The Art of Translation: Dialogues

Program #4. Irina Mashinski -  Lars Kleberg

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

A series of conversations in the RACC movable studio: the author and host Irina Mashinski in dialogue with masters of the ancient art of translation, as they reflect on their work.

Event Venue:

RACC Movable Studio, New York

Event Date:

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

A series of conversations in the RACC movable studio: Irina Mashinski in dialogue with masters of the art of translation, as they reflect on their work.

What is translation, after all? What is the nature and the role of the ‘original’ in each particular case? And what is actually being translated? And why is it relevant now, of all times?

In this program Lars Kleberg reflects on Chekhov, Russian avant-garde theater, jazz, and some aspects of his work translating Chekhov’s plays and Lev Rubenstein’s poetry.

Video recording on the RACC/Roman Khidekel YouTube channel


Lars Kleberg (b.1941) is professor emeritus of Russian at Södertörn University, Sweden. He is a translator and writer and also general editor of Svenskt översättarlexikon 


     His most recent books are Vid avantgardets korsvägar. Om Ivan Aksionov och den ryska modernismen [At the Crossroads of the Avantgarde. Ivan Aksenov and Russian Modernism], Stockholm 2015, Aksenov and the Environs – Aksenov i okrestnosti, ed. together with Aleksei Semenenko, Huddinge 2012, and Tjechov och friheten. En litterär biografi [Chekhov and Freedom. A literary biography], Stockholm 2010.

He has published translations of e.g., Anton Chekhov’s plays and poetic texts by Lev Rubinstein, Tiden går. Texter ur Det stora kartoteket [Time Passes. Texts from The Big Card Index], Stockholm 2001 and Vidare och vidare (Further and Further. Texts, co-translated with Johan Öberg, Kajsa Öberg Lindsten, and Dmitri Plax), Stockholm 2021.

Irina Mashinski was born in Moscow and graduated from Moscow University where completed her Ph.D. In 1991, she moved to the US, where she worked as a high school mathematics and science teacher and taught at universities. Irina Mashinski is the author of eleven books of poetry, essays, and translations in Russian. She is co-editor, with Robert Chandler and Boris Dralyuk, of The Penguin Book of Russian Poetry (Penguin Classics, 2015) and of Cardinal Points, the journal of Slavic literature in English (Brown University), and co-translator of Lev Ozerov’s Portraits Without Frames (NYRB Classics, 2018). Irina Mashinski is the recipient of several Russian literary awards and, with Boris Dralyuk, of the first prize in the 2012 Joseph Brodsky / Stephen Spender International Translation Prize competition. Her English-language debut, is The Naked World. A Tale with Verse (MadHat Press, 2022).

On YouTube: Irina Mashinski

On Twitter: @IrinaMashinski


This program is made possible, in part, by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, Cojeco and Tianaderrah Foundation.