There is an Italian saying which applies here: “Traddutore, traditore!” Or, in other words, to translate is to betray.
Today I finished reading the Dalkey Press Edition of Kirill Kobrin’s Eleven Prague Corpses. It was a work that hovered on the edge of brilliance. The author was even conversant with G. K. Chesterton, one of my favorite authors. The only problem was that I had a feeling that one of two things was happening:
- The work was badly translated from the original Russian.
- The author has problems following a story through to its conclusion.
I tend to think the Option 1 is the case here. Each of the eleven stories that make up this volume aroused my interest, but usually stumbled before the close. Throughout, I had this feeling that Kobrin is the kind of writer I really like, at least from what I have been able to determine.
The above poster was from Kirill Kobrin’s Twitter feed. It caught my eye and I include it here for no particular reason except that I like it. So there!
As for following Kirill’s work in future, I am hopeful that he will take a more active role in translating his own work as he now lives in London and knows English. And presumably, his own English will improve.
I certainly hope so, as I think he has a lot to say.