An interview with Margaret Jull Costa at The White Review
What is one to make of ‘a solidão de esparguete da girafa’ on page one? Should I have translated that as ‘the spaghetti solitude of the giraffe’ rather than ‘the lofty, long-drawn-out solitude of the giraffe’, which was my final version? Does ‘spaghetti solitude’ mean anything in English? But then does ‘solidão de esparguete’ mean anything in Portuguese? Am I committing the translator’s cardinal sin of domesticating and explaining?
There are always new translations being made of these classic texts, but they are not necessarily improvements. Having said that, I have done ‘fresh’ translations myself, of Eça de Queiroz, and, inevitably and arrogantly, I feel that they are an improvement!
I've been looking forward to the release of The Bridge Over the Neroch: And Other Works by Leonid Tsypkin for a few months now. Michael Stein has a review of it in the current issue of Asymptote.
With the novella Norartakir, written in 1976, Tsypkin offers his most anguished and masterful treatment of the "insulted and the injured", though with explicit deference to a people for whom Dostoevsky would not have reserved the term. Then again, Dostoevsky didn't live to see the Holocaust, as a crucified Christ does in one memorable sequence here, being able to see inside the gas chambers of the future as the guards outside celebrate his birthday with Christmas carols and a decorated fir branch in place of a tree.
Mentioning Asymptote again, there are two articles on the upcoming release of Vasily Grossman's An Armenian Sketchbook. One is an essay by translator Robert Chandler, part introduction to Grossman (and Andrey Platonov) and part introduction to an excerpt from An Armenian Sketchbook.
Thanks to the Korretiv blog for understanding my love of "marketable horrible."