Robert Chandler is the main English translator of both Vasily Grossman and Andrei Platonov. He has also compiled three anthologies for Penguin Classics: of Russian short stories, of Russian magic tales and, with Boris Dralyuk and Irina Mashinski, The Penguin Book of Russian Poetry. He is a co-translator of three volumes of memoirs and stories by Teffi. His short biography of Alexander Pushkin is published by Pushkin Press. He runs a monthly translation workshop at Pushkin House (Bloomsbury).
Vasily Grossman is famous for his masterpiece Life and Fate and his writing as a reporter embedded within the Red Army, particularly for his powerful report on Treblinka. Robert Chandler (his translator and editor of The Road) revealed to us Grossman not only as a heroic witness, but also as a supreme artist, focusing on Grossman’s dialogue with another great short story writer, Isaak Babel.
Janet Suzman read from three of Grossman’s recently published short stories.
Lev Ozerov: Portraits without Frames
Robert Chandler, in conversation with David Herman, discuss his recently published translation of Lev Ozerov’ s stupendous Portraits without Frames, one of the most remarkable books of Russian poetry to have been published since the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Translating an Epic: Vasily Grossman’s Stalingrad
Russian author Vasily Grossman spent four years reporting from the Eastern Front during WWII, where he claimed to read only one book, twice: Tolstoy’s War and Peace. Grossman produced two novels – Stalingrad, and its sequel, Life and Fate – based on his experience of the pitiless Nazi siege of the city. Like War and Peace, this a family saga; it tells the tale of the Shaposhnikov family and their friends as they battle with the brutaliti...
Translating Soviet Literature
Three of the leading literary translators from Russian to English – Robert Chandler, Boris Dralyuk and Bryan Keretnyk – join literary critic David Herman to discuss their most recent translations: Vasily Grossman’s The People Immortal; Isaac Babel’s Of Sunshine and Bedbugs; and Yuri Felsen’s Deceit. From Jewish gangsters in Babel’s native Odessa and the catastrophic first...