Letter from the editor
In a way, every person is always translating, always being carried across between meanings, images, personal experiences, sounds and subjectivity. Translation, thus, not only relates to the experience of bilingualism, or multilingualism, as much as it relates to the human experience of being, as the word itself state, carried across and between all of what we can sense. This is why I believe we are always living in translation. Always moving and playing around with this ever changing species that is language, leaving it, as we experience it, marked by our own approaches.
However, in this present day, and coming from the geographical context of the border here in San Diego, it would be foolish not to acknowledge that the existence in translation is more than a metaphor for a multitude of voices existing and populating our everyday lives. Here, at the border, but also in an immense variety of places, existing in translation is a lifestyle that marks the pulse of immigrants, first generation Americans, students, teachers, parents, friends.
Living in translation affects the way we, and I include myself, approach our readings, our work, our relations. Living in translation means that there will always be something missing. Unreachable. Secret. Something that is kept silent, depending on which of our languages we choose, or are forced, to live for the day.
In this issue of Alchemy, we are making a statement about that silence. By auto-translating our work, the writers and artists here were forced to experience consciously sound, style, the way that some words might just escape from you just before you catch them, the way that there’s a weirdness to both of our languages by coexisting with one another.
In this number of Alchemy, auto-translation is a theme, but it’s also an experience and a protest.
A way to attest that our multiple languages, meaning our multiple selfs, are here.
With works , from undergraduates to PhD candidates, this number of Alchemy vibrates with sounds from a Spanish that borrows from English, with authors like Raúl Alberto Escareño Cortés, Luis González, Marco Antonio Huerta, Lorena Gómez Mostajo, Migueltzinta Solís and a piece by myself. We also include an excerpt from a novel which will soon be published in Hebrew by Julia Fermentto, and a short story that deals with how language can be looked for, and how it is built, transformed and forgotten, by Gina Alexandra, whose English passes always through the experience of Armenian.
I would also like to make a special mention to Rebecca Seaberry, the amazing artist who translated the work from the issue into beautiful pieces of watercolor that are now a part of this issue.
Every piece here is an experiment, and that’s what we asked from the writers. Every piece here is in conversation with the language, or languages, that populate the mind of its creator.
I hope you enjoy this as much as I did while building it.
Thank you for reading!
MarieJo Delgadillo, editor