The Translator of the Text: On Reading Russian Literature in English

The Translator of the Text: On Reading Russian Literature in English

By: Rachel May (author)Paperback

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What does it mean to read one nation's literature in another language? The considerable popularity of Russian literature in the English-speaking world rests almost entirely upon translations: the many competing versions of major works, and the continuing publication of new and revised translations, suggest the inherently complex interplay between language and literature. In ""The Translator in the Text"", Rachel May analyzes Russian literature in English translation, treating it less as a substitute for the original works than as a special subset of English literature, with its own cultural, stylistic, and narrative traditions. Using a blend of translation criticism, close reading, and linguistic analysis, the author explores the translator's role as mediator between cultures and among the voices within literary texts. By observing historical trends in translation styles, May shows how translators have tended to mirror and strengthen contemporary attitudes toward Russia and how swings in political relations have affected the texture of Russian literature as it appears to the anglophone public. Focusing on specific stylistic effects and their treatment in translation, the author also demonstrates regular, repeated alterations of linguistic structures which have a profound impact on the way we read Russian literature in English. May's argument is supplemented with dozens of comparative analyses of Russian passages and their English translations, which provide model close readings, focusing on the thematic implications of stylized language. Two appended essays address specific problems in the teaching of Russian literature in English. And an extensive bibliography lists many alternative translations of important literary works as well as a wealth of theoretical studies of translation. More than a simple critique of existing translations, ""The Translator in the Text"" offers a new paradigm for translation criticism as a pedagogical tool.

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780810111585
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 220
  • ID: 9780810111585
  • ISBN10: 0810111586

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