Author Archives: Catherine McAteer

Manuscripts Burn at Pushkin House

American poet and Russian translator Katherine Young and I met for tea in Russell Square on Tuesday afternoon this week. I confessed during our conversation that, for me at least, poetry translation feels like the ultimate art form when it comes to crafting words. The pinnacle of the translation world. To hear Katherine present her poetry translations at Pushkin House later that evening – my thoughts were proved right. This week, Rustrans came to London for Manuscripts Burn, an evening listening to Katherine recite and talk about her translations of politically charged war poetry and literature.

Katherine split the evening in two parts: poetry and prose, with case studies concerning the literary usage of Russian as a source language in Ukraine and Azerbaijan. Katherine first provided detailed background information to poets affected by the Russia-Ukraine conflict: Lyudmila Khersonska, Inna Kabysh, Xenia Emelyanova, and Iya Kiva. All the poems feature in the Words for War anthology (see below), edited by a Russian-Ukrainian couple now living in the US, Oksana Maksymchuk and Max Rosochinsky, who wanted to document the collective experience of war, especially the impact of war on people away from the field of battle.


The poems which followed were acts of civic witness and demonstrated a moral clarity which, as Katherine pointed out, touches on politics. Lyudmila Khersonska, writing in Russian, lives in Odessa and has four collections of poetry. Her trademark style is one of beautiful, powerful but often tragic images created through meteorological and botanical references, a poetic-pathetic fallacy of thunder, lightning, snow, hurricane, hail. Nature responding to war with elemental force. When faced with poems rooted in culture- and event-specific references (little green men, Crimea’s annexation), Katherine identified as one of the translator’s key challenges the need to render a poem without voluminous footnotes. So, once again, I feel justified in putting poetry translation high on the wordsmithing pedestal.

Katherine introduced Inna Kabysh’s poetry, describing her style as deeply personal, anguished, movingly religious in its motifs. Her poetry tiptoes round politics and acts as testimony to the sorrow and dismay that many Russians feel about the conflict with Ukraine. Katherine recited from one of Kabysh’s long poems (Sevastopol Stories), painting a stark picture of ravaged Ukraine, one of graves, destroyed orchards, ‘If there’s no God, I’ll tell him – be’.

Xenia Emelyanova grew up in post-USSR. Her poetic discourse is described as ‘highly self-conscious and sceptical’ and she is tipped as one of the next big things in Russian poetry. Just after the Russia-Ukraine conflict broke out in 2014, Emelyanova wrote a poem, recited it on camera, and released it on social media, not knowing how it would be received. With lines like ‘It’s time to shake off our impotence, Stop the slaughter, stop the war’, it’s easy to understand the trepidation over what responses her verse might prompt. Katherine consulted fellow poets to debate the moral quandary of whether to translate Emelyanova’s work, the concern being that Emelyanova might be exposed to danger. The consensus among poet-translators, though, was that poets write to have their voices heard, and so Katherine translated it. Poet-translators have since faced further moral dilemmas: whether to ‘like’ activist poetry on Facebook or not, for fear of upsetting personal and professional diplomatic relations (maybe even putting future visas at risk); and whether to accept invitations to judge a poetry prize in occupied Ukraine which, inevitably, would provoke moral and ethical judgments from expectant onlookers. At the same time, Katherine explained that US publishers tend not to know what is going on in places like Ukraine, so translator-activists face home-grown difficulties of their own when trying to get political poetry published in English.

My personal favourite was a poem by Russian-speaking, Jewish poet Iya Kiva, who used to live in Donetsk before the 2014 outbreak of war. Her father was killed while fighting in the conflict and she now lives as a refugee in Kiev. Her poetry mirrors the hand-to-mouth existence she now lives there; words and images pared down to absolute simplicity, the only appropriate way to express herself after all she has experienced. The poem I loved has no title, but starts:

is there hot war in the tap,

is there cold war in the tap,

how is it that there’s absolutely no war

it was promised for after lunch

we saw the announcement with our own eyes

‘war will arrive at fourteen hundred hours’

You can read the rest of Katherine’s translation here: and Katherine’s poems – each one greeted with reverence and artistic appreciation – can be found in Words for War

