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13:48 Mar 22, 2018
Russian to English translations [PRO] Art/Literary - General / Conversation / Greetings / Letters
Yes, "closet writer" is the best option, the "write for the drawer" is a word for word translation which is seen in quotation everywhere. So I used "descriptive translation of word senses" and I did not dare posting "closet writer" when I saw in discussions. Now I think it is a relevant option.https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/174059/equivalen...
all of the hits it gives me are in Russian (primarily) or other Soviet block contexts, and they always appear in quotation marks, which to me indicates that the phrase is not quite kosher in regular English. See for yourself:
But I do agree that this is not a situation limited to Russia alone. People fail to get published for more than just political reasons. Heck, I "write for the drawer" all the time, or rather I have been until I finally said to myself, oh well, why bother?
Of course it's an English idiom! It's also a German idiom, "für die Schublade schreiben." It's not a uniquely Russian situation, but a universal one, no matter what language may or may not have coined the phrase first, which I don't know. It's apt and comprehensible in English, it is used, and can describe various situations, ranging from writers working in a politically or socially (think Emily Dickinson) oppressive context, or someone who is too lacking in confidence to try to publish their work. So why is that not "English"?