Ognen speaks about this “opening” of the language also in his note to his translation of Moby Dick, where he says that “translating Moby Dick has proven to be a real possibility to release what the translation theorists call ‘essence’ of the language, i.e. to activate as much as possible the potential of a language to communicate with another language via its means of expression” (Чемерски, 2014: 273). The challenge of the translator led by his love for his mother tongue and by his curiosity towards it, on one hand here entails exposing Macedonian linguistic complexes (especially and foremost those about our poor vocabulary, in this case seafaring), and on the other hand questions the linguistic puritanism (especially and foremost promoted by the proofreading community, and based on the insufficient, inaccessible and unmodernised corpus of language manuals, such as dictionaries and grammar books)3F . In this, the basic starting point is that any language, including the Macedonian, is both perfect and eternally unfinished and changeable, while the translation is the means via which one can comprehend, awaken and bring to the surface all the potential that it has. It is via translation that we have the chance to shake “our own Macedonian language using its possibilities and thus give the text and also an important undertone of this word a new life – not life after death, but afterlife, in which it will live longer and better, by means that were unavailable to the author, and the Macedonian language has also rejuvenated” (Чемерски, 2015: 32). In this way one also deconstructs the illusion about the poverty of the vocabulary of a small, landlocked country, because Ognen indicates that “seafaring solutions are at hand’s reach if one draws from the language of our 19th century literature, from the language of our fishermen, our craftsmen, our skilled men and their societies, from Macedonian toponymy and etymology and from every other sphere that proves to be handy” (Ibid. 8).
Somewhere at the beginning of Holy Sail! Its author says that during the decade-long work on Moby Dick’s translation, “the themes of translation as opposed to meaning and messages, word, etymology, intertwining of languages and their mutual copulation, the layers of languages, truth, i.e. truthfulness, and the task of the one who happened to translate were open” (Ibid. 16). Of course, many more authors and translators (more outside than inside Macedonia) before him have written about the need, nature and assumed laws and regulations that (should) rule the literary translation. These texts often speak about the orientation and appropriateness of translation, via a spectre of its types and possibilities. Thus, it is considered that some blind faithfulness to the original [text] results in literal translations (an almost automatized replacement of a word in a language with its pair in another language)4F , while the urge for originality and freedom of the translator leads to adaptations that can eventually only recall or remind of their originals. Regarding the latter, in his essay “The Art of Translation”, Nabokov says that it is “worst degree of turpitude”, when “a masterpiece is planished and patted into such a shape, vilely beautified in such a fashion as to conform to the notions and prejudices of a given public. This is a crime, to be punished by the stocks as plagiarists were…” (Набоков, 327). For Nabokov, the truthfulness to the original, and to the author who has written it, is the ethical dimension which should supersede all others with the translator. He [the translator], besides the standard qualities (excellent knowledge of the two languages and cultures, as well as a full awareness of the context in which the book that is translated was written) “he must possess the gift of mimicry and be able to act, as it were, the real author’s part by impersonating his tricks of demeanour and speech, his ways and his mind, with the utmost degree of verisimilitude” (Ibid., 332). Pasternak, another well-known author and translator, somehow differently than Nabokov, says that translations, in an ideal situation “must be literary works in their own right and, through textual equivalence, stand shoulder to shoulder with their source texts, in their own originality… translations are not a method for becoming acquainted with individual works – they are a means of perpetual communication between cultures and peoples” (according to Sokolskaya). In this process, “the translation must come from an author who felt the original’s influence long before taking up his task. It must be the fruit of the original, and its historical consequence” (Ibidem).