Interview with David B. Goldstein, author of Lost Originals

Translation is the extrovert, metaphor the introvert. Without translation, there is no communication. Without metaphor, there is no art.

Starting from the notion that every act of speaking is a translation between worlds, writer, scholar, and critic David B. Goldstein’s Lost Originals comprises a collection of elegies for a series of “lost originals”—objects, images, and experiences whose ghostly traces can only be evoked through language. The book’s encounters with a menagerie of items—from porcelain figurines, maps, and soundscapes, to computer-generated email spam, and journalism about sharks—yield a myriad of voices, giving metaphorical speech to the unspeaking or unspoken, and at the same time, uncovering a surprising beauty in language normally viewed as impenetrable or utilitarian.