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Interview with Philip Boehm [Read This Next]

For those who didn’t get enough from the other week’s Read This Next on Gregor von Rezzori’s An Ermine of Czernopol, we’ve added an interview with the translator, Philip Boehm. Here’s a little excerpt:

Lily Ye: What did you think of the way in which Rezzori is able to voice different characters (as there is a lot of direct quoting in this novel) and how did you approach the translation of these different registers and argots into English?

Philip Boehm: First I have to “hear” the voices in the original. Then I try to find a suitable musical key in English. I also work professionally as a theater director and am often struck by how that activity overlaps my work as a translator—interpreting the text, envisioning the script, clearly defining characters, etc.

In rendering the accents and argots, it’s important to bear in mind that a Russian inflection, say, sounds different to a German ear than to an English one. There are also occasions when it’s best to know the proper mispronunciation.

Read the full text here.



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