What was I afraid of? Losing Shurik. Nothing could be more terrifying. What was Shurik afraid of? Of the monsters that live under the bed and in the pipes when his mother is nowhere to be found. An empty apartment in the evening.
There is a moment in every person’s life in which the features of their face take on an indefinite air; they become a hodgepodge of blurry lines, unsure which direction to take, a suspended confusion between what is not and what is yet to be.
C'è un momento, nella vita di ogni essere umano, in cui i tratti del volto assumono un'aria indefinita; diventano un guazzabuglio di linee poco marcate, indecise sulla direzione da prendere, una confusione sospesa tra ciò che non è più e ciò che deve ancora diventare.
Short stories tend to have much shorter lifespans than novels do. As such, a translation is a form of reincarnation. The end result is the same story, but also a completely different one at the same time. The first level of changes is due to the different language operating under another structure, a different set of ties binding the abstract with the specific. But there's also the second level, a more intimate level where the story surreptitiously obtains new properties after it’s been processed through the mind of the translator.
I got into translation for the same reason many people get into blogging, writing reviews, and other fannish activities: I loved certain stories and felt the strong desire to share them with my friends. Except many of my genre-reading friends do not speak Russian. And while I'm not a reviewer and am a lazy blogger at best, in this case I had, ahem, a particular set of skills…