prose in translation

Farold: I’m waiting for my father
I’m always waiting for my father
He’s a very busy man
He’s a very important man
Our country is a very important country
We are in a way the best in the world
People need my father and my country
My father transports very heavy crates
People let him dig up their gardens
We’re always going to countries full of mosquitoes
And full of poor people
Here is full of people who do nothing
My father makes holes to collect stones
Or to put oil in lorries It depends
He digs up the forest
He’s got everything he needs
He sells everything he needs to sell
He’s got loads of things
Loads of tools Loads of money
My father transports crates
He builds schools for the children of the workers who dig for him
I’d like to go to a real school
I think my father is someone who’s
What’s in the crates
What’s in them
I want to know
Can I see

What are they for

(from Children’s Report on the State of the World, unpublished)

Douo was four, maybe five, when his mother was taken from him. In the space of a spasm and without emotion – as though the entrusting of his firstborn to the missionaries of the Holy Spirit had encouraged him to turn away from idols and embrace the God of redemption – Douo’s father, seated amid the shaggy branches of the mangroves, communicated the troublesome secret to his wife that he had decided to hand his eldest child over to the nuns.

GASTON PAUL EFFA (from All that Blue, p3, BlackAmber Books, 2002)

...what was Beuys trying to achieve through the action Dead Mouse? Bearing in mind that the chief function of the Shaman is that of a healer, the action should in principle result in the revitalization of the representation itself. But this ‘representation’ is not the ‘art’ that is practised on the top floor of the building. The only representation is the underground action itself. Beuys’s acts (meditation on death, the cult of the fruit of life) will therefore be symbolic and will go around in circles. Beuys probably knew that, while he was recovering, the medicine-man often split and that his soul would leave his body for varying lengths of time and in different forms – as a shadow for example.

(from A Short History of the Shadow, p241, Reaktion Books, 1997)