I read a quote from Anais Nin. And I copied it down because it intrigued me. "The role of the writer is not to say what all can say but what we are unable to say."
The next day I found another fascinating perspective on authors in an article in the New York Sunday Times, October 2, 2010, by Michael Cunningham, entitled "Found in Translation." He speaks of how an author's finished manuscript is but a rough translation of the novel we'd intended to write. He says our novels are a "cathedral made of fire."
I had to ask myself - is my novel a cathedral made of fire? I hope to God someone thinks it is. And that it expresses, as Anais Nin says, what we as humans are normally unable to articulate. That was certainly my intention. And even though my novel's pages were rewritten so many times I can't even count, its essence and its message remains.
So, maybe there are several ways I could have said what I was inspired to say in my novels. And several ways to allow a translators freedom. whether it be a literal translation or a reader's interpretation. I'm no longer striving for perfection. Simply a cathedral made of fire.