Since his death in 1837, Alexander Pushkin—often called the “father of Russian literature”—has become a timeless embodiment of Russian national identity, adopted for diverse ideological purposes and reinvented anew as a cultural icon in each historical era (tsarist, Soviet, and post-Soviet). His elevation to mythic status, however, has led to the celebration of some of his writings and the shunning of others. Throughout the history of Pushkin studies, certain topics, texts, and interpretations have remained officially off-limits in Russia—taboos as prevalent in today’s Russia as ever before.
The essays in this bold and authoritative volume use new approaches, overlooked archival materials, and fresh interpretations to investigate aspects of Pushkin’s biography and artistic legacy that have previously been suppressed or neglected. Taken together, the contributors strive to create a more fully realized Pushkin and demonstrate how potent a challenge the unofficial, taboo, alternative Pushkin has proven to be across the centuries for the Russian literary and political establishments.
A virtuoso violinist, conductor, composer, and a professor of mathematics and botany, Francesco Galeazzi (1758–1819) firmly believed that musical education should be clear, demonstrable, and practical. In 1791 and 1796, he published the two volumes of his Elementi teorico-practici di musica, a treatise that demonstrated both his thorough grounding in the work of earlier theorists and his own approach to musical study. The first volume gave precise instructions on the violin and how to play it; the second demonstrated his command of other instruments and genres and provided comprehensive introductions to music theory, music history, and music aesthetics. The treatise also addresses the nature of compositional process and eighteenth-century concerns about natural and acquired talent and creativity.
This volume offers an unprecedented English translation of the second volume of Elementi teorico-practici di musica, with annotations and commentary. The translation is introduced with a study of Galeazzi's life and milieu, the genesis and sources for the Elementi, and its reception through the present day.
Tragic Effects: Ethics and Tragedy in the Age of Translation confronts the peculiar fascination with Greek tragedy as it shapes the German intellectual tradition, with particular focus on the often controversial practice of translating the Greeks. Whereas the tradition of emulating classical ideals in German intellectual life has generally emerged from the impulse to identify with models, the challenge of translating the Greeks underscores the linguistic and historical discontinuities inherent in the recourse to ancient material and inscribes that experience of disruption as fundamental to modernity.
Friedrich Hölderlin’s translations are a case in point. Regarded in his own time as the work of a madman, his renditions of Sophoclean tragedy intensify dramatic effect with the unsettling experience of familiar language slipping its moorings. His attention to marking the distances between ancient source text and modern translation has granted his Oedipus and Antigone a distinct longevity as objects of discussion, adaptation, and even retranslation. Cited by Walter Benjamin, Martin Heidegger, Bertolt Brecht, and others, Hölderlin’s Sophocles project follows a path both marked by various contexts and tinged by persistent quandaries of untranslatability.
Tragedy has long functioned as a cornerstone for questions about ethical life. By placing emphasis on processes of translation and adaptation, however, Tragic Effects approaches the question of ethics from a perspective informed by recent discourse in translation studies. Reconstructing an ancient text in this context requires negotiating the difficult tension between comprehending the distant past and preserving its radical singularity.
In this series of textual readings and cultural comparisons, M. Wynn Thomas explores Whitman’s amazing ability to appeal across distances and centuries.
The book’s contrasting sections reflect the two locations studied: the first shows Whitman in his time and place, while the second repositions him within the cultures of England and Wales from the late 19th to the late 20th century. In the opening chapter he is placed against the vivid, outrageous background of the New York of his time; the second finds evidence in his poetry of a critique of the new urban politics of the emerging city boss; the third radically redefines Whitman's relationship to his famous contemporary Longfellow. Other chapters deal with the Civil War poet, exploring the ways in which his poetic responses were in part shaped by his relationship to his soldier brother George, and his use of the meteorological discoveries of his day to fashion metaphors for imaging the different phases of the conflict.
The second section ponders the paradox that this Whitman, who was so much the product of his specific time and limited “local” culture, should come to be accepted as an international visionary. The United Kingdom is taken as offering striking instances of this phenomenon, and his transatlantic admirers are shown to have been engaged in an unconscious process of “translating” Whitman into the terms of their own culturally specific social, political, and sexual preoccupations. Some of the connections explored are those between Whitman and Edward Carpenter, the so-called English Whitman; between Whitman and perhaps his greatest English critic, D. H. Lawrence; and between Whitman and the Welsh poets Ernest Rhys, Amanwy (David Rees Griffiths), Niclas y Glais (T. E. Nicholas), Waldo Williams, Glyn Jones, Dylan Thomas, and R. S. Thomas.
This bold and original study, offering new points of entry into understanding Whitman as the product of his time and place as well as understanding the reception of Whitman in the U.K. as a process of cultural translation, should fascinate scholars of Whitman and students of comparative literature.
In Turkey the Beat message of dissent is being given renewed life as publishers, editors, critics, readers, and others dissatisfied with the conservative social and political trends in the country have turned to the Beats and other countercultural forebears for alternatives. Through an examination of a broad range of literary translations, media portrayals, interviews, and other related materials, this book seeks to uncover how the Beats and their texts are being circulated, discussed, and used in Turkey to rethink the possibilities they might hold for social critique today.
Mortenson examines how in Turkey the Beats have been framed by the label “underground literature”; explores the ways they are repurposed in the counterculture-inspired journal Underground Poetix; looks at the reception of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road and how that reaction provides a better understanding of the construction of “American-ness”; delves into the recent obscenity trial of William S. Burroughs’s novel The Soft Machine and the attention the book’s supporters brought to government repression and Turkish homophobia; and analyzes the various translations of Allen Ginsberg’s Howl to demonstrate the relevance Ginsberg still holds for social rebellion today.
Translating the Counterculture takes a revolutionary look at how contemporary readers in other parts of the world respond to the Beats. Challenging and unsettling an American-centric understanding of the Beats, Mortenson pushes the discipline toward a fuller consideration of their cultural legacy in a globalized twenty-first century.
Harriet Beecher Stowe's 1852 antislavery novel Uncle Tom's Cabin was the nineteenth century's best-selling novel worldwide; only the Bible outsold it. It was known not only as a book but through stage productions, films, music, and commercial advertising as well. But how was Stowe's novel—one of the watershed works of world literature—actually received outside of the American context?
True Songs of Freedom explores one vital sphere of Stowe's influence: Russia and the Soviet Union, from the 1850s to the present day. Due to Russia's own tradition of rural slavery, the vexed entwining of authoritarianism and political radicalism throughout its history, and (especially after 1945) its prominence as the superpower rival of the United States, Russia developed a special relationship to Stowe's novel during this period of rapid societal change. Uncle Tom's Cabin prompted widespread reflections on the relationship of Russian serfdom to American slavery, on the issue of race in the United States and at home, on the kinds of writing appropriate for children and peasants learning to read, on the political function of writing, and on the values of Russian educated elites who promoted, discussed, and fought over the book for more than a century. By the time of the Soviet Union's collapse in 1991, Stowe's novel was probably better known by Russians than by readers in any other country.
John MacKay examines many translations and rewritings of Stowe's novel; plays, illustrations, and films based upon it; and a wide range of reactions to it by figures famous (Leo Tolstoy, Ivan Turgenev, Marina Tsvetaeva) and unknown. In tracking the reception of Uncle Tom's Cabin across 150 years, he engages with debates over serf emancipation and peasant education, early Soviet efforts to adapt Stowe's deeply religious work of protest to an atheistic revolutionary value system, the novel's exploitation during the years of Stalinist despotism, Cold War anti-Americanism and antiracism, and the postsocialist consumerist ethos.