Volume 34, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0924-1884
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9986
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes



This article focuses on the ideological content and function of the prefaces that accompany the translations of foreign literature made in the Soviet Union. The aim of the article is to demonstrate how these translations use paratexts to comply with the target system’s ideological constraints. It shows how the ways in which the Soviet authorities used paratexts to manipulate representations of the author of the source text and the text itself reflect the power structures within the target system. The empirical investigation draws on a close lexical analysis of ideologemes in two prefaces that accompanied Soviet translations of Robert Burns’s poetry.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Bednarczyk, Anna
    2014 “Политические контексты переводческой деятельности (перевод переводчик политика в польском и русском социокультурном пространстве) [Political contexts of translation activities (translation, translator, politics in Polish and Russian sociocultural discourse].” Zagadnienia Rodzajow LiterchichLVII/1: 254–271.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. De-you, Yang
    1987 “On Marshak’s Russian Translation of Robert Burns.” Studies in Scottish Literature22 (1): 10–29.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Dimitriu, Rodica
    2009 “Translators’ Prefaces as Documentary Sources for Translation Studies.” Perspectives: Studies in Translation Theory and Practice17 (3): 193–206. 10.1080/09076760903255304
    https://doi.org/10.1080/09076760903255304 [Google Scholar]
  4. Genette, Gerard
    1997Paratexts: Thresholds of Interpretation. [orig.Seuils]. Translated byJane E. Lewin. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9780511549373
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511549373 [Google Scholar]
  5. Gil-Bajardí, Anna, Pilar Orero, and Sara Rovira-Esteva
    eds. 2012Translation Peripheries: Paratextual Elements in Translation. Bern: Peter Lang. 10.3726/978‑3‑0351‑0360‑1
    https://doi.org/10.3726/978-3-0351-0360-1 [Google Scholar]
  6. Goryaeva Tatiana
    2009Политическая цензура в СССР. 1917–1991 гг [Political censorship in the USSR. 1917–1991]. ROSSPEN: Moscow.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Gusejnov, Gasan
    2004D.S.P. Советские Идеологемы в Русском Дискурсе 1990-х [Soviet ideologemes in Russian discourse of the 1990s]. Moscow: Tri kvadrata.
    [Google Scholar]
  8. Haroon, Haslina
    2017 “The Translator’s Preface as a Paratextual Device in Malay–English Literary Translations.” Translation & Interpreting9 (2): 100–113. 10.12807/ti.109202.2017.a07
    https://doi.org/10.12807/ti.109202.2017.a07 [Google Scholar]
  9. Harvey, Keith
    2003 “‘Events’ and ‘Horizons’: Reading Ideology in the ‘Bindings’ of Translations.” InApropos of Ideology: Translation Studies on Ideology – Ideologies in Translation Studies, edited byMaría Calzada-Pérez, 43–70. Manchester: St. Jerome.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. Kaloh Vid, Natalia
    2007 “Use of Domesticated and Foreignized Methods in the Soviet School of Translation.” Elope1 (2): 151–159.
    [Google Scholar]
  11. 2011a “Robert Burns’s ‘The Twa Dogs’: Ideological Aspects of Translation into Russian.” Scottish Literary Review3 (1): 1–20.
    [Google Scholar]
  12. 2011bIdeological Translation of Robert Burns’s Poetry in Russia and in the Soviet Union. Slovenia: Mednarodna založba Oddelka za slovanske jezike in književnosti: Filozofska fakulteta.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. 2014a “Translating Love and the Erotic in the Soviet Union: The Case of Robert Burns’s Poetry.” InForces of the Erotic: Past and Present Transgressions, Transformations and Bliss, edited byDoreen Bauschke and Dena Gilby, 133–149. Oxford: Inter-Disciplinary Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. 2014b “The Reception of Robert Burns in Russia.” InThe Reception of Robert Burns in Europe, edited byMurray Pittock, 155–178. London: Bloomsbury.
    [Google Scholar]
  15. 2015a “Translations of Robert Burns in the Soviet Union: What is Hidden Between the Lines?” InPreklad a kultúra 5. 1, edited byEdita Gromová and Mária Kusá, 59–69. Nitra: Univerzita Konštanina Filzofa v Nitre/Filozoficka fakula.
