Literary Reputation of a Writer of Translated Books: Jane Austen in Russia Case Study
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Abstract: The article is devoted to Jane Austen’s reception in Russia and the history of translation of her works into Russian, as well as to her literary reputation among Russian-speaking critics and readers. The purpose of the article is to analyze Austen’s reputation in Russia and identify its features resulting from the belated translation of her novels into Russian as compared to other languages. To carry out this research, a complex multidisciplinary approach, including the methods of historical-literary and comparative analyses, was used; besides, certain facts from the history of literary translation and sociological research on reading in Russia were employed. Though the 19th century Russian critics were well-informed about the English literature of the period, Jane Austen’s works were not popular with them – her name was mentioned in the Russian periodicals only three times. The first half of the 20th century saw the same indifference to Austen’s works in the USSR. Only in the second half of the century did Russian literary critics turn their attention to the English writer. The first Russian translation of her novel “Pride and Prejudice” was released in 1967, the other novels’ translations followed during the Perestroika period. Their publication coincided chronologically with a striking change of the role of literature and reading in the changing Soviet-Russian society; moreover, it was also the period of the global spread of visual art. As a result, Austen’s literary texts were often overshadowed by their screen-versions and other popular forms. Thus, Austen’s literary reputation in Russia was formed by a number of factors, belated translation being one of them. The article analyzes the main components of the current Austen’s reputation among the Russian-speaking readership and gives information on the existing Russian books and studies (both academic and popular) devoted to the English writer. The article may be of interest to scholars in the field of literature and culturology, to students and teachers, to Austen readers and admirers, and to people who are interested in Russian-English cultural links.
Key words: LITERARY REPUTATION; TRANSLATION OF FICTION; TRANSLATED LITERATURE; RUSSIAN LANGUAGE; ENGLISH LITERATURE; ENGLISH WOMEN-WRITERS; MASS CULTURE
Sidorova, O. G. (2020). Literary Reputation of a Writer of Translated Books: Jane Austen in Russia Case Study. In Philological Class. 2020. Vol. 25 ⋅ №1. P. 144-152. DOI 10.26170/FK20-01-14.