative readers have pondered and pontificated about these “ports” for years.
As a writer, Melo’s intriguing constellation of literary themes revolving around dissonance and isolation convey a powerful sense of humanity and understanding. Now, however, the author is haunted by the Scylla and Charybdis of what he refers to as “emotional places I had never thought I’d visit”, places that he has constantly sought to translate from one world to another.
Now seemingly frustrated with his “journey of self-discovery”, he returns “home” to a simple acceptance of his multi-dimensional self. In this current work, he walks through the front door, lays down his burdensome baggage of endless self-assessment and proclaims that he will no longer attempt to interpret what he may believe is the “uninterpretable”.
While all this may sound pessimistic to some, it may simply represent the beginning of a new journey, one closer to home, for Melo has returned to a house of many mansions. Let us hope that his explorations of self will remain with him forever, perhaps less as a “quest” and more as a “re-deployment” as he moves from room to room in his splendid literary mansion, inhabiting unconnected (but always adjoining) and always well-appointed rooms of the self.
In the final analysis, his body of work will translate itself.
Susan K. Riggs
Jan. 8, 2020
Susan K. Riggs is a writer who teaches writing at Victoria College (University of Toronto). You can read more about her on the Victoria College Writing Centre web page and scrolling down to Writing Centre Instructors.