Life of Ivanna

The most ironic aspect of the 2021 documentary Life of Ivanna is Ivanna’s dream of having her own place, which actually pushes the film along its main trajectory. This claim requires a little context. Ivanna is a twenty-six-year-old Nenets mother of five living, at the beginning of the film, on the Taimyr Peninsula in the… Continue reading Life of Ivanna

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Grand Inquisitors

Excerpting Dostoevsky’s “Legend of the Grand Inquisitor” for my Introduction to Russian Culture (lower level general education class), I find two relatively recent translations available online in a reasonable format for class. One is the Pevear and Volokhonsky version, which provides the whole chapter, the other a slightly condensed version of David McDuff’s 1993 translation… Continue reading Grand Inquisitors

Cold War Women’s (Reproductive) Rights

My reasoning is by analogy and somewhat backwards. If Mary Dudziak is right about Cold War civil rights (and I believe she is), then what one would expect to happen after the end of the Cold War would be a lessening of the federal government’s pressure on states to behave well. The Voting Rights Act… Continue reading Cold War Women’s (Reproductive) Rights

World in a Word

My friend Nikola, who hails from Sveti Filip i Jakov, to the south of Zadar, Croatia, tells me that in his local Dalmatian dialect there is a word for “open sea” that only applies to the Adriatic: kùlaf. When I first heard him pronounce it and looked at the spelling he provided, I thought it… Continue reading World in a Word

Kaplan’s Adriatic

I’m about 60 pages into Robert D. Kaplan’s Adriatic: A Concert of Civilizations at the End of the Modern Era and am still uncertain about it. With such a big sounding title, in such a nice new cloth bound edition from Random House, it seems it should be more substantial than it is so far.… Continue reading Kaplan’s Adriatic

Sei More

Getting this song off my desktop and out into the summer, which is what is feels like to me. Lows and highs, rhythm and movement.

Teaching Translation Postscript

Last semester’s course “How to Translate Anything” went well but not as well as I would have liked. I had it basically divided into three parts, readings and discussions at the start, then a middle section on computer assisted translation, using SDL Trados, in the middle, then. a workshop segment at the end. These are… Continue reading Teaching Translation Postscript

The Thaw

During two winters of Covid lock-down, I looked out a window onto the January snow and ice and wondered what it would be like when we all emerged, a little like the spring thaw, and I started working on this piece. At first it was just atmosphere, then it started to feel rhythmic, a little… Continue reading The Thaw