If you’ve been following the EuroMaidan protests, you need…

If you’ve been following the EuroMaidan protests, you need to amp up your attention this morning. As far as I can tell this is a hasty by hand vote in Ukraine’s parliament that will have wide-reaching effects. These include criminalization of criticism of the government in social media. 

News in English has been slow to keep up, but Twitter has been all over it this morning.

Some people on Facebook are translating the new criminal code into English.

More translation here.

Translations posted by @MaidanOnline

Next week I’ll be at ALTA’s annual meeting talking…

Next week I’ll be at ALTA’s annual meeting talking about my translation of Dmitri Prigov’s Стихограммы. Look me up if you’re in or around Bloomington! 

Edit: The conference program is available here.


I would love to take credit for this .gif, but I cannot. The truth is far more exciting: it’s a self portrait. The full project, created by the Prigov Family Group, is available at his website.  

Because you are such good people, here’s something else magnificent:

ACLA: Translation, Transection, and Transformation

We had a fantastic panel, such that I’m already trying to engineer a reunion at ALTA. 

Below is the program as it finally came together, with links to our participants and their texts.

April 5th, 8:30am:
Anna Marshall – “The Trace of an Accent: Translation through Ghostwriting in Budapeste by Chico Buarque
Xiaomin Zu – “Between Transgression and Tradaptation: The Roundtrip Travel of The Dream of the Red Chamber from China to Japan and Back” 
Isabel Gomez – “The Afterlife of Emily Dickinson’s Poetry in Spanish: Between Indeterminacy and Faithless Love.”
Ana Lincoln – “Theories of Translation in Theresa Hak Kyung Cha’s Dictée

April 6th, 8:30am:
Gen Creedon – “Translating Environments: Disney’s National Park Lodges”
Veronika Ryjik – “Lope de Vega, Lenfilm and The Technicolor Time Machine.”
Wendy Hardenberg – “Faithful to What?: Transforming Translation Through Hindi अनुवाद (anuvad)”

April 7th, 8:30am: 
Zaid Suidan – “’AL-Birweh’s Ruin’: Mapping the Lyric in Translation” 
Anne Freeland – “Octavio Paz’s “Intimate Exoticism” and the Erotics of Translation”
Allen Hibbard – “Friendship, Cultural Antagonisms, and Civil War: Translating A Banquet for Seaweed by Syrian novelist Haidar Haidar”

Alphabet Poems: A


1. A beautiful A
as it once was
is—like— an apple star
in—Vien’na (AS N)
2. A beautiful film star
is a prayer
As gladly I’s once staged (in old time VIENNA)
and as beautiful; as it once waS.
3. A A A winter that is there.
Winter, summer, autumn and rain
P l e a s e God—bounty me the apple gain.
A A A spring that is THERE. 

From “Golden ABCs” by Ernst Herbeck.

Американец- это враг
Агличанин – тоже враг

Артиллеристы, Сталин дал приказ!
Авиация всего дороже для нас

А-а-а-а-а-а-а-а-а-а-а-а-  А на хуя!

Абвгдежзиклмнопростуфхцчшщъыьэюя, в смысле, Пригов

The A’s from АЗБУКА1-5 by Dmitri Prigov.

We are hosting a delegate from Ukraine’s Autonomous Republic of Crimea as part of VCU’s…

We are hosting a delegate from Ukraine’s Autonomous Republic of Crimea as part of VCU’s ongoing exchange with the Open World Program. You can read about last year’s delegation here

Our guest and I stayed up late last night looking at our respective regions on google earth, during which time I learned an incredible amount about the ecology, economy, and governance of the Crimean Peninsula. It’s so incredible to have a chance to speak Russian again, I can’t even begin to describe it. 

It is also worth noting this: if you don’t stay on top of your medical vocabulary, you run a high risk of mistaking someone’s surgery on their deviated septum for a surgical severing of their corpus callosum. This will cause a lot of confusion which, due to the close proximity of the brain and the nasal passages, cannot be cleared up through gesture.

deviated septum – искривление носовой перегородки

corpus callosum –  Мозoлистое тeло

Announced! the Joseph Brodsky and Stephen Spender Prizes for Translation, 2012

Announced! the Joseph Brodsky and Stephen Spender Prizes for Translation, 2012:

For the translation of Russian poetry into English
Judged by Sasha Dugdale, Catriona Kelly and Glyn Maxwell

First Boris Dralyuk and Irina Mashinski for ‘Field Hospital’ by Arseny Tarkovsky 
Second Iryna Shuvalova for ‘The Prayer of the Touch’ by Sergei Chegra 
Third Alexandra Berlina for ‘You can’t tell a gnat’ by Joseph Brodsky 


Huw Davies for ‘Camellia’ by Igor Irteniev
Boris Dralyuk for ‘All that Happened to Me’ by Irina Mashinski
Mark Hanin for ‘I Washed before Bed in the Yard’ by Osip Mandelstam
Katherine Young for ‘This is life: the summer house’ by Inna Kabysh


SUBMIT: to the ALA panel on Elizabeth Bishop.
Poets and readers both wanted!


“I watch the film unfold with a mixture of admiration, bewilderment, and, for purely selfish and private reasons, disappointment. My potentially global work has been made local. It is now locked into Germanic culture. It portrays the German media world, a distinctly German sensuality, a concrete Tyrolese. Well, haven’t I written frequently in admiration of the artist happy to engage with his local community and ignore the global? Indeed I have. But this local is not my local. And of course, thanks to the complex laws of film rights and copyright, something else I have recently expressed a few opinions about, it will now not be easy for English or American producers to make their own version of the film. Like it or not, Cleaver, Cleaver, really has expatriated. He’s Cliewer now.”

-Tim Parks

Parks has a very interesting blog post in the New York Review of Books on the German film adaptation of his novel Cleaver. It raises a number of the issues I hope our ACLA panel can address.

Park’s essay is about film adaptation, cultural adaptation, and the specificity of the local (a phrase that I believe I have stolen from Seamus Heaney’s nobel lecture). It falls squarely into the concerns I hoped to address when I proposed the panel, but it also touches on issues of accessibility that I think are too rarely discussed in literary circles. Park’s essay is not about disability, but the disabling nature of copyright. I want to push his questions to disability, regardless of whether he wants to go there.

I think we might find these same concerns raised in debates about sign language and the potential for cultural erasure in body modification (Drury University has a quick, if somewhat dated summary here). I have previously reblogged two striking posts by others about braille as part of my own ongoing reflections about what accessibility means in the worlds I inhabit as a writer, academic, and teacher, and I hope to recruit a few presenters for our panel who might consider how translation interacts with ongoing debates about accessibility. If this is your field and you’d like to participate, you can submit here anytime before Nov. 15th.


Parks, Tim. “My Novel, Their Culture.” Nybooks.comThe New York Review of Books blog. 3 Oct. 2012. Web. 25 Oct. 2012.