Cover Osteuropa 6/2007

In Osteuropa 6/2007

Anatomy of an Act of Restraint
Translating Varlam Shalamov

Gabriele Leupold

Deutsche Fassung


The translator – unlike the mere reader or even the literary critic – has to direct his attention to every single word of a text. By his very nature, he brings to light from his worm’s eye view “technical” details which otherwise are easily overlooked. With Shalamov, who consciously uses a limited array of instruments for his Kolyma Tales, this view of how the text works and of course the way Russian and German languages differ shows how strongly the effect of the tales depends on decisions concerning small details – be it a cadence, a pause, a tense, or word choice.

(Osteuropa 6/2007, pp. 195–204)