Contexts of Russian Literary Translation
  • ISSN 1932-2798
  • E-ISSN: 1876-2700
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Acknowledging the significance of context and of translators as agents, this article is concerned with the establishment of ‘translational facts’ (Toury 1995) and its relation to canon formation in Russian culture of the Soviet period. The translational facts examined are the two complete renditions of Byron’s to appear during the Soviet era: Georgii Shengeli’s version from 1947 and Tatiana Gnedich’s from 1959. The context in which they are considered is the development of the so-called Soviet school of translation as a concept, a process which roughly coincided with the intervening period. Drawing on Russian archival sources, the study offers a reconsideration of the ‘Soviet school of translation’ from perspectives beyond its own self-understanding and official status and looks at it as a construct with a complex history of its own. The analysis shows how translational facts may become signs in the target culture and how this, in the case of Byron, affected the formation of the Soviet translational canon.


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