The book of prose “Bera and the Cucumber”
27 May 2020
Michael Pursglove took over the translation of the novels and the short stories of Alexander Korotko, which are included in the book “Bera and Cucumber,” and is doing this work, as always, at a high literary level. Three things are ready – a novel and two short stories.Michael Pursglove began cooperation with Alexander Korotko from the translations of poetry, but then went to prose, namely to the novel “The Lunar Boy” (there is a publication about this in the site’s news dated by the beginning of April this year). The new work of a translator these are compositions, whose action either takes place in Odessa or it is recollected by heroes, as well as the author himself, whose childhood and student years were spent in this city, which is absolutely unlike any other.By already established tradition, the writer and the translator are constantly in touch, since the language of novels and short stories is replete with specific “Odessa” vocabulary and turns of speech, which are also not found anywhere else. In two short stories – “Chalik and Gelik” and “Bera and the Cucumber”, the author used words invented by him. Especially for Michael Pursglove, a dictionary of these neologisms has been compiled, that much facilitating the translation work.During the work on translations of poetry, a special interaction algorithm “author – translator” was developed. Here it is appropriate to repeat the words of Michael Pursglove: “Fortunately, I was in that position, which all translators want, but do not always get, to be able to consult with the author of the original text …”“Bera and the Cucumber”, as well as “The Lunar Boy”, and some essays are the prose of Alexander Korotko, which stylistically, figuratively, rhythmically close to his poetic work. On the main page of the site are two fragments from the book “Bera and the Cucumber” with a translation of Michael Pursglove, confirming the opinion of many that this is really so. This idea was expressed back in 2005 by Andrey Bitov in his introduction to “The Lunar Boy”: “the prose of Korotko is good as in words so in whole phrases <…> Sure, prose belongs to the poet …”