It seems that these last words by Pasternak are the departure point for Ognen’s translating adventure, when he says that Moby Dick is poetry in prose, written largely in dactylion or trochaic rhythm. The essential reason rather than justification for his free, broad and deep approach to the Macedonian language5F when translating this novel is first and foremost found with the author that he translates, pointing out that “Melville has contributed to saving a whole wealth of words, breathed new meanings into them and invented his own… Melville has started, or undertaken, and developed both phonetic-semantic and etymological dilemmas on the present and absent in a deconstructive spirit, and thus also raised the debate high above the usual collector level” (Чемерски, 2015: 46). Because of the archaic and mixture in Melville’s language, he says, “it was necessary for the translator to resort to the complete literary and linguistic heritage of the Macedonian language – to the language of Mihail D. Petruševski, Dragi Mihajlovski, Petre M. Andreevski, Marko Cepenkov, Grigor Prličev, Kiril Pejčinović, Joakim Krčovski, even Cyril and Methodius and their masteries on the Church Slavonic translation of the Bible” (Чемерски, 2014: 273). Or to summon everything that many generations of translators from our English Language Department have forgotten after passing the scanty subject Macedonian Language in the first year of our studies. Starting from the assumption that untranslatability is but a myth,6F i.e. that “translation as a possibility exists during the creation of the text itself” (Чемерски, 2015: 21), the translator claims that “Macedonian vocabulary and word creation that is based on all dialects enables the translation of even the most complex philosophical concepts from the original, to convert its archaic nature and make it sound in the Macedonian translation, and thus also free the potential of the Macedonian language, which is exceptionally rich” (Чемерски, 2014: 274-275). He stubbornly and persistently stands at this view (“I am not compliant.” – as he himself says) both in the translation of Moby Dick itself (with all footnotes, which he at one place says are the witnesses of our defeat in the attempts to totalise the meaning) and in Holy Sail!
To capstan! – calls the translator when he starts the search for the most convenient (“most ours”, as he says) solutions, words and expressions in the Macedonian language and sails much further that the “shallow and stiff ground on whose security the everyday and unexprimental language sticks as a custom and as a habit” (Чемерски, 2015: 37). Following, as he says, also the example of Melville and the basic features of the creation of seafaring language, in which “the word, once on the ground, now in the water, has obtained new meanings” (Ibid., 51), Ognen draws a parallel with “our terminology in the construction of the churches, which has a very developed lingua franca of its own. With us, we have a coexistence of Greek (Byzantine), Latin and Slavic synonyms” (Ibid. 67). In this persistence to faithfully transmit Melville’s detailed descriptions into Macedonian (and “for all words there are written traces found that they were or are used in Macedonia (Чемерски, 2014: 274)) he often defamiliarizes them, transferring them from their usual habitat (land) to the sea.7F Witnessing this defamiliarization, the reader of Moby Dick’s translation is given the unique chance to follow live the development and enrichment of a (in this case, the Macedonian) language and see that “we have a wealth of words and a language with a huge creative potential thanks to which we can calmly move them to a ship and give them life, as there have been migrations like this everywhere” (Чемерски, 2015: 154).