“The Quiet Rebels of Russian Translation”: An Interview with Pevear and Volokhonsky

at LitHub:VOLOKHONSKY Yes. We had yet another critic, at the very beginning, an old Russian émigré lady. When we first told her we were translating The Brothers Karamazov, she said, Oh, Dostoevsky, I hope you correct his awful style. I said, No, that is precisely what we’re going to keep. more … [Read more...]

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“The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows”

exulansisn. the tendency to give up trying to talk about an experience because people are unable to relate to it—whether through envy or pity or simple foreignness—which allows it to drift away from the rest of your life story, until the memory itself feels out of place, almost mythical, wandering restlessly in the fog, no longer even looking for a place to land.more (via Mockingbird) … [Read more...]

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Beyond Sexual Identity: Not Whether But How

Gay, straight, heterosexual, homosexual: All these terms have a history, all represent the fears and desires of specific cultures and moments, and all will eventually be superseded. In a hundred years I don't think people in their flying cars, with their marriages to toasters, will be calling themselves gay or straight. The conflict over sexuality which has so deeply marked not only personal identity but (tragically) the identities of our churches will be replaced--probably replaced by other … [Read more...]

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Disguised, Paid, Inked, Zigzag: 193 Historical Ways to Say “Drunk”

tired and emotional … [Read more...]

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“Dyscommunication”: I review “Tribes” at the Studio Theatre

for AmCon: If you couldn’t understand what your family was saying, would you understand them better or worse?Nina Raines’s ”Tribes” opens with four Britons hurling abuse at each other around the kitchen table. I think it’s supposed to be funny, but it’s mostly just crass and painful: Mom, Dad, brother and sister describing one another’s passions, hopes, beliefs, and sex lives in the most contemptuous terms possible. The fifth member of the family is deaf and yeah, you do feel that perhaps he … [Read more...]

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OED Birthday Word Generator: Which Words Originated in Your Birth Year?

This is a really fun little widget! Via IKM. My birthday word is "gazillion," as in, "I have spent a gazillion hours winding cassette tape back into cassettes with a pencil eraser." But it's fun to just play around with the thing and see which words originated later or earlier than I would have guessed--"celebutante" and "babysitter" are both from the 1930s, for example. … [Read more...]

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Wesley Hill’s 2013 best-of books list

For your delectation: I taught a course on Christology last spring, and in preparation I read a lot about St. Cyril of Alexandria. Three books are especially memorable from that time: Cyril’s treatise On the Unity of Christ, Christ in Eastern Christian Thought by John Meyendorff, and St. Cyril of Alexandria: The Christological Controversy by John McGuckin.I also read a few books this year from and about the Church of England and the Anglican Communion, as I continue to try to figure out wher … [Read more...]

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