Permission to fail

Die im Alter von 25 Jahren aus Israel nach Kanada ausgewanderte Autorin Ayelet Tsabari, die bis dahin Gedichte und Prosa auf Hebräisch geschrieben und veröffentlicht hatte, darüber, warum sie ihre Bücher in Englisch schreibt:

Hebrew was a dead language for 17 centuries. It was revived to serve a purpose: to unite Jews from disparate places who had no way of communicating but through the language of prayer. It is a sacred language, the language of God, the language of the Bible. Writing in Hebrew, therefore, comes with a challenge: one must find a way to describe the ordinary, the secular, and the profane in words once considered holy. And though it is what makes Hebrew fascinating and unique and utterly loveable, there was something in English’s relative newness, in its inclusiveness and accessibility, in our lack of shared history­, that I found liberating. English was a clean slate, an amusement park, with a vocabulary that seemed endless.

When Samuel Beckett was asked, in 1954, why he chose to write in French, he answered: out of a “need to be ill-equipped.” In writing English, I had to commit to almost always being the least fluent person in class, to having to work harder than anyone else, to producing awful work, to being more susceptible to clichés, to having my work misunderstood, to coming last. At the same time, having to express myself in fewer words was an excellent exercise in constraint. It was a place of great vulnerability, but also, permission to fail.

/ Literary Hub

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