Robert Chandler is a translator of one of my most admired tellers of human stories, Vasily Grossman. Grossman’s skill lies in illustrating the realities and dangers of vast people-grinding ideologies through the details of ordinary lives. I like that his translator has tapped into the need for sensitive telling and listening to bring out the value of all our stories: mine, yours, hers, his, whoever’s.
The telling of stories, of histories – the telling of my story and your story, of her story and his story – can be a gift … if we can speak truthfully and trustingly, our histories can cease to be burdens. Any story, truly told and truly listened to, can become a gift.
See our celebration of another masterwork of Grossman (also translated by Chandler), Life and Fate, possibly the greatest novel of the 20th century, including a rich mosaic of quotations.
Source: Robert Chandler, introduction to Vasily Grossman, Everything Flows, trans. Robert and Elizabeth Chandler with Anna Aslanyan (London: Vintage Books, 2011), pp. xi and xiii
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