The Art of Translation: Dialogues

Program #7. Irina Mashinski - Peter France

Saturday, December 3, 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:

Saturday, Dec 3, 2022 | 2PM EST, 7PM (UK)

The Russian American Cultural Center presents:
The Art of Translation. Dialogues
The author and the host: Irina Mashinski
Dialogue #7: with Peter France

Video recording on the RACC/Roman Khidekel YouTube channel

A series of conversations in the RACC movable studio: the poet and essayist Irina Mashinski in dialogue with masters of the ancient art and craft of translation, as they discuss the place of translation in today’s world and reflect on their work.  
What is translation, after all? What is the nature and the role of the ‘original’ in each particular case? What is actually being translated? And why is it relevant today, of all times?

A conversation with Peter France about retranslation of classics, and Russian Golden Age poets,  in particular;  translating Mandelstam and how this differs from collaborative work with living poets (Aygi); collaboration with other translators (with Jon Stallworthy on Blok and Pasternak), translating  from Chuvash.

Peter France was born in Northern Ireland of Welsh parents. He is now based in Edinburgh, where he was professor of French from 1980 to 2000. A Fellow of the British Academy and of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, he has written many studies of French, Russian and comparative literature, and is the editor of the New Oxford Companion to Literature in French  and of the Oxford Guide to Literature in English Translation.. He has translated French and Russian prose texts as well as several volumes of Russian poetry – Blok and  Pasternak (both with Jon Stallworthy), Batyushkov, Baratynsky, Lermontov, Mayakovsky, Mandelstam, and Aygi.

Peter France's photo by Robin Gillanders

Irina Mashinski was born and raised in Moscow. She graduated from Moscow University, where she studied theory of landscape and completed her PhD in paleoclimatology. In 1991, she emigrated to the United States, where she taught high school mathematics as well as literature, history, and meteorology at several universities. Mashinski is the author The Naked World (MadHat Press, 2022) and of eleven books of poetry and essays 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 Brown University’s Slavic Department. Her work has been translated into several languages and has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies both in the US and internationally. Her second English book, Giornata (Červená Barva Press), is forthcoming in the fall of 2022. Website:

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.