"Translation is entirely mysterious. Increasingly I have felt that the act of writing is itself translating, or more like translating than it is like anything else. What is the other text, the original? I have no answer. I suppose it is the source, the deep sea where ideas swim, and one catches them in nets of words and swings them shining into the boat....where in this metaphor they die and get canned and eaten in sandwiches. To bring something across, one needs a boat; or a bridge; what bridge? The metaphors all self-destruct. I am left with the stubborn feeling that composition, whether of poetry or prose, is not all that different from translation. In translating you have a text of words to work from; in composing or creating you don't; you have a text that is not words, and you find the words. That's the difference, or course, but the job, getting the right words in the right order, getting the measure right, is the same. Feels the same."
Ursula K. Le Guin, "Dancing at the edge of the world: Thoughts on words, women, places." NY, Grove Press, 1989, pp. 112-113.