Katherine then moved to her second case study, that of the prominent Azeri-born, Russian writing novelist Akram Aylisli (born in 1937), who is now a de facto political prisoner and held effectively under house arrest. Aylisli’s act of civic witness transcends two generations, his own and his mother’s. His mother witnessed part of the Armenian genocide and, as the village storyteller, she voiced an account of the events she had seen (‘They drowned Armenians in their own blood’). Much later, Aylisli wrote an account of Azeri history, spanning his story of socio-political upheaval, ethnic cleansing, and corruption over three novellas under the overarching title Farewell, Aylis. The first novella was published without problem, but the remaining two are more graphic. Originally, Aylisli had no intention of publishing these two stories, but in 2004, a single event changed his mind. At the NATO Partnership for Peace Training Programme in Budapest, an Armenian army officer was hacked to death in his bed by his axe-wielding Azeri counterpart. Aylisli was moved to print his remaining novellas after the Azeri officer was given a hero’s welcome on returning home. Azeri outrage at Aylisli’s novellas manifested in a variety of ways: his books were burned in Baku in 2013 (manuscripts do burn, after all, Bulgakov); Aylisli’s wife and son were fired from their jobs; an empty coffin was paraded outside their house; and a reward was offered for cutting off Aylisli’s ear.


Aylisli wrote his books in Russian both during and after the Soviet Union. There is no authoritative version of his works in Azeri, but his works have been translated (one of his novellas was shortlisted for the German Booker prize) and are popular in Armenia. Aylisli relies on Russian support for his literary success and his work has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. On 30 March 2016 (tomorrow marks the third anniversary), Aylisli was detained at the airport while on his way to a literary festival in Italy; after resisting the authorities with violence, he had his passport confiscated, which means he has not since been able to access the medication he needs. Katherine was made aware of Aylisli by Glas editor Natasha Perova. Perova wrote to her saying, ‘I understand you like to take on lost causes; I have one for you’. At first, Katherine thought that publicity would suffice, but soon realised that Aylisli’s case required more than that. Katherine has become Aylisli’s agent and translator – in itself, an arrangement of competing interests which, Katherine recognises, must be managed ethically – she raises awareness of his situation and, of course, translates his work, of which she is very proud.

Thank you, Katherine, for a most remarkable, thought-provoking evening.

Katherine Young

All the Fun of the Fair!

Yes, last week was the London Book Fair and @Rustransdark, aka @CathyMcAteer1, headed along on Thursday, the last day, to attend panels and meet friends old and new. To get to them, I first had to navigate my way from country to country, weaving my way past plenty of tempting stands – China Universal Press & Publications Co. Ltd, the Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian Publishers and their accompanying Publishers’ Associations, Turkey’s impressive and alluring Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the Italian Trade Agency, the Swedish Literature Exchange, and naturally, the huge stand devoted to Indonesian literature (this year’s market focus, promoted under the superlative strap-line: 17,000 islands of imagination). A good, global effort all round.

ReadRussia stand

Tucked in the far corner, I finally found the Literary Translation Centre, the Institute for Literary Translation (Institut Perevoda), ReadRussia, and a most energetic buzz of networking translators, publishers and literary agents. There was just time for me to enjoy a quick catch up with English PEN award-winning literary translator Anna Gunin, before all eyes and ears (an eager and tightly packed audience) turned to the panel for ‘Women in Literature & Translation: Realities and Stereotypes’. This panel featured other award-winners, the literary translator, Lisa Hayden, Guzel Yakhina, the author of Zuleikha (Lisa’s latest translation), the Petersburg-based literary agent Julia Goumen, Ksenia Papazova Managing Editor from Glagoslav Publications, and panel chair, Daniel Hahn, writer, editor and translator.

Guzel Yakhina, Lisa Hayden, Julia Goumen, Daniel Hahn

The discussion started with Guzel, who introduced her latest novel in the context of the gender debate. Her protagonist Zuleikha goes on a journey of discovery, experiencing slave-like conditions as a young wife, but then metamorphoses into a stronger, more independent woman with every major life-change that comes her way. Her novel is, therefore, a triumph of women’s strength and adaptability. Guzel placed Russia in the vanguard of equal rights (women got the vote as early as 1917 in Russia, compared to as recent as 2015 in Saudi Arabia) and said that, as a female writer in Russia, she had never been discriminated against because of being a woman. Guzel’s view was endorsed by Julia, who added that the key question in Russian literary circles is not who wrote the novel, but whether the novel is a good one. Excellence will be awarded. She illustrated this view with the fact that the Yasnaya Polyana Literary Award has historically been judged by a panel of 6 men who have, in the past, championed female talent, awarding the prize to Liudmila Saraskina in 2008, Elena Katishonok in 2011, and Guzel in 2015. This is indeed impressive and yes, suggests a gender-neutral approach to selection, although I find myself wondering at what point a female writer will be allowed to take a place on the actual judging panel?

