A letter from Larry Cannon

Dear Ms. Pereltsvaig,

I learned a few days ago, with sorrow and a real sense of loss, of the passing of your father. I met him in person perhaps four times, decades ago, but he has reviewed my work for different agencies for all that time.

Over the years, of all the Russian editors, no, make that “of all the editors,” who have worked on my translations I had the greatest respect for Misha. He never made a “correction” that ran contrary to my sense of American English grammar. He never criticized any aspect of the writing and grammatical style I use, which used to be known as “American standard English” before the teaching of English in the United States began to decay in the late 1960s and early 1970s. In technical matters he never made anything other than well-reasoned comments, posed anything other than sensible questions, or offered anything other than substantive comments.

In person he was a soft-spoken but confident gentleman in whose presence I always felt comfortable.

In my experience agencies and their personnel come and go, with utter indifference to the freelancers who work for them. As a freelancer I have learned to be indifferent to their coming and going as well. But in Misha’s case, I will genuinely miss our professional interactions, and regret that, by circumstance, I did not get to spend more time in his gentle presence.

Please accept my sincerest condolences.

Larry Cannon
Technical translator

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