• P-ISSN 0974-6846 E-ISSN 0974-5645

Indian Journal of Science and Technology


Indian Journal of Science and Technology

Year: 2015, Volume: 8, Issue: Supplementary 10, Pages: 1-9

Original Article

Burns of the Soviet Era


This article for the first time completely characterizes the features of development of the creative heritage of Robert Burns done by Russian translators of Soviet time - from E. G. Bagritsky and T. L. Shchepkina-Kupernik up to S. Y. Marshak and S. V. Petrov. It refers to the impact of literary critics, who were under the influence of ideological notions of the epoch, on the works of translators that led to distortion of the correlation of the life of the poet and the life of peasants and connected his works exclusively with folk songs, with class hatred and his contempt for kings and nobles. The motifs alien to this significantly simplified understanding of creativity of the Scottish author - they were pushed into the background and even omitted; it can be regarded to the erotic theme expressed in some works and to the sympathy to prosperous peasantry, etc. The literary activity of S. Y. Marshak, owing to which the Scottish poet became known in Russia not only to intellectuals, lovers of English literature and culture, but also to simple townsfolk, became the real epoch in the life of Russian Burns. Burns by Marshak was accessible to their understanding; he was interesting to them, his works were published for such a wide audience in unprecedented number of copies, fantastic both for previous, and for subsequent time. Although the ideological condition imposed a significant imprint and you could only argue allegorically on many things, the «hour of triumph» for the Russian Burns has yet come and his works owing to huge circulations reached the minds and hearts of millions. The author notes the importance of the work of K. I. Tchukovsky to form public opinion concerning the perception of high advantages of translations done by S. Y. Marshak and poor quality of translations by V. M. Fedotov, who dared in 1963, during the period of absolute domination of Marshak’s interpretations, to present his own vision of many works of Burns. In the context of «ideologization» of representations about Burns combined with polarization of national literary environment, V. M. Fedotov played the «Russophile» card. He transferred his collection of translations of Burns to «Soviet Russia» publishing house, which had a great-power patriotic orientation and published the book as opposed to S. Y. Marshak, who cooperated with «New World» and other «westerners». Special attention is paid to the fate of the executed by S. V. Petrov translation of Burns cantata «The Jolly Beggars», in which the masterful use of the vernacular facilitated the amazingly accurate translation of rich colors and images of the English original. Translation did not conform to the Soviet idea about Burns; its creator was forced to compromise with editors and publishers to make significant adjustments to the text and even create the second, acceptable edition of the text, however he didn’t see its complete publication in the Soviet time, it became possible only afterward.
Keywords: An Art Detail, Art Translation, Comparative Analyses, Continuity, Poetry, Reception, Robert Burns, Russian-English Literary and Historical and Cultural Ties, The Intercultural Communications, The Literary Criticism, Tradition


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