Lisa Hayden extended the theme of women’s visibility to the translation industry, remarking that, according to the stats, translated literature is predominantly a male domain and, unless women establish themselves in translation, women won’t get translated (see The Guardian, which cites research by the University of Rochester reporting that only 33.8% of translated books were by female authors in 2016, as opposed to 63.8% by men: The panel unanimously agreed with Daniel Hahn that translators should be mindful always of what and whom we are translating, and why. The translator is vested with the power to shape literature by decisions such as these. This discussion prompted interesting responses from the audience. One respondent working in publishing asked Julia whether there is a deliberate correlation between books which get selected for publication and the author being beautiful, young, and female in Russia? Having had a discussion up to that point which seemed generally to be breaking the usual gender stereotypes, it was a bit of a bump back down to earth to hear that yes, definitely, young, beautiful female authors look good at book launches and interviews and, consequently, sell books well. That said, as Ksenia Papazova from Glagoslav Publications rightly pointed out, you don’t have to fit these criteria to be a success in Russia: Liudmila Petrushevskaya, Liudmila Ulitskaya, and Elena Chizhova are a powerful triumvirate of stylish 60+s.

Guzel drew attention to the fact that, in Russia, 45% of senior roles are held by women – they came out top of all individual countries in a Forbes 2016 global review of senior women in the workplace. And yet, another comment from the floor highlighted a Russian paradox: namely, that whilst there may be a semblance of gender equality and impressively early suffrage in Russia, society still seems trapped in a traditional patriarchy which has been shored up by stereotypes and does not appear to be changing radically any time soon – old-fashioned chivalry coupled with rigid views of what a woman’s role should be. This, it was remarked, is one of the stark socio-cultural differences which visiting Western females notice when they arrive in everyday Russian society.

But, it seems, we in Western publishing might fall into a similar trap ourselves when it comes to book covers. The books assembled on the panel table betrayed no visual sign of gender (author or translator) except for the Anglophone version of Zuleikha, which is the only one to have a picture of beautiful female eyes looking out, tempting the reader in. It was widely thought that a distinctly “female” cover would serve as a turn-off for male readers – the jury is still out, perhaps this line of enquiry can continue here? – but, the gender anonymity of the Russian texts was generally praised by the audience as a positive move in terms of gender-neutral book promotion. Similarly, recalling the #namethetranslator campaign, it was noted by members of the audience that Lisa Hayden’s name is (most disappointingly) absent from the cover of Zuleikha, only appearing on the cover page of the book. The campaign, therefore, continues!

The panel covered a satisfyingly broad number of topics in just an hour, all of them fascinating, and skilfully steered by Daniel Hahn. There was a palpable sense of audience disappointment when it all had to come to a close. For those wanting to continue some of these themes, many returned later for one last, translation-oriented treat to end not just the day, but the whole Fair, In Conversation: Jeremy Tiang. Jeremy had an even shorter allocation, just 30 mins, but they were his alone (well nearly, discussion being prompted by Chris Gribble, Chief Executive of the National Centre for Writing). The seemingly multi-talented Jeremy, who started out as an actor, then a playwright, then a translator ( proved himself a most entertaining raconteur too, describing all aspects of the translator’s lot – the highs and the lows, his in particular – with wit and irony. As the London Book Fair’s inaugural translator, Jeremy provided excellent advice, extolling the virtues of being part of a translators’ collective (his is the US-based Cedilla & Co., but there are others, such as the London-based Starling Bureau) in order to combat the loneliness and isolation that comes with a career in translation. Collectives not only foster solidarity, but help translators to group together to achieve maximum visibility. With visibility, comes translator validity, and with that, the hope of professionalization: translators aren’t ‘in it for scraps’, they are claiming validity as artists! The same rallying cry that translators have issued for decades and more, but Jeremy actually made it sound a plausible and attainable goal. A good message to take home at the end of a fabulous Book Fair!    

A Slavic Spring in my Step

So far, February has taken Rustrans to Bristol and London and it has brought yet more people to us: we’ve seen our network expand in all directions! If you’re not yet following us on Twitter, please do! You’ll find us here: @Rustransdark.

