Aspersion and Aspersions

While translating Propp’s Historical Roots of the Wondertale, my colleague Miriam Shrager and I wondered a bit over the “sprinkling” (окропление) that comes up occasionally in fairy tales, often in the context of crossing between this world and some other, magical one (“she sprinkled the door with water”). This, so claims Propp, is a remnant… Continue reading Aspersion and Aspersions

Making a Long Book Move

One of the techniques Jergović uses happens at the level of the paragraph and amounts to a kind of clever closure, often of a longish sentence, sometimes more than one, that serves to slow down the pace but also gather up energy as the narrative moves on. It works, I think, a little like a… Continue reading Making a Long Book Move

That Damned Anna Karenina Again

Erik McDonald has expressed some doubts about my take on the quickly aging Gessen review of AK, so here goes–I’m quoting from his blog XIX vek, of which he sent me a snippet. “I personally love trying to figure out what’s causing a whole group of translators to read something differently than I read it… Continue reading That Damned Anna Karenina Again

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