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Translation and Intertextuality in the Soviet-Russian Context: The Case of Georgii Shengeli’s Don Juan
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Uppsala Centre for Russian and Eurasian Studies.
2016 (English)In: Slavic and East European Journal, ISSN 0037-6752, E-ISSN 2325-7687, Vol. 60, no 1, 22-48 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Although Russian writers have always tended to engage in literary translation as an integral part of their work, during Soviet times this tradition was artificially reinforced due to the political and ideological restrictions placed on original writing. This article explores some implications of the massive rechannelling of authorial energy into translation work which took place at the time, becoming a notable feature of Soviet culture. As writers-turned-translators had to reconcile creation with recreation, it is neccessary, it is argued here, to approach translations from the Soviet period much in the same way as original writing, that is, as literary works in the context of the target culture as a whole. Such a standpoint will foreground relations between translations and indigenous literature, or in other words, problems of intertextuality. Drawing on Lawrence Venuti’s elaboration of translation as a “unique case of intertextuality” (2009), the article provides an analysis of Georgii Shengeli’s 1947 rendition of Byron’s Don Juan against the background of Shengeli’s biography and literary career. Archival material and critical writings are used to demonstrate how translation in this case provided a medium for intertextual dialogue and literary polemics pertaining specifically to the target culture. For Shengeli — as a poet, verse theorist and translator — the act of recontextualization had a significance beyond the ambition to recreate source-work intertextuality, one that had a bearing precisely on the substitutional function of literary translation typical of his epoch.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 60, no 1, 22-48 p.
Keyword [en]
translation, intertextuality, Venuti, Soviet culture, Byron, Shengeli, Russian Silver Age
National Category
Languages and Literature
Research subject
Slavic Languages
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-276306ISI: 000376473700004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-276306DiVA: diva2:902321
The Interface with the Foreign: The "Soviet School of Translation," Cold War, and World Literature
Swedish Research Council, 2014-1187
Available from: 2016-02-10 Created: 2016-02-10 Last updated: 2016-07-07Bibliographically approved

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