I (Cathy) have had two days deep in the Penguin archive at the University of Bristol researching more files on translators bright and beautiful! The list included names some of you may well recall: Ronald Wilks, Jane Kentish, Richard Freeborn, Michael Glenny, David McDuff. Fascinating and enlightening letters. Here I am, immersed, slightly dazed (book/paper spores!), but very happy:

I also took a trip to London last week, hotfooting it first of all from London St Pancras to the British Library to meet with Katya Rogachevskaia, Lead Curator East European Collections. We caught up on our latest projects and talked about any future possibilities for pooling our  research, energy, and enthusiasm. Lots of exciting options (as you can tell from the photo below) which feed into our joint interests, women in translation being one of them (my research alone has six largely unsung heroines!). Thank you, Katya!

And that’s a theme which leads nicely to my next meeting in London with Becky Beasley, Matt Taunton and Claire Warden at this month’s Anglo-Russian Research Network’s reading group at Pushkin House.

Claire’s theme for the evening was ‘Re-discovering the Lost Women of Anglo-Russian Theatre’ which included, to my delight, discussion about Elisaveta Fen and her identity not just as a Russian living in the UK, but also as a translator, a medic, and an unfulfilled writer. Fen was always slightly disappointed never to have made it as a writer – her key purpose for leaving Russia, she said, was to fulfil her dream of becoming just that, a great writer – and there is a sense that translation was something of a consolation prize to her (perhaps, having studied Russian Language and Literature for her degree at Leningrad University, she associated translation with something that great Russian writers only fall back on in times of creative hardship). Certainly, she expressed surprise at being asked to translate plays into English (obviously not her mother tongue) but was encouraged to do so by an American theatre-goer, Frances Fineman, whom Fen accompanied and provided chuchotage for at stage performances in Moscow.

Fen’s Chekhov translations (commissioned by Penguin) gained a reputation among stage directors for being accessible (which is interesting for me, from a Penguin perspective, because Fen’s translations had to be rigorously edited several times, and checked by English scholars, before E.V. Rieu was satisfied with her rendering of ‘the English idiom’) and for being ‘authentically Russian’, although, as Claire was keen to point out, there is some tension here too, built into the notion of what ‘authentic’ really is, especially if it presents itself as a series of stage-bound Russian stereotypes.

Fen identified with Chekhov for two reasons. They were both products of pre-revolutionary Russia – which she ultimately preferred to the industrialised post-revolutionary Russia she encountered when she visited later – and they were both medical practitioners. Fen had a career in child psychology as well as literature; she was known as Lydia Jackson in her medical work, Elisaveta Fen for literary commissions. Our reading group concluded that, even though she failed to realise her dream of becoming a writer, she was able, through her translation work, to keep alive her nostalgia for a Russia which was changing dramatically (and, in her opinion, for the worse) under the Bolsheviks.

Aside from Fen, who took up perhaps more than her fair share of discussion time (a fact which would delight her, I’m sure), Claire also facilitated a fascinating discussion about Nikolai Evreinoff’s experimental Russian play The Theatre of the Soul, performed by the Pioneer Players in March 1915. According to the play’s translators Christopher St. John and Marie Potapenko, the play was received in March with ‘indisputable enthusiasm’. It failed, however, to get past the censor just a few months later, in October 1915, when it was scheduled to be performed at the Alhambra Theatre in honour of a fundraising event entitled ‘Russia’s Day’. (It was thought that showing a lady with a bald head might upset the usual Alhambra audience.) The play was performed instead at the subscription-based Shaftesbury Theatre, thereby circumventing the censor, but received a dismissive review in The Times, which describes it as deploying ‘a crude and easy method of characterisation’. The subtext here, according to Claire, is that being Russian and ‘avant-garde’ the play would have been regarded as scarily experimental, potentially even socially dangerous.

To the upset of archivists and archive researchers everywhere, the play’s translation drafts and correspondence were all destroyed, burnt (deliberately) in a fire. There are many unanswered questions, therefore, about how this play arrived in English. If anyone knows how it ended up here in the UK in the first place, Claire (below) will almost certainly want to hear from you. My thanks to Claire and ARRN for a fun- & fact-filled evening’s discussion!

Goodbye January, Hello Feb!

Translating Thought/Translating Literature!

Last week saw @Rustransdark heading to Sheffield University – dodging ice, snow, and points failures on the rails – for Translating Thought/Translating Literature, a two-day international colloquium dedicated to sharing research into cross-disciplinary perspectives on text, language and culture. Scholars assembled from as far afield as Australia, China, Israel, Spain, Romania, Estonia; some came from our own snowy corners of the UK; and some, alas, were beaten altogether: Manchester airport being firmly closed for business.

