Lyn Hejinian, Aphorisms for Free (for RZ)

Camelia Elias, docente all’Università di Roskild in Danimarca, studiosa di Estetica e di Letteratura nord americana e inglese, autrice del libro “The Fragment: Towards A History And Poetics Of A Performative Genre“, traduttrice in lingua danese degli aforismi di Valeriu Butulescu e di Emil Cioran, mi segnala un componimento poetico di Lyn Hejinian, poetessa, saggista, traduttrice e giornalista americana, nata nel 1941.

Nell’alveo della riflessione dell’aforisma sull’aforisma, il componimento di Lyn Hejinian, intitolato “Aphorisms for Free (for RZ)”, è del tutto particolare, praticamente un unicum. Esso non è una raccolta di aforismi sull’aforisma, ma una poesia o poema sull’aforisma.

Emergono alcuni pensieri che si inseriscono all’interno di una visione pessimistica sull’aforisma. Questi aforismi sull’aforisma si potrebbero quasi definire degli anti-aforismi. Ecco alcuni esempi: “The aphorist asserts, l’aforista asserisce”, “Aphorisms explain nothing, L’aforisma non spiega nulla”, “Aphorisms are delightful but not to be trusted, Gli aforismi sono deliziosi ma non bisogna crederci”, “Audiences for aphorisms aren’t large, L’audience degli aforismi non è vasta”, “The aphorist wheezes, l’aforista ha il respiro di un asmatico”

Altri pensieri sull’aforisma sono invece più metaforici e ampliano la prospettiva sull’aforisma: “Aphorisms are retrieved from imaginary bottles, Gli aforismi sono stati ritrovati dentro bottiglie immaginarie”, “Aphorisms tossed into a fountain, aphorisms thrown into a pond among pennies ignored by mottled carp, Aforismi caduti in una fontana, aforismi gettati in uno stagno come un penny ignorato da una carpa screanzata”, “There are impecunious aphorists and generous aphorists, the two easily confused, Ci sono aforisti senza denaro e aforisti generosi, ambedue facilmente confondibili”, “The best aphorism exerts more force than a small criminal act” “Il miglior aforisma esercita più forza che un piccolo atto criminale”, “Let’s construct an aphorism arena for aphoristic opera, “Ci sia consentito di costruire un arena di aforismi per un’opera aforistica”.

Altri pensieri, infine, sono dei veri e propri versi poetici sull’aforisma, con uno stile quasi ermetico: “If I had a duck I would take it to swim in Lake Aphorism, Se avessi una papera la porterei a nuotare nel Lago degli Aforismi”, “Like a blue geranium an aphorism casts a shadow of shaking milk, Come un geranio blu l’aforisma getta un ombra sul frappè”.

Vista la difficoltà di tradurre alcuni giochi di parole e la musicalità di alcuni versi, riporto qui di seguito il testo originale senza traduzione:


Aphorisms for Free (for RZ)

Aphorisms explain nothing
The aphorist applies a paddle to a sentence and then leans back to enjoy its drift
That’s my kind of aphorism
Aphorisms rhythmic, syncopated, and suggestive
Aphorisms anew
Let’s enjoy a plethora of aphorisms
Aphorisms point toward what remains to be thought about what is coming to be known
Let’s have a long aphorism
Aphorisms are like someone else’s lost earrings that, once found, need to be returned because they aren’t rightfully one’s own
A Mandarin aphorism, an aphorism in Urdu, an aphorism in French
An aphorism in a quandary
The aphorist will try again
Let’s construct an aphorism arena for aphoristic opera
Aphorisms challenge each other, bravo, and suggest that the re-decomposition of the cultural expertise they exemplify will clear the field for a bit of creative (though perhaps confused) tranquility
Like a blue geranium an aphorism casts a shadow of shaking milk
The best aphorism exerts more force than a small criminal act
An aphorism comes over a hill
Aphorisms are delightful but not to be trusted
Aphorisms are done for the moment
Aphorisms are retrieved from imaginary bottles
Aphorisms build
That the roadside weeds quiver in the shared common wind is aphoristic
The aphorism takes the logical pathway from “Z” to “take it all in”
In aphorisms recurrence wells up and overflows
Audiences for aphorisms aren’t large
The aphorism is threaded through patterns of similarity and then gets snagged
An aphorism is an adventure of nomenclature, grammar, and mind
We aphorize across the flap
The aphorist wheezes
This aphorism was prepared on 8 or 9 August for use on 2 or 8 October: Satisfactions are gaps in desire
Here’s an aphorism best understood after a bit of wine and a lot of laughs when we’re in a mood to approve of each other and ourselves to an injudicious degree: The only escape from pessimism is forever to abandon regret
An aphorist has gone to court
According to one trusted aphorism, one should provide 4 hors d’oeuvres per person at a wedding and 2 per person at a funeral
Narrative aphorisms are the longest ones
According to the favorite aphorism of my mother (herself an aphorist, deceased) comparisons are odious
If I had a duck I would take it to swim in Lake Aphorism
The aphorist exacerbates
An aphorism that makes three points should make one wary (or weary), as it’s apt to be too logical, the logic is apt to be syllogistic, and the synthesis is apt to bring about the death of the aphorism
Aphorisms spat, aphorisms spread, aphorisms sliced or split
The aphorist deliquesces
The aphorist never describes
There is no aphoristic diatribe, no aphoristic explanation
No aphorism is safe from foxes
Aphorists may meet, aphorisms never
The aphorist asserts
An aphorist named Cappuccino, an aphorist named El Bandito
Thumbnail aphorisms
Unabridged aphorisms
All-purpose aphorisms
Aphorisms tossed into a fountain, aphorisms thrown into a pond among pennies ignored by mottled carp
There are impecunious aphorists and generous aphorists, the two easily confused
Sweaty aphorists with sweet aphorisms
Equine aphorists with grass aphorisms
Sporadic aphorisms
Infinite aphorisms
Aphorisms in my book and aphorisms in my head