Episode 152

Robert Chandler on Teffi the writer & His Translation of 'And Time was No More and Essential Stories and Memories'

Our guest for this Episode is the renowned Russian Translator Robert Chandler. He delves into the world of the celebrated Russian Writer Teffi, discussing his translation of the recently released short story compilation 'The Time was no More and Essential Stories and Memories' penned by Teffi.

Robert first began learning Russian when he was 15. At 20, he spent a year as a British Council Exchange scholar in Voronezh, the city where Andrey Platonov was born and where Osip Mandelstam was exiled. It was there that he first read these two writers, who have remained precious to him throughout his life.

He has also translated Sappho, Teffi, Alexander Pushkin, Vasily Grossman, the Uzbek novelist Hamid Ismailov and the greatly undervalued poet Lev Ozerov; like Grossman, Ozerov was a Russophone Jew, born in Ukraine. He has edited and co-translated three anthologies for Penguin Classics: of Russian poetry, Russian short stories and Russian poetry. He has also run translation workshops in London and taught for an annual summer school. He has worked as a mentor to younger translators. Before deciding to translate full-time, he worked for eight years as a teacher of the Alexander Technique - a valuable discipline concerning voice, breath and movement.”


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Literary fiction and Translations