By sheer coincidence, this year’s spring issue of SlavFile turned out to be focused almost entirely on literary translation. The issue starts with Isaac Wheeler’s insightful “Hierarchy of Conflicting Demands,” in which he prioritizes seven stipulations a literary translation must meet, ranging from (No. 1) “Does it produce the same effect on the reader as the original?” to (No. 7) “Does it use the same metaphorical mechanism as the original?” He talks about various efforts to figure out what goes on “under the hood” during literary translation. The examples he draws from his own work demonstrate a keen attentiveness to what’s happening under his own. His article is followed by Part II of Steven McGrath’s excellent interview with literary translator Carol Apollonio, which centers on her experiences translating Chekhov. The issue also features a lengthy interview with Olga Bukhina, who has spent decades translating Anglophone children’s literature into Russian (and who oversees a Russian-into-English translation contest for bilingual children). Two reviews of sessions presented at ATA60 in Palm Springs are also literary: Julia LaVilla-Nossova’s review of Martha Kosir’s “On Understanding and Translating Humor: The Spirits of Heinrich Boll’s House” and my own review of Shelley Fairweather-Vega’s “Decolonizing Central Asia through Translation.” The issue concludes with Part IV of Lydia Razran Stone’s contemplation of Krylov, commenced in commemoration of last year’s 250th anniversary of his birth.
Even our administrators’ “Notes from the Administrative Underground,” which ponders the isolation that is, at times, a part of our profession and how our SLD community can help ease it (we’ve all become even more isolated since it was originally written in early March!), features Zinaida Gippius’s poem “Цепь,” evocatively translated by Maria Jacqueline Evans. We hope our readers will enjoy and learn from this superb (if we may say so ourselves) issue.
Nora Seligman Favorov