REMEMBRANCES AND CONFESSIONS VOLUME I by Emma Aars
110 x 180mm, 108 pages, blank and white printing, perfect bound with flaps, 2023
How do you translate a language you struggle to understand? Perhaps you are left with no other option than to write something new. This book is about picking up all the things lost in translation while reading the essays of Norwegian writer and feminist Camilla Collett (1813-1895). She is considered an important Norwegian public figure even 130 years after her death, based on how her writings on women in the 19th century impacted the early women's movement. Her novel 'Amtmannen’s Døtre' (1854-55) was an important influence behind Henrik Ibsen’s play 'A Doll’s House'. Camilla is also the writer's great-great-great-great grandmother and a woman she should have read earlier and known more about.
This project takes on the first out of ten inherited volumes of Camilla's works, published and beautifully bound in 1892. Through a collection of autobiographical and fictional texts, the writer questions how one's personal relationship to a book can be translated through various languages and materials. Writing alongside Camilla's work becomes a way of translating and exploring her works, and the imaginary relationship that emerges between them.
Remembrances and Confessions Volume I' is a series of texts loosely spinning onto the late writer's life and work. By replacing Camilla's words with her own, she merges essays with fiction, and biography with autobiography, challenging the work of the translator, and what a translation can hold.