Nation and translation

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It has been argued that Ukraine stands out among Slavic/East European nations due to the extent to which literary translation has played a pivotal role in shaping the modern national identity. Although vernacular translation stood at the root of many national literary traditions, the case of Ukraine, as Maksym Strikha argues in his recent history of Ukrainian literary translation, differs from its neighbors due to the nation’s lengthy colonial status and the long-standing policy of bans and restrictions Russian imperial authorities promulgated against the use of the Ukrainian language. Building in part on the scholarly paradigms developed by Western scholars who bring translation studies into dialogue with postcolonial theory, the present article proceeds from a critical summary of Strikha’s narrative and its arguments to a discussion of the ways in which some of the leading contemporary Ukrainian authors (among them Yuri Andrukhovych, Volodymyr Dibrova, Oksana Zabuzhko, and Andrii Bondar) combine their activities as writers and literary translators, striving to take Ukrainian culture in a new direction in the context of postcolonial independence and engagement with the cultural aspects of globalization.


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