Acknowledgements

Special thanks are also due to my parents for emigrating from Russia to Germany when I was twelve and thus helping me discover the joy of bilingual editions. Using them first just to learn a new language, I soon found incomparable pleasure in comparing, in reading simultaneously two very similar yet fascinatingly different texts.  Soon I was gathering together as many versions as possible and I recall lying on the floor with maybe a dozen print-outs of a single poem’s many incarnations spread out around me, having discovered that parallel reading is most fun with poetry. If I like a text, I re-read it in another language. If I love a text, I re-read it in two languages. If there is no translation, I translate it for myself. This quirk to a large degree defines me as a reader. And “me as a reader” to a large degree defines me.

—Alexandra Berlina, Brodsky Translating Brodsky: Poetry in Self-Translation (Bloomsbury, 2014), p. ix

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