|"Raising Hell at Your Desk": Translating Isaac Babel|
Isaac Babel’s wildly inventive short stories of the 1920s are every bit as vivid and invigorating today as they were when they first appeared in Soviet Russia. And the questions they raise, both ethically and formally, are just as compelling: Can glorious ends justify ghastly means? What elements of an outmoded world are worth preserving? Can one capture the power and complexity of cataclysmic events in words? What is the proper line between fact and fiction? Any reader of Babel’s work is forced to engage with these questions, and for translators — who are, in the first instance, very close readers — the stakes of this engagement are especially high. In this talk, Dralyuk will discuss his translations of Babel, which were published in two volumes by Pushkin Press: Red Cavalry (2014) and Odessa Stories (2016).