By Brian James Baer, Natalia Olshanskaya
Since the early eighteenth century, following Peter the Great’s coverage of compelled westernization, translation in Russia has been a really seen and much-discussed perform. in general perceived as an incredible provider to the nation and the country, translation used to be additionally seen as a excessive paintings, prime many Russian poets and writers to interact in literary translation in a significant and sustained demeanour. therefore, translations have been typically considered as an essential component of an author’s oeuvre and of Russian literature as a whole.
This quantity brings jointly Russian writings on translation from the mid-18th century until eventually this day and provides them in chronological order, delivering beneficial insights into the speculation and perform of translation in Russia. Authored through a few of Russia’s prime writers, similar to Aleksandr Pushkin, Fedor Dostoevskii, Lev Tolstoi, Maksim Gorkii, and Anna Akhmatova, a lot of those texts are translated into English for the 1st time. they're observed by means of wide annotation and biographical sketches of the authors, and display Russian translation discourse to be a cosmopolitan and infrequently politicized exploration of Russian nationwide id, in addition to the character of the fashionable subject.
Russian Writers on Translation fills a power hole within the literature on replacement translation traditions, highlighting the colourful and severe tradition of translation on Europe’s ‘periphery’. seen in a extensive cultural context, the chosen texts replicate a nuanced figuring out of the Russian reaction to global literature and spotlight the makes an attempt of Russian writers to advertise Russia as an all-inclusive cultural model.
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Additional resources for Russian Writers on Translation: An Anthology
Commentary to Nala and Damayanti (1844) Translated by James McGavran ‘Nala and Damayanti’ is an episode from the enormous Indian epic The Mahabharata. This excerpt, which by itself represents a complete whole, has twice been translated into German; one translation, by [Franz] Bopp, is closer to the original; the other, by [Friedrich Rückert], has more poetic merit. I kept with the latter. Not knowing the original, I could not have had the intention of acquainting Russian readers with it; I simply wanted to retell in Russian the story which so captivated me in [Rückert’s] version; I wanted to take pleasure in poetic labour, trying to find in my language expressions for the virginal, prototypical beauty that fills the Indian story of Nala and Damayanti.
Scenes from Sakuntala, an Indian Drama (1792) Translated by James McGavran The creative spirit resides not only in Europe; it is a citizen of the universe. A man is everywhere a man; everywhere he possesses a sensitive heart and contains in the mirror of his imagination the heavens and the earth. Everywhere Nature is his mentor and his chief source of pleasure. I felt this very vividly reading Sakuntala, a drama written in the Indian language by the Asiatic poet Kalidasa over 1900 years ago.
In this way the French assimilated the alexandrine verse line as the one best-suited to and best aligned with the rules of its poetry. They say that as early as the 12th century a French poem was written under the title ‘Alexander the Great’ and that this is the origin of the name alexandrine. The alexandrine verse line is indeed entirely inadequate. Not only is its monotony onerous to the ear, but its dryness, brevity, and mandatory stress on the hemistich merit criticism from the French themselves.