    [Google Scholar]
  16. 2015b “A Comrade or a Mistress? Translations of Robert Burns’s Erotic Poetry in the Soviet Union.” InPanEroticism, edited byBen Ambler, Ana Došen, and Kristina Kočan, 13–20. Oxford: Inter-Disciplinary Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  17. 2017 “Translations of Robert Burns’ Poetry in the Soviet Union: Ideological Aspects.” InTranslation, the Canon and its Discontent: Version and Subversion, edited byMiguel Ramalhete Gomes, 93–109. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars.
    [Google Scholar]
  18. 2018 “Translations of Robert Burns in the Russian Book Market: The Old and the New.” Studies in Scottish Literature44 (1): 13–20.
    [Google Scholar]
  19. 2019 “Role of Paratexts in Mediating Ideologically Adapted Translations in the Soviet Union: The Case of Robert Burns.” Belgrade English Language & Literature Studies11: 247–265. 10.18485/bells.2019.11.12
    https://doi.org/10.18485/bells.2019.11.12 [Google Scholar]
  20. Kaloh Vid, Natalia, and Koletnik, Mihaela
    2020 “Dialect in Poetic Translations: The Case of Robert Burns’ Poetry in Russia and in Slovenia.” Slavia Centralis13 (1): 7–21.
    [Google Scholar]
  21. Kamovnikova, Natalia
    2019Made Under Pressure: Literary Translation in the Soviet Union, 1960–1991. Massachusetts: University of Massachusetts Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  22. Kovala, Urpo
    1996 “Translations, Paratextual Mediation, and Ideological Closure.” Target8 (1): 119–147. 10.1075/target.8.1.07kov
    https://doi.org/10.1075/target.8.1.07kov [Google Scholar]
  23. Kupina, Nadezhda
    2000 “Языковое строительство: от системы идеологем к системе культурем. [The language construction: From the system of ideologeme to the system of cultureme].” Русский язык сегодня [Russian language today]1: 182–189.
    [Google Scholar]
  24. Lefevere, André
    1992Translation, Rewriting, and the Manipulation of Literary Fame. London: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  25. 1998 “Translation Practice(s) and the Circulation of Cultural Capital: Some Aeneids in English.” InConstructing Cultures: Essays on Literary Translation Topics in Translation, edited bySusan Bassnett and André Lefevere, 41–56. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
    [Google Scholar]
  26. Lenin, Vladimir
    1967Полное собрание сочинений [The collected works]. Ed. 5. T.10. Moscow: Izdateljstvo politicheskoj literatury.
    [Google Scholar]
  27. Lylo, Taras
    2017 “Ideologeme as a Representative of the Basic Concepts of Ideology in the Media Discourse.” Social Communication (3) 1: 14–20. 10.1515/sc‑2017‑0002
    https://doi.org/10.1515/sc-2017-0002 [Google Scholar]
  28. Malysheva, Elena G.
    2019 “Ideologeme as Lingo-Cognitive Phenomenon: Definition and Classification.” Translated byI. S. Pirozhkova. Political Linguistics1 (73): 134–144. 10.26170/pl19‑01‑16
    https://doi.org/10.26170/pl19-01-16 [Google Scholar]
  29. Maclean, Marie
    1991 “Pretexts and Paratexts: The Art of the Peripheral.” New Literary History (22) 2: 273–279. 10.2307/469038
    https://doi.org/10.2307/469038 [Google Scholar]
  30. Manning, Scott
    2021 “Battle of Bannockburn.” Encyclopedia Britannica. AccessedOctober 12, 2021. https://www.britannica.com/event/Battle-of-Bannockburn.
    [Google Scholar]
  31. McRae, Ellen
    2012 “The Role of Translators’ Prefaces to Contemporary Literary Translations into English: An Empirical Study.” InAnna Gil-Bajardí, Pilar Orero, and Sara Rovira-Esteva (2012, 63–82).
    [Google Scholar]
  32. Morozov, Aleksander
    1947 “Предисловие [Preface].” InРоберт Бернс в переводах С. Маршака. Избранное [Robert Burns in S. Marshak’s translations. Selected], byRobert Burns, translated bySamuil Marshak, iii–x. Moscow: Goslitizdat.
