This double issue of the Ars Interpres
is dedicated to the two, at first glance, different themes—geography and
religion. However, there is much in common between them. For
instance, both have sufficiently many blank spots. Even if everything
was already discovered a long time ago, every person, especially a poet,
finds something so unexplored or forgotten that it needs to be discovered
again. For many, God and His Kingdom have become blank spots.
That is how the main idea of this issue, Two Skies, has sprung up.
It is an attempt to collect the host of examples of the visible and invisible
Religion has all the same things as geography;
i.e. deserts where man meets God, mountains where the prophets receive
instructions, seas that part to save the persecuted, infinite multitude
of roads which
people take to or away from God…. There is no doubt that MOVEMENT
connects the themes of religion and geography. And if Osip Mandelstam,
a poet whose newly translated poems we publish in this issue, could not
move freely within the limited geography of
Stalinist Russia, nothing could restrict him in his progress toward
the heaven. Thus, the poet gained internal freedom and ascended
above his own fate.
A well-versed reader does not have need of
memory. He can simply list everything he ever read in his life.
Frequently, this list is
his biography, geography, and religion. But because the reader,
like the poet, is primarily directed toward the process of comprehension
rather than its result, let us wish him every success
reading the new issue of our journal.