Re Translation

The Yellow Wallpaper (1899)

Author: Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Translated back to English from Russian translation (translated to Russian by Sergey Trofimov)

From Chapter one:

Original text

The paint and paper look as if a boys’ school had used it. It is stripped off–the paper in great patches all around the head of my bed, about as far as I can reach, and in a great place on the other side of the room low down. I never saw a worse paper in my life.
One of those sprawling flamboyant patterns committing every artistic sin.
It is dull enough to confuse the eye in following, pronounced enough to constantly irritate and provoke study, and when you follow the lame uncertain curves for a little distance they suddenly commit suicide–plunge off at outrageous angles, destroy themselves in unheard of contradictions.
The color is repellent, almost revolting; a smouldering unclean yellow, strangely faded by the slow-turning sunlight.
It is a dull yet lurid orange in some places, a sickly sulphur tint in others.
No wonder the children hated it! I should hate it myself if I had to live in this room long.

Re translated text

The wallpaper looked as if children painted scribbles over it. Above the bed head, higher, than I could reach, and in many places on the opposite wall – gaped large stains of ripped out wallpaper. I would never choose an ornament like this one. It was tasteless, gaudy and dull enough to embarrass the gaze: and at the same time precise enough to constantly irritate. This ornament urged for study, but at the moment the eyes would focus on the incorrect lines from a close distance, they suddenly disappeared, transforming into outrageous angles and dissolve in unprecedented contradictions.

The color of the wallpaper was repealing. It seemed almost disgusting – sort of a dirty yellow and smoldering fire, strangely faded under the sun light. In some places it was penetrated by a fire-orange tone, but mostly it was ill, greenish-yellow.

No wonder that the kids didn’t like the wallpaper. I hated it myself already, even though I wasn’t living in that room yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s