“In a sense, the 21st century of Demolition Night is an outdated future, since its political satire was conceived before late 2016. These days, everything before that year’s November feels like ancient history. In the Trump era, satire has become increasingly difficult, if not impossible.”
“It’s these aetherial worlds referred to in the title, these never-existing possibilities that Tolstaya explores through her writing. Texts, stories, are the essences that construct our lives. Whether consciously or unconsciously, whether intentionally fabricating or telling our version of the truth, we’re creating, with language, a narrative.”
“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.
“The collection, I hope, challenges assumptions about Southeast Michigan, and the people who live here”: Laura Hulthen Thomas chats with Ian Singleton about her debut collection, States of Motion, out today from Wayne State University Press.
“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.
“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.”