Literary roundup: Rossica Prize for best post-horses of enlightenment

Congratulations to John Elsworth for winning this year’s Rossica Translation Prize for his translation of Andrei Bely’s Petersburg. I don’t remember exactly how he put it but I remember Nabokov writing how untranslatable the novel is. Hopefully, this means he was wrong.

The other shortlisted books all sound great – and include Vasily Grossman’s The Road, translated by Robert and Elizabeth Chandler with Olga Mukovnikova; Nikolay Leskov’s Cathedral Clergy: A Chronicle, translated by Margaret Winchell; Ilf and Petrov’s The Golden Calf, translated by Konstantin Gurevich and Helen Anderson and Ivan Bunin’s The Village, translated by Galya and Hugh Aplin, who received a special commendation for their translations.


Rossica has a big PDF brochure where you can learn things like how the winning translator splits time between Manchester and The Peloponnese (not the kind of lifestyle I thought translators led – might have to reconsider my career) and that having a Russian wife is probably a good first or even second step in becoming a translator of Russian. The brochure also has short extracts of the shortlisted books and a list of all the longlisted books.

The Rossica Young Translators Award  went to Gregory Afinogenov for his translation of S.N.U.F.F by Victor Pelevin.

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