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Matryoshka-Hamlet: Censorship in Nikolai Polevoi’s Popular Shakespeare Translation
2019 (English)In: Understanding Misunderstanding. Vol. 1: Cross-Cultural Translation / [ed] Tamara Brzostowska-Tereszkiewicz, Magdalena Rembowska-Płuciennik and Beata Śniecikowska, Frankfurt/M. – Berlin – Bern – Bruxelles – New York – Oxford – Wien: Peter Lang Internationaler Verlag der Wissenschaften , 2019, p. 159-185Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The paper explores the mysterious success of the 1837 translation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet by Nikolai Polevoi. Polevoi heavily edited Hamlet shortening the play to a quarter and introducing many lines and emotions that did not exist in the original. In Polevoi’s interpretation the Danish prince acquired features of a Russian intelligent helpless before political reaction, battering himself for his helplessness and devoured by his own ruminations. And yet the stage version of Polevoi’s Hamlet conquered the Russian scene for the rest of the 19th century. Many lines from Polevoi’s version became Russian catch phrases despite there being no Shakespearian equivalents for them. Herzen and Dostoevsky wrote ecstatic letters about it. The most influential critic Belinsky cemented its popularity with his rapturous reviews. Turgenev further contributed to popularization of Hamlet in Russia as a “superfluous man” based on Polevoi’s translation leading to the emergence of Russian Hamletism. My paper will try to establish the role of both the state’s as well as the translator’s own censorship in Polevoi’s Hamlet drawing attention to censorship’s productive potential.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Frankfurt/M. – Berlin – Bern – Bruxelles – New York – Oxford – Wien: Peter Lang Internationaler Verlag der Wissenschaften , 2019. p. 159-185
Series
Cross-Roads
Keywords [en]
translationcensorshipRussianHamletShakespeare Polevoi
National Category
Specific Literatures
Research subject
Slavic Languages
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-399122ISBN: 978-3-631-79250-6 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-399122DiVA, id: diva2:1377834
Available from: 2019-12-12 Created: 2019-12-12 Last updated: 2019-12-12

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CiteExportLink to record
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  • apa
  • ieee
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More styles
Language
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  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
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  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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