It’s, like, the ripest old age

The relative frequency of the word даже is something translators from Russian to English figure out at some point, and Dostoevsky’s palaverers present a classic case. Gogol’s are right up there as well, and I seem to recall that one of the most astute passages of Eikhenbaum’s “How Gogol’s Overcoat is Made” delves into the… Continue reading It’s, like, the ripest old age

On First Words

Richard Pevear has a foreword to his collaborative (with Larissa Volokhonsky) translation of Dostoevsky’s Notes from Underground in which he offers some rationale for using the word “wicked” to translate the Russian злой (zloi) in the first line: the book is not about psychology, as is sometimes thought, he claims; it’s about morality, and to… Continue reading On First Words

Translation and Exile

Many metaphors for translation seem to imagine it as a kind of travel, a movement with baggage across some national, cultural, linguistic, and/or geographic boundaries, usually from an imagined foreign territory to one’s own home turf. In that foreign territory—so these metaphors often go—one discovered something or was given something, and in translating that something,… Continue reading Translation and Exile

In Paperback!

New In Paperback Spring 2016 “The Woman in the Window manages to cross numerous boundaries with enviable ease. The result is not just intellectually stimulating, but eminently readable.” —Eliot Borenstein, Russian and Slavic studies, New York University “Provocative and wide-reaching, The Woman in the Window: Commerce, Consensual Fantasy, and the Quest for Masculine Virtue in… Continue reading In Paperback!

In NY later this week (for a man and a woman)

I’ll be participating in The University of Rochester’s Reading the Word series this Thursday for the launch of The Man Between. Then to NYU’s Jordan Center on Friday afternoon for a presentation drawn from The Woman in the Window. Here are the details: Event No. 1: Michael Henry Heim was one of the greatest literary… Continue reading In NY later this week (for a man and a woman)

Looking up to her window

In looking for images for the book cover for The Woman in the Window, I stumbled upon something both surprising and depressing at the same time. Most of the images that come up through the various major search engines if you enter “the woman in the window” are of a particular sort. I’m not talking… Continue reading Looking up to her window

The jacket cover, etc.

I’ve just sent a suggested revised version of the short description that will go on all the promotional materials for the book, and here it is: In The Woman in the Window: Commerce, Consensual Fantasy, and the Quest for Masculine Virtue in the Russian Novel, Russell Scott Valentino offers pioneering new insights into the historical… Continue reading The jacket cover, etc.