On September 25, founder and president of TechInput Group of Companies, visiting professor at the Moscow State University, the National Research University Higher School of Economics and the New Economic School, as well as several US universities, publisher of a number of bilingual US magazines, and literary translator Boris Aronstein met with the readership of the Margarita Rudomino All-Russia State Library for Foreign Literature where he gave a lecture titled: “Between Languages or Literary Translation as Intuition”.
Boris Aronshtein has spent the last 30 years living between the Russian and the English languages, and that was the result not only of his professional teaching activities, but also of his effort as a translator of English-language prose and poetry. He has authored three books of translations the first of which is titled exactly thus: “Between Languages”.
The path to realizing that he had in fact found himself living on the borderline of two languages, without ever abandoning his native Russian, – and, moreover, just how lucky he was to do that, – proved to be a long one for Boris.
“If possible, be Russian. And live in another country. Play chess. Be an active trader between languages”. This was the advice given by Russian writer Vladimir Nabokov which he himself abided by till the very end.
It’s been years since Boris Aronstein took his first steps in the English-speaking world. Yet only by now has that feeling which he got the first time ever taste of at a NYC airport and which had been waxing in him, both persistently and imminently, finally acquired a name and found the fullest possible reflection in his life – the feeling of being stuck between the languages.
An audio recording of Boris Aronstein’s lecture is available here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1enleU5MjhVanfHBdv2keaRlyvrei9_Nn/view?usp=sharing
Margarita Rudomino All-Russia State Library for Foreign Literature is a federal library specializing in literature in foreign languages. Back in 1921, it was started as a Neophilologica library. Presently, the library a unique collection of foreign literature, which includes books and periodical literature in over 140 languages of the world.
The core of the library stock is the collection of the world classical and modern literature in the source language, as well as foreign publications on literature and language studies, books about foreign art and arts history, historical treatises and tomes of country and regional studies. The library’s depositories hold over 2.5 million periodical publications and the number of digital editions is constantly growing.