Robert Chandler: The minds of others

Our World Bookshelf blog this month comes from top translator Robert Chandler, who reflects on the necessity and enjoyment of collaboration and co-translation

‘Literary translation is sometimes thought of as an occupation for near-hermits.  ‘Isn’t it difficult, sitting alone all day long with a few books and your computer?’ people ask.  I usually reply that, at least during the last twenty years, I have seldom worked entirely on my own.

I collaborate in many ways and for many reasons. Often, I simply need help in understanding the original text. Few English-speakers of my generation (I was born in 1953) began learning Russian much before the age of 15 or 16, and few of us had the chance to spend more than a year in the Soviet Union. This is not long enough to acquire solid knowledge, either of a language or of a society. Things have, of course, changed, but it is still easier to live for several years in an EU country than in Russia…’

To read the full piece, please visit the World Bookshelf

3 Comments on “Robert Chandler: The minds of others”

  1. I am thoroughly enjoying the Memories of Teffi. However, I could not find any information about the 3 children she left behind in Soviet Russia. Do you know what happened to them? Did anyone criticize her behavior as a mother abandoning her children?

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