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.
Is there such a thing as a translingual novel?
Here is my essay on Andrei Bitov’s The Symmetry Teacher, translated by Polly Gannon.
It makes me think about a novel written in both Russian and English…sort of.