Highlights of panel one (Theory of Translation)… included Lorena Hurtado-Malillos from University of Valladoid, Spain, whose paper tackled multilingual entries in literature – instances where source text characters break into a foreign language which just so happens to be the translator’s target language – and used examples of French in Jane Eyre, German in Good Morning, Midnight, and Spanish in In the Time of Butterflies. Suggested strategies included: homogenising the source text with the rest of the target text and appealing to a reader’s ‘suspension of linguistic disbelief’; providing an initial explanatory note in a translator’s preface and adding some sort of distinction (asterisks, italics) in the body of the target text to show foreign language shifts in the original; providing a bilingual edition of the text. (Rustransdark found Lorena’s paper particularly interesting as it was a reminder of letters in the Penguin archive where readers express resentment at having to suspend their linguistic disbelief!)

Lorena Hurtado-Malillos





Bruno Poncharal from Sorbonne Nouvelle discussed the specifics of translating English-French social science texts providing clear examples from his own work and strategies for overcoming textual challenges. Katre Talviste from Tartu University presented on Estonia’s pedagogical canon of translated literature, explaining how Estonia’s literary field has reflected the political and cultural situation in the country during the 20th-21st centuries. Katre expressed a new pedagogical objective for Estonia: to raise awareness of translation’s essential role when defining Estonia’s literary canon. Marina Schirone from Bologna revealed how books are being translated into symbols under the new ‘IN-BOOK’ scheme in Italy. These intersemiotic translations are being used as a resource for refugees who have no local language knowledge (translations so far include Dracula, Frankenstein, Cinderella, Pinocchio).

Even though Martine Hennard Dutheil de la Rochère’s (Lausanne) flight to Manchester was cancelled (snow!), she still managed to host the plenary session (hurrah for Skype!). Martine gave a fascinating paper about crime-writer Angela Carter and her lesser-known abilities as a translator (Carter was also a Japanese-language student and had a degree in Medieval English from Bristol University). Martine presented findings from her research at the Angela Carter archive, British Library, revealing that Carter used translation from French poetry as a vehicle for developing her own creative work.

Rustransdark chose History of Translation I for the first session of the afternoon. Elizaveta Vasserman (Leeds) presented ‘The History of Ideas: Translation Theory by Russian Scholar Andrei Fedorov’, focusing on Fedorov’s principle of translatability and how this pillar of Soviet translation theory has been achieved in practice. Delegate discussion extended the concept of translatability to film subtitles, with Rustransdark also wondering how often extreme challenges to translatability might have been resolved by the tool of omission (as occasionally seen in some of the early Penguin Russian Classics texts)?

Elizaveta’s paper on Fedorov





Elena Goodwin (Portsmouth) presented ‘Translating Yuri Tynianov’s 1928 historical novel Death of the Vazir-Mukhtar’, the Soviet-era novel which recounts Griboedov’s death in Persia. Elena gave us fascinating insight into the literary/historical challenges (metaphor, filmic lyricism, archaisms, colloquialisms, intertextual allusions, and rhythmic patterns) which faced the translator Susan Causey, who sadly died before she could see her book published. The novel will be released with comprehensive translator’s notes this Spring – one I will look out for!

Elena Goodwin and Cathy McAteer





Maria Pace Aquilina (Sheffield) presented on the amazing Margaret More Roper and other sixteenth-century English female translators whose activities in translation would have been a head-on challenge to the cultural and gendered beliefs of Early Modern England. Erudite, talented women who worked under anonymising initials alone. And last, but not least, Sheffield’s own Adam Piette, presented Samuel Beckett’s bi-texts within the framework of the ‘Terminating Spacetime of Self-Translation’, analysing source and target textual interrelations which ‘mirror, reaffirm, contradict, deny’ each other.

The final panel was dedicated to Translation and Historical Context with Christine Baycroft (Sheffield) providing her case study of Pierre Coste’s 1700 translation of Locke’s Essay Concering Human Understanding into French, explaining the impact this translation has had on any historical reading of Locke’s essay across Europe and in France even today. Daphna Erdinast-Vulcan (Haifa) presented ‘Conrad’s Mystic Writing Pad: Translation and Mistranslation of Subjectivity’, in which she traced faux amis in Conrad’s translations. Daphna interpreted them as being symptomatic of the ‘textual unconscious’, indicative of the extreme sensitivity Conrad felt about being a writer in a foreign land. Karine Zbinden (Sheffield) concluded day one with a lively presentation about French translations of Bakhtin, where she brought together two contextual strands: Petrograd in the 1920s, and Paris/Lausanne in the 1970s, when Bakhtin was first translated into French. Karine outlined the difficulties translators have faced in trying to convey the Russian word slovo in French and also pointed out the translatorial irony surrounding the Russian word ideologia, a term undefined by Bakhtin but which features on every page of the French translation!

