“Is it possible for us to solve a problem our ancestors struggled with and by doing so liberate not only ourselves but also them, retroactively, and allow them repose as well? Reversing the direction of time’s arrow was an idea I wanted to explore in this novel.”
“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.”
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.
In her review of Marilynne Robinson’s newest novel, Lila, Ellen Prentiss Campbell writes of the author’s work, “all four of Robinson’s novels—Housekeeping as well as the Gilead trilogy—are united by her compassionate attention to the possibility for amazing, transcendent grace breaking through and illuminating flawed human existence and our daily experience.”
“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.”