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Andrey Kurkov and the Translators

The Literary Saloon details what went wrong with the recent translation of Andrey Kurkov’s The President’s Last Love. I loved his Death and the Penguin and A Matter of Life and Death, so it’s too bad that something not-so-good seems to have happened to his latest book.

Sometimes the translator just gets it plain wrong – one character, posing for a sexy photo shoot, apparently “lies on the floor [and] flays her arms and legs” – and he, or she, also has a habit of switching tenses in mid-sentence (“Now I know what my wife wished for, it only remained to think about what I wanted”).



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