Day Two!

Friday, day two, brought another round of thought-provoking and stimulating papers (and more snow!). Iulia Cosma of West University of Timisoara started the first panel – History of Translation II – with the 16th-century Italian humanist Fausto da Longiano and his determination to translate Latin and Greek into vernacular Italian. Not only that, Longiano extended his practical interest to include theorising on the vernacular too. Juliette Loesch (Lausanne) followed with her fascinating account of Oscar Wilde’s determination to write Salome in French (albeit with some linguistic experimentation on his part, duly edited by three different editors), and then his displeasure at how Lord Douglas translated it into English and Aubrey Beardsley presented it intersemiotically. Loesch argued that the ‘open-ended’ re-workings of Wilde’s Salome anticipate the ‘creative turn’ in Translation Studies, with its dynamics of translation, adaptation and transcreation.

Juliette Loesch on Wildes Salome





The plenary session was hosted by guest speaker Didac Pujol (Barcelona) whose paper documented the (relatively late) arrival in Catalan of Romeo and Juliet. Didac focused on the serious efforts of Victor Balaguer to turn Romeo and Juliet into a tragedy Catalonia could call its own, and Josep Maria Codolosa’s more bathetic attempts, later in the nineteenth-century, to fashion a Shakespearean parody, also set in the Catalan context. As you’d expect, Didac’s paper was punctuated with suitably parodic mirth!

Didac Pujol Presents a Catalan Romeo and Juliet




Richard Mansell (Exeter) kick-started Rustransdark’s afternoon session with a long, hard look at the facts and figures of the UK market for translated literature. Books translated into English account for a disproportionately, and disappointingly, small percentage of all published literature in the UK – just 3% – but what Richard went on to do, was unpick what this figure means in reality. He highlighted what other European nations do to promote literature in translation, with more success than the UK, examined the genres which tap into global interests – the petrochemical novel, cli-fi – and applauded the work of the small, independent publishers (Charco Press, And Other Stories) in pioneering translated literature when large publishers remain risk averse.

Richard Mansell presents on the UK’s market for translated literature

And, on the same panel, Will Gatherer – all the way from Queensland – enlightened us about Chinese metafiction novels by authors Ma Yuan, Ge Fei, and Yu Hua, who rely heavily on the device of self-reflexivity (metalepsis). Will identified key challenges for the translator when handling this experimental genre and concluded that the novels which achieve a high level of self-reflexivity (Ma Yuan) prove narratologically complex to translate, while low-level self-reflexivity tends to point the translator towards a more complex transcultural process.

Will, all the way from Queensland!





The last port of call for Rustransdark was Patrick McGuiness’s (Oxford) witty paper on the poet he created so that he could then translate his own poet’s works! And Patrick’s not alone – others have created fake poets with the same aim in mind. Rustransdark loved the fact that Canadian poet David Solway created his own Greek fisherman-poet whom he translated so successfully that a high-society drinks reception was organised in honour of the local Greek hero-poet… Solway had to ask his Greek family dentist to dress up as said poet and stroll (silently but purposefully), in full fishing attire, through the drinks reception and out the other side, leaving before questions could be asked!

Patrick introduces multiple fake poets!

If traduttore is ever traditore, then it seems this was a truly fitting end to an excellent colloquium! Thank you @ShefLanguages


Bloggers Karamazov Interview

It’s been another busy week on our project! The Bloggers Karamazov hosted an interview with the Dark Side‘s Cathy McAteer. Here she talks a bit about her Magarshack case study, taking us on a virtual tour around some of the surprises she found in the Penguin archive and Magarshack papers. Consider it a little taster of more things to come as our project gathers momentum. Our thanks to the North American Dostoevsky Society for making us welcome.

We’re also looking forward to some events on the near horizon… Cathy will be at the Translating Thought/Translating Literature conference at Sheffield University next week, 31st January and 01 February – be sure to come and say hello if you’re planning on being there too – and excitement is growing in all literary circles for the London Book Fair in March. We plan to attend and look forward to meeting some of our new followers there!