Literary Translation in Russia
Edited By Leon Burnett and Emily Lygo
Brian James Baer Vasilii Zhukovskii, Translator: Accommodating Politics in Early Nineteenth-Centur
y Russia Introduction The current focus on questions of power and authority in Translation and Interpreting Studies and attendant calls for greater activism among trans- lation and interpreting professionals is ref lected in the attention paid to acts of resistance, that is, on the ways translators and interpreters have used their position to critique – in more or less covert forms – the powers that be.1 Because of its reliance on translation, on the one hand, and censor- ship restrictions, on the other, Russia – from the eighteenth century to the Soviet period – of fers a wealth of examples of how translation has functioned as an act of resistance. Such acts involved not only transla- tions themselves but also critical literature on translations and translators, through which emerges a discourse of heroic resistance to fate and, very often, by extension, the regime. Less attention, however, has been paid to those translators who attenuate the political implications of foreign works through a variety of strategies and for a variety of reasons. I will examine 1 See Maria Tymoczko and Edwin Gentzler, eds, Translation and Power (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2002); Mona Baker, Translation and Conf lict: A Narrative Account (London and New York: Routledge, 2006); Maria Tymoczko, Translation, Resistance, Activism (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2010); Julie Boéri and Carol Maier, Translation/Interpreting and Social Activism (Manchester: St Jerome, 2010); and Moria Inghilleri and Sue-Ann Harding, ‘Special Issue: Translation and Violent Conf lict’, The Translator 16.2 (2010). 56 Brian James Baer these strategies...
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