    [Google Scholar]
  33. 1976 “Комментарии [Comments].” InРоберт Бернс. Стихи [Robert Burns. Poems], byRobert Burns, translated bySamuil Marshak, 366–374. Moscow: Khudozhestvennaya literatura.
    [Google Scholar]
  34. Nahimova Elena
    2011 “Идеологемы ‘Сталин’ в современной массовой коммуникации [Ideologemes of Stalin in contemporary mass communication].” Politicheskaya lingvistika2 (36): 152–156.
    [Google Scholar]
  35. Norberg, Ulf
    2012 “Literary Translators’ Comments on Their Translations in Prefaces and Afterwords: The Case of Contemporary Sweden.” InAnna Gil-Bajardí, Pilar Orero, and Sara Rovira-Esteva (2012, 101–116).
    [Google Scholar]
  36. Pellatt, Valerie
    ed. 2013Text, Extratext, Metatext and Paratext in Translation. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars.
    [Google Scholar]
  37. Pingping, Hou
    2013 “Paratexts in the English Translation of the Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung.” InText, Extratext, Metatext and Paratext in Translation, edited byValeria Pellatt, 33–49. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars.
    [Google Scholar]
  38. Riera, Jorge Braga
    2018 “The Role of Epitexts in Drama Translation.” InTaking Stock and Audiovisual Translation, edited byJuan José Martinez Sierra, special issue ofJoSTrans30: 249–268.
    [Google Scholar]
  39. Rolf, Malte
    2009 “A Hall of Mirrors: Sovietizing Culture Under Stalinism.” Slavic Review68 (3): 601–630. 10.1017/S0037677900019768
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0037677900019768 [Google Scholar]
  40. Sherry, Samantha
    2012Censorship in Translation in the Soviet Union in the Stalin and Khrushchev Eras. PhD diss.University of Edinburgh.
    [Google Scholar]
  41. Stratford, Madeleine, and Louis Jolicoeur
    2014 “La littérature québécoise traduite au Mexique : Trois anthologies à la Foire internationale du livre de Guadalajara [Quebec literature translated in Mexico: Three anthologies at the Guadalajara International Book Fair].” Meta59 (1): 97–123. 10.7202/1026472ar
    https://doi.org/10.7202/1026472ar [Google Scholar]
  42. Tahir-Gürçağlar, Şehnaz
    2002 “What Texts Don’t Tell: The Uses of Paratexts in Translation Research.” InCrosscultural Transgressions: Research Models in Translation Studies II: Historical and Ideological Issues, edited byTheo Hermans, 44–60. Manchester: St. Jerome.
    [Google Scholar]
  43. 2013 “The Nature and Functions of Allographic Prefaces in Translated Works: An Initial Exploration of the Turkish Context.” InAuthorial and Editorial Voices in Translation 2: Editorial and Publishing Practice, edited byHanne Jansen and Anna Wegener, 89–108. Montréal: Éditions québécoises de l’œuvre.
    [Google Scholar]
  44. Tamba, Andreea-Mihaela
    2013 “Translating vs. Rewriting During the Romanian Communist Period – Prefaces to Translations of Vanity Fair and Tess of the d’Urbervilles.” Philologica Jassyensia2 (18): 261–270.
    [Google Scholar]
  45. Toury, Gideon
    1995Descriptive Translation Studies – and Beyond. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/btl.4
    https://doi.org/10.1075/btl.4 [Google Scholar]
  46. Tvardovsky, Aleksander
    1976 “Предисловие [Preface].” InРоберт Бернс в переводах Самуила Маршака [Robert Burns in translations by Samuil Marshak], byRobert Burns, translated bySamuil Marshak, 20–25. Moscow: Khudozhestvennaya literatura.
    [Google Scholar]
  47. Watts, Richard
    2000 “Translating Culture: Reading the Paratexts to Aimé Césaire’s Cahier d’un retour au pays natal.” TTR13 (2): 29–45. 10.7202/037410ar
    https://doi.org/10.7202/037410ar [Google Scholar]
  48. Yosé Yuste, Frías
    2012 “Paratextual Elements in Translation: Paratranslating Titles in Children’s Literature.” InAnna Gil-Bajardí, Pilar Orero, and Sara Rovira-Esteva (2012, 117–134).
    [Google Scholar]
  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): ideology; manipulation; preface; Robert Burns; translation
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error