Translation as an ethical mission. Revisiting the history of Dante's “Divine comedy” in Russian translation

Автор: Landa Kristina S.

Журнал: Новый филологический вестник @slovorggu

Рубрика: Переводоведение

Статья в выпуске: 1 (52), 2020 года.

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The focus of the present study is the 1887 translation of Dante’s Inferno by Sergey I. Zarudnyj, a statesman of the so-called era of the Great Reforms, and the version of the first canto of Purgatorio by the contemporary Russian poet Olga Sedakova (2017). My methodological approach is based on the theory in Translation Studies. Within the framework of this theory, literary translations are not analyzed from the point of the degree of linguistic and stylistic relevance to the original but rather in the light of the peculiarities of the recipient culture. The translator is seen here as manipulating the text to decide how to put it in his or her work. Among other, this approach demands the analysis of metatexts in which the translator’s ideological views and theoretical principles are documented. In my paper I argue that both Zarudnyj and Sedakova, unlike other Russian translators of Dante, and notwithstanding the difference of historical and literary contexts of their work, consider their results presumably as an ethical task that determines their general literary strategies as well as the shared traits of them. For both translators the core act of translation becomes an instrument to explicate the ethical problems of the Comedy, to draw reader’s attention to the metaphysical content and eventually to transform the mood in which the Russian audience use to perceive Dante. At the same time, their accent on the ethical message in the Comedy corresponds to what Dante himself intended to do, as he formulated in the Epistola a Can Grande. In this sense, the translators bring out, with different means, the general original intention of the text.


Divine comedy, s.i. zarudnyj, o.a. sedakova, inferno, purgatorio, russian translations of dante

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IDR: 149127419   |   DOI: 10.24411/2072-9316-2020-00024

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