At Cordite Review: Anahera Gildea’s Bone Shame: Grief, Te Ao Māori, and the Liminal Space where Translation Fails

‘Wherever there is a need for translation there is discomfort – a chasm that must be scaffolded, or connected by branch, bond or bridge. There is almost a desperation in the need to both enlighten and to be understood. In te reo Māori (the Māori language) the concept of te wheiao represents this liminal or transitional space. It is a term that has appeared in our incantations of mythology from the beginning of memory. It is a phrase that acknowledges a place between places, a third space, a chamber of waiting and uncertainty and one that has no set time, nor prescribed gestation period. It is also a place that is unavoidable and through which we must travel in order to gain full understanding. It is after darkness, but before light. It is the birth of all ideas. It can be the site of great discovery, or rampant anxiety, but regardless, it is a necessary place. There is no other way to reach te ao marama (the world of light). And it is in no way associated with shame.’

This is essential reading and you can read it here





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