Translating from any language is fraught with problems and prone to emphasis of either style or accuracy. We have sought to ensure accuracy and to avoid substantive errors by engaging a translator and an editor who are native speakers of Russian. Valerii Dereviagin did the initial painstaking work of rendering the original into English. He worked with great care to get at the author’s meaning. Yurii Pamfilov, a seasoned translator and editor of art books, checked the English against the original and made substantive corrections. Then we found an expert editor in New York to review the translation and take out the occasional stiffness of an over-literal rendering. This was the work of Marybeth Sollins, who besides greatly improving the flow of the English had the intuition to flag places where another look at the original was called for.

Before we began the translation we benefited from the response to the original that Professor Michael Flier of Harvard University gave us. Professor Flier pointed out the significance of the discovery and awareness of the iconographic heritage for Russian modernism. And it was Edward Kasinec, long-time chief of the New York Public Library’s Slavic division, who introduced us to the book as worthy of an English edition.

Brill was alert to the book’s worth and receptive to our proposal from our initial conversation with Herman Pabbruwe, ceo of Brill, at the Frankfurt Book Fair. After the fair Arjan van Dijk, acquisitions editor, took the trouble to call New York and discuss the translation. Marti Huetink, manager of the publishing unit and senior acquisitions editor, advanced the project by working with the Slavic editor Ivo Romein to get readers’ reports on the translation and communicate their progress. Theo Joppe and Brill’s production team were skillful and efficient in shaping the manuscript into book form and thorough and scrupulous in guiding the book through several stages of proofs. We are fortunate to have found a publisher of such professionalism and good will. They have been exceptionally responsive and cordial in handling all questions relating to the book’s publication.

John Emerich

Bronze Horseman Literary Agency