A Different ‘Darkness at Noon’
When I translated The Gift and The Defense, my way of thinking was very close to Nabokov's. I believed it was the translator's job to follow every twist and turn in the original language, and to try to capture every lexical and cultural nuance on the level of the sentence...
Translation is a bastard form - Michael Scammell
I have been especially glad to read Michael Scammell's Koestler (Faber, £30). Full disclosure: I commissioned the book as long ago as 1985. Sometimes, Scammell's publisher must have despaired of the project. Actually, the frustrating passage of 25 years has done this enthralling biography two favours.
The double life of Arthur Koestler, intellectual and sexual adventurer
ARTHUR KOESTLER AND WIFE SUICIDES IN LONDON
Arthur Koestler: flawed crusader
It is right, but also not quite right, to celebrate the journalist and contemporary historian, Svetlana Alexievich, this year’s laureate of the Nobel Prize in Literature, as a Belarusian writer. The force of her work, the source of its power and plausibility, is the choice of a generation (her own) as a major subject and the close attention to its major inflection point, which was the end of the Soviet Union Svetlana Alexievich: The Truth in Many Voices
What and how much were the Soviets eating?
There is a new and intriguing book out by Benjamin Peters called How Not to Network a Nation: The Uneasy History of the Soviet Internet, which outlines exactly what it claims to. Here is one introductory excerpt:
Translating the horror of the Pre Velvet Revolution into Earth's far future ... Dangerous Non-Fictions:
produced a number of far-reaching effects. It brought down a president. It created a new era of disillusionment with politics. And, more important for my purposes, it spawned one of the most flexible, enduring suffixes in modern history. Since the ’70s, we’ve had countless -gate iterations, including Nipplegate (Janet Jackson, Super Bowl XXXVIII, Janet Jackson’s nipple), Donutgate (2015, singer Ariana Grande licking a donut and saying “I hate America”), and, in Canada, the 2011 election-fraud scandal known as Robogate.