Translation and the Making of Modern Russian Literature

Bloomsbury Publishing USA
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Brian James Baer explores the central role played by translation in the construction of modern Russian literature. Peter I's policy of forced Westernization resulted in translation becoming a widely discussed and highly visible practice in Russia, a multi-lingual empire with a polyglot elite. Yet Russia's accumulation of cultural capital through translation occurred at a time when the Romantic obsession with originality was marginalizing translation as mere imitation. The awareness on the part of Russian writers that their literature and, by extension, their cultural identity were "born in translation†? produced a sustained and sophisticated critique of Romantic authorship and national identity that has long been obscured by the nationalist focus of traditional literary studies.

By offering a re-reading of seminal works of the Russian literary canon that thematize translation, alongside studies of the circulation and reception of specific translated texts, Translation and the Making of Modern Russian Literature models the long overdue integration of translation into literary and cultural studies.
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About the author

Brian James Baer is Professor of Russian and Translation Studies at Kent State University, USA. He is the author of Other Russias: Homosexuality and the Crisis of Post-Soviet Identity, which was named a Choice Outstanding Academic Title for 2011, and the editor or co-editor of five books, including Russian Writers on Translation. An Anthology (co-edited with Natalia Olshanskaya, 2013). He is the Founding Editor of the journal Translation and Interpreting Studies.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Bloomsbury Publishing USA
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Published on
Nov 19, 2015
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Pages
208
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ISBN
9781628928013
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Language
English
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Genres
Language Arts & Disciplines / Translating & Interpreting
Literary Criticism / Comparative Literature
Literary Criticism / General
Literary Criticism / Russian & Former Soviet Union
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This carefully crafted ebook: “Crime and Punishment (The Unabridged Garnett Translation)” is formatted for your eReader with a functional and detailed table of contents. This is the version based on the Unabridged Garnett Translation. Crime and Punishment is a novel by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, first published in 1866. It is the second of Dostoyevsky's full-length novels following his return from ten years of exile in Siberia. Crime and Punishment focuses on the mental anguish and moral dilemmas of Rodion Raskolnikov, an impoverished ex-student in St. Petersburg who formulates and executes a plan to kill an unscrupulous pawnbroker for her cash. Raskolnikov argues that with the pawnbroker's money he can perform good deeds to counterbalance the crime, while ridding the world of a worthless vermin. He also commits this murder to test his own hypothesis that some people are naturally capable of such things, and even have the right to do them. Several times throughout the novel, Raskolnikov justifies his actions by connecting himself mentally with Napoleon Bonaparte, believing that murder is permissible in pursuit of a higher purpose. Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky ( 1821 – 1881) was a Russian novelist, short story writer, essayist and philosopher. Dostoyevsky's literary works explore human psychology in the context of the troubled political, social, and spiritual atmosphere of 19th-century Russia. Many literary critics rate him as one of the greatest and most prominent psychologists in world literature.
Since the early eighteenth century, following Peter the Great’s policy of forced westernization, translation in Russia has been a very visible and much-discussed practice. Generally perceived as an important service to the state and the nation, translation was also viewed as a high art, leading many Russian poets and writers to engage in literary translation in a serious and sustained manner. As a result, translations were generally regarded as an integral part of an author’s oeuvre and of Russian literature as a whole.

This volume brings together Russian writings on translation from the mid-18th century until today and presents them in chronological order, providing valuable insights into the theory and practice of translation in Russia. Authored by some of Russia’s leading writers, such as Aleksandr Pushkin, Fedor Dostoevskii, Lev Tolstoi, Maksim Gorkii, and Anna Akhmatova, many of these texts are translated into English for the first time. They are accompanied by extensive annotation and biographical sketches of the authors, and reveal Russian translation discourse to be a sophisticated and often politicized exploration of Russian national identity, as well as the nature of the modern subject.

Russian Writers on Translation fills a persistent gap in the literature on alternative translation traditions, highlighting the vibrant and intense culture of translation on Europe’s ‘periphery’. Viewed in a broad cultural context, the selected texts reflect a nuanced understanding of the Russian response to world literature and highlight the attempts of Russian writers to promote Russia as an all-inclusive cultural model.

Since the early eighteenth century, following Peter the Great’s policy of forced westernization, translation in Russia has been a very visible and much-discussed practice. Generally perceived as an important service to the state and the nation, translation was also viewed as a high art, leading many Russian poets and writers to engage in literary translation in a serious and sustained manner. As a result, translations were generally regarded as an integral part of an author’s oeuvre and of Russian literature as a whole.

This volume brings together Russian writings on translation from the mid-18th century until today and presents them in chronological order, providing valuable insights into the theory and practice of translation in Russia. Authored by some of Russia’s leading writers, such as Aleksandr Pushkin, Fedor Dostoevskii, Lev Tolstoi, Maksim Gorkii, and Anna Akhmatova, many of these texts are translated into English for the first time. They are accompanied by extensive annotation and biographical sketches of the authors, and reveal Russian translation discourse to be a sophisticated and often politicized exploration of Russian national identity, as well as the nature of the modern subject.

Russian Writers on Translation fills a persistent gap in the literature on alternative translation traditions, highlighting the vibrant and intense culture of translation on Europe’s ‘periphery’. Viewed in a broad cultural context, the selected texts reflect a nuanced understanding of the Russian response to world literature and highlight the attempts of Russian writers to promote Russia as an all-inclusive cultural model.

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