Posts by Matt Seidel

Larissa and Richard Translate a Menu

What happens when two of the greats conspire to translate a dinner menu?

“We discuss endlessly and sometimes it becomes a nuisance because we return to it again and again even after the manuscript goes off. But we really don’t quarrel. It would be much more interesting if we did.”

— Larissa Volokhonsky, in an interview with The Wall Street Journal

Over the last several decades, the married translation team of Richard Pevear (native English speaker) and Larissa Volokhonsky (native Russian speaker) have proceeded through the masterworks of Russian literature from Dostoyevsky to Pasternak with ruthless efficiency, skill, and finesse. But one morning, the couple embarked on an audacious new project that threatened to tear them apart: that of the Sandovar restaurant. (What follows is wholly invented, of course.)  READ MORE…