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Who is the Kindle translator?
on 14 December 2017
The translator of the We (Momentum Classic Science Fiction) Kindle edition isn't mentioned. After some detective work, using information at the back of the eBook, I found that "Momentum Classic Science Fiction" is part of Pan Macmillan Australia. The book is a reprint of the Dutton, 1924 First Edition. The manuscript was smuggled to the firm of E. P. Dutton, who arranged for a translation by Kiev-born Gregory Zilboorg, a medical student at Columbia University who had already published an English version of a novel by Leonid Andreyev. The original was written in Russian, in Russia, in 1921, but not published there until 1988. WE has the distinction of being the first work to be banned by the Soviet censorship board.
Note there are questions surrounding the authenticity of Zilboorg's Russian source. It was the 1929 French edition Nous Autres that Orwell drew on for 1984.
Zilboorg later authored several works on the history of psychology, and treated a number of celebrities, including George Gershwin and Lillian Hellman; the musical LADY IN THE DARK is based on Moss Hart's experience undergoing analysis with Zilboorg.
The difficulties people are having with the book may be due to it drawing on expressionist aesthetic theory and Jungian psychology, rather than the translation. But I'll leave those who have read other translations to comment on that, and on the authenticity question. This document is certainly of note given that it is the first English translation of the first banned work to escape to the West.