Author: Laurence Bogoslaw
Brexit, Foreign Investment, Russian Elections and NATO: What’s All This Got to Do With Fridges?
This week’s letter starts with a confession: One of the Current Digest’s translators, who shall remain nameless, took a sharp semantic swerve by rendering the Russian kholodilnik ("refrigerator") as "wallet." What’s more, our editors (who, for better or worse, cannot remain nameless) liked the idea! Before readers start calling us incompetent - or using less printable epithets - let’s explain the context: Mikhail Khodorkovsky said in an interview with The New Times that "the stability of the proestablishment majority isn’t that strong. And when their refrigerators start talking, people need to understand that they have an alternative." We changed the fridge phrase to "when their wallets are empty." This decision was further justified by a later mention of the same household appliance, in which the interviewer talks about needing to survive "until, as you put it, the refrigerator starts shouting over the television." Entertaining as the image was, we went with the phrase: "until . . . people start voting with their wallets." These decisions were based on what translation theorists call "textual cohesion": In other words, our primary concern was not the figurative images for their own sake, but the rhetorical strategy they were meant to accomplish.
Speaking of a cohesive strategy, do Russia’s antiestablishment forces have one? This week’s lively interviews with Khodorkovsky and fellow oppositionist Aleksei Navalny leave that issue open to question. But when it comes to the Russian establishment, commentators cite a definite trend of rapprochement toward Europe that was observed at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. Tatyana Stanovaya cites the government’s "liberal" strategies to increase Russia’s investment appeal; Anastasia Bashkatova argues that having failed in its "pivot to the East," Russia is now turning again to the West; and Nikita Krichevsky ticks off statistics about new oil and gas contracts signed at the ...
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|Article Title||Letter From the Editors: June 13-26, 2016|
|Source||Current Digest of the Russian Press, The , No.24, Vol.68, June 13, 2016, page(s):2|
|Place of Publication||Minneapolis, USA|