M. A. Sholokhov in English-language cross-cultural communication: on the History of Translation of the novel “The Quiet Donˮ

Publication type Article
Status Published
Affiliation: Institute of World Literature. A.M. Gorky RAS
Address: 25 a Povarskaya Str., Moscow, 121069, Russia
Journal nameIzvestiia Rossiiskoi akademii nauk. Seriia literatury i iazyka
EditionVolume 81 Issue 6

The article is devoted to the history of the English translation of the novel “The Quiet Don&8j1;, carried out by Harry Stevens. The translator belonged to the Quakers, provided humanitarian aid in the famine-stricken Volga region, and loved Russia, due to this love he took up the work on translation so passionately. The translation contained significant differences from the original: the publisher tried to place a new for the English reader book in the right market niche. The contractions and breaking of the novel’s structure affected the spatio-temporal “layers&8j1; of the novel. “Transportation&8j1; is most easily subordinated to “history&8j1; – the plot and genre provide mutual understanding most of all. The simplification of the language made by Stevens affected the verbal representation of the plot: the translator, who is difficult to suspect of wanting to harm the Sholokhov text, fought for the “universality&8j1; of the novel. Harry Stevens obviously understood the “periphery&8j1; of many subjects and plot branches of the “Quiet Don&8j1; for the Western reader. And, as is known from the sales statistics, he won the struggle and earned the reader’s recognition for the Russian author.

KeywordsSholokhov, translation, cross-cultural communication, cultural hegemony, cultural transfer, canon of long duration, world literature
AcknowledgmentThe article was prepared with the financial support of the Russian Foundation for Basic Research, project 20-012-00539 A “Nobel laureates B.L. Pasternak (1958) and M.A. Sholokhov (1965) in European cross-cultural communication. New materials for the History of Russian Literature of the 1930s–1960sˮ
Publication date19.12.2022
Number of characters28010
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