[Marxism] Re: Fwd: Protest Tea: Victoria Lomasko's "Other Russias, " Los Angeles Review of Books

Thomas Campbell avvakum at gmail.com
Mon May 8 03:57:52 MDT 2017

Louis wrote:


I reviewed the book as well:



Since I imagine that Marxism still has something to do with labor and how
the "help" get treated, I'm going to risk Louis's wrath and reproduce here
the comment I made under his review of the book, as published on his blog
in late February. Nothing has changed for the better since then. If
anything, things have gotten worse. I engaged an attorney in New York to
help me mediate my grievances with n+1. Since n+1 have a hit on their
hands, they seem less interested than ever in remedying in any way the very
sharp practices I described in February. I still haven't even received the
three copies of the book owed me under the contract, whose only interesting
clause, for n+1, was using the 120-day window they had to sell the foreign
rights to Penguin UK, who are, allegedly, publishing the book in
Brexitlandia this month. I doubt very much whether I'll make any money off
that deal, although I hold the copyright on the translation, a copyright
that seems well nigh worthless, as does my five years of work translating
and promoting an artist who seems more concerned with making an impression
on the Sasha Razors of the world, as the reviewer styles herself both on
LARB and the UCLA Slavic dept. website:



It’s really too bad, Louis, that you unfriended me on Facebook. If you
hadn’t, you would have heard about the serious problems I’ve been having
with n+1 and this book. Of course, the book itself is worth people’s time
and money, but I’ve been so badly mistreated by n+1, in quite specific
contractual terms and more generally, that I’m considering taking legal
action against them. You might have noticed that I’m not identified on the
cover. Now look at the cover of KM’s book and notice that they managed to
squeeze the names of all four translators onto the cover. As translator, I
also had the final say on the text per our written and signed agreement.
But now I’ve discovered, after looking through a .pdf preprint of the
finished book, that n+1’s editors kept on editing the book after I’d
submitted my final edit, making substantial changes to the text. Finally,
they supposedly have already sold the UK rights to Random House Penguin UK
for a song. If the deal, as it has been described to me, goes through, I’ll
make a whopping 500 pounds to go with the stunning $1,000 flat free I
finally got from n+1 the other day. Finally, I had to cancel my
participation in the promo tour after the author essentially shanghaied me
into signing off on the highway robbery pact with Penguin UK. She said
everything bad about me she could think of, but that mattered less than her
strange conviction, quite common among certain Russians and certain
leftists, that translating isn’t real work, but some kind of queer hobby,
and we had no business negotiating with Penguin UK for a fairer deal, which
was all I had asked her to do. So again, while I would not discourage
anyone from buying and reading this book, I would also encourage them to
ask n+1’s people, if they are present at any of the events, to explain why
they have had to go out of their way to treat the book’s translator in such
a manifestly unfair way, and how their abusive labor practices jibe with
their allegedly leftist convictions. Yours, Tom Campbell

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