All right, I recently spent three days in the British Public Records Office in Kew, flipping desperately through stacks of yellowing papers in search of particular information, dating from the Second World War, that I didn't find. But I did come across some interesting stuff in my researches: One file from Eighth Army headquarters (the HQ of the Anglo-American army fighting northwards up the Italian peninsula) consisted almost entirely of complaints about the inadequacy and downright incompetence of the translators and interpreters, both Italian and English, assigned to headquarters. Another, a War Office or Special Operations Executive file (I can't remember which), contained several "interrogation reports" signed by one "Archie" Colquhoun, who, as you can see here, later happened to translate to English several Italian classics, including The Leopard, de Roberto's The Viceroys, and Rigoni Stern's excellent war memoir The Sergeant in the Snow.
At the same time, I couldn't help but wonder if, twenty years hence, from the ranks of the armies of the Coalition of the Willing, there might not emerge, tempered by fire and steel, a cadre of literary translators determined to make known to the world the glories of that hotbed of literary and cultural ferment that is Sadr City! Will the future translators of Pashto literature have spent the early years of the new millennium interrogating Talib insurgents?