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.