“The job of the fiction writer is to invoke verisimilitude. Real and factual research helps, of course, but the purpose should be emotional. The more abstract truth comes from the deeper meanings of stories, factual or not. The factuality of this truth is usually taken for granted, and the primary sources need not speak for themselves, even if they want to.” Little Histories
If the purpose of reading a translation is to know the culture from which the original comes, shouldn’t we comprehend it in its entirety, warts-and-all, so to speak? Shouldn’t we let post-Soviet people and their politics speak for themselves? Perhaps, like with Limonov, the English translation of Sankya says more about its American, or English-speaking, audience than the original’s Russian one. Perhaps the problem comes from the Western audience’s need for heroes, who, like fictional characters, don’t exist.