A Translator’s List

I remember being impressed by a couple of lists of English words that Joanne Turnbull had compiled while working on her translations of Krzhizhanovsky’s The Letter Killers Club and Autobiography of a Corpse. In going through some of the books left by Michael Henry Heim (see my earlier posts on this here and here), I… Continue reading A Translator’s List

Teaching Undergrad Translation 2.0

Well, actually this is probably more like 5.0, since I taught a number of translation-focused undergrad courses at the University of Iowa between 2007 and 2012 or so, but this will be 2.0 for Indiana, where I taught this course, very humbly titled “How to Translate Anything,” for the first time in Spring 2022. That… Continue reading Teaching Undergrad Translation 2.0

Post-National Book Awards

I recently read for the National Book Awards in the translated literature category. It was a lot of work but also gave me the chance to read many excellent new translations, which is one of the main reasons I agreed to serve on the jury. The committee, which besides me included Nick Buzanski (our spreadsheet… Continue reading Post-National Book Awards

Menard’s Severyanin

Variaciones Borges recently published the latest installment of the Pierre Menard translations that I’ve been slowly working on. (Sincere thanks to Daniel Balderston for asking whether I had any more of those Menard pieces in the works. I did and I do.) This one re-frames a poem by a self-styled genius, ego-futurist Igor Severyanin, whose… Continue reading Menard’s Severyanin

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

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

Ukraine Film Series and “Ukrainian Fury”

My colleague Sofiya Asher worked together with the Ryder in Bloomington to put together a series of films last month. The series, “Stand With Ukraine,” featured seven recent Ukrainian films (10 if you count the four shorts collected around the “I Love Mariupol” screenings) and an insert in the Ryder magazine, which is here. The… Continue reading Ukraine Film Series and “Ukrainian Fury”

Sergei Loznitsa’s Donbass and the Senses of Provocation

When news broke that Russian forces had launched, on April 8, 2022, a missile attack on the Kramatorsk train station, which was filled with thousands of fleeing women and children at the time, the Russian Ministry of Defense issued a statement calling it a “provocation.” The Russian Foreign Ministry took the same line earlier with… Continue reading Sergei Loznitsa’s Donbass and the Senses of Provocation

Russia’s Special Operation on English

Language learners know about false friends. Slavic languages have some doozies. For instance, riječ in Croatian means a word, while реч in Ukrainian means a thing; запомніць in Bulgarian means to memorize, while zapomenout in Czech means to forget; proud Serbs might write понос (pride) on the side of a building, while their Russian brothers… Continue reading Russia’s Special Operation on English