Suspend Your Disbelief

Ian Singleton


Ian Singleton was born in Dearborn, Michigan, grew up in Alabama, and moved to Massachusetts, where he met his wife. Along with their beloved daughter, they share an apartment in Brooklyn. His short stories, translations, reviews, and essays have appeared in journals such as: New Madrid, Digital AmericanaMidwestern GothicFiddleblackAsymptotePloughshares, and several times in Fiction Writers Review. His first collection, Grow Me Up, is seeking a home. He was a student at Emerson College and the University of Michigan, where he won a Hopwood Award, a contest which he was later asked to judge. Ian has taught Creative Writing and Literature for the PEN Prison Writing Program, the Prison University Project, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at San Francisco State University, Cogswell Polytechnical College, and the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop. He currently teaches for New York Writers Workshop and PrisonWrites! and freelances as a translator and tutor. He is working on a novel titled Odessitka.


Essays |

Little Histories in Svetlana Alexievich’s Secondhand Time

“By allowing the reader to hear these voices, their pravda, instead of her own, Alexievich can better give voice to the feelings of disenfranchisement many witnesses feel in the current, capitalist Russia”: Ian Singleton tackles truth, translation, and history in Svetlana Alexievich’s Secondhand Time.

Essays |

Of Translation and Politics in Russian Literature

“What is the purpose of one culture translating another? One reason Slavic departments thrive during political crises would seem to be so that we can better understand the cultures of the post-Soviet East. Another reason, though, may be something more akin to the motives of the CIA in translating Doctor Zhivago.”

Reviews |

Apollo in the Grass: Selected Poems, by Aleksandr Kushner

In the introduction to their forthcoming translation of Apollo in the Grass: Selected Poems, by Aleksandr Kushner, Carol Ueland and Robert Carnevale write that “translators simply have to admit that most of the music of most all lyric poetry, and most of its phenomenal presence, stay at home, in the native tongue. But ‘music of language’ is a metaphor.” Ian Singleton examines how this claim plays out in their translation of Kushner’s poetry.

Reviews |

Andrei Bitov’s Translingual Novel The Symmetry Teacher

The Symmetry Teacher and its Russian version have a different relationship than the traditional one of a translation to an original. The additions and augmentations alone suggest this. The Symmetry Teacher is a bilingual or interlingual novel. Perhaps translingual is the term for it, since the novel refers back to its previous versions.”

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