Between the lines

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Literary translation in the Soviet Union may well be the largest more or less coherent project of translation the world has seen to date &#8211; largest in terms of geographical range, number of languages involved and timespan; coherent in the sense of ideological framework (alllowing for fluctuations over time) and centralized planning. The chapter demonstrates the relevance of literary translation as an object of research within the broader context of Soviet culture. With a focus on the Stalin period, it draws attention to translation as a pragmatic &#8220;no man&#8217;s land,&#8221; open to initiatves on the part of different agents. Drawing on Toury&#8217;s (2005) application of the concept of &#8220;culture planning,&#8221; the article pays special attention to the use of interlinear trots, or <i>podstrochniki</i>, as an institutionalized &#8220;creative space&#8221; between source and target texts. Soviet practices, it is argued, may prompt a reconsideration of common concepts such as source language, target language and translational agency.Thus, the author of a translation is not a humble screw in the machinery, he is the machinery itself.Mark Tarlovskii


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