Translation and the making of modern Russian literature


Translation and the making of modern Russian literature

Brian James Baer

(Literatures, cultures, translation)

Bloomsbury Academic, 2016

  • : PB

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Includes bibliographical references (p. [181]-206) and index



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. Modeling the long overdue integration of translation into literary and cultural studies, Translation and the Making of Modern Russian Literature studies the circulation and reception of specific translated texts alongside re-readings of seminal works of the Russian literary canon.


Acknowledgments Introduction Born in Translation Chapter One Reading between, Reading among: Poet-Translators in the Age of the Decembrists Chapter Two The Translator as Forger: (Mis)Translating Empire in Lermontov's Hero of Our Time and Roziner's A Certain Finkelmeyer Chapter Three The Boy Who Cried "Volk"!: (Mis)Translating the Nation in Dostoevsky's "Peasant Marei" and Iskander's "Pshada" Chapter Four Re-figuring Translation: Translator-heroines in Russian Women's Writing Chapter Five Imitatio: Translation and the Making of Soviet Subjects Chapter Six Reading Wilde in Moscow, or le plus ca change: Translations of Western Gay Literature in Post-Soviet Russia Chapter Seven Unpacking Daniel Stein, or Where Post-Soviet Meets Postmodern Bibliography Index

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