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The Language of Alchemy: Translating Alchemical Metaphors of Shakespeare’s Sonnets into Russian
Umeå universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Institutionen för språkstudier.
(engelsk)Manuskript (preprint) (Annet vitenskapelig)
Abstract [en]

A discussion of how to translate words with cultural implications from the source language into the target language text has been present for a long time. Alchemy, as a philosophical system and as an art of change and transformation, flourished from the Middle Ages into the Renaissance and the seventeenth century. Alchemical imagery plays an important role in many of Shakespeare’s sonnets. In this paper, my intention is to examine ten Russian translations of two particular sonnets, 119 and 33, that both deal with the theme of alchemy but in different ways, which, in turn, would pose different translation problems for translators. Sonnet 119 describes in technical detail the process of distillation, specifying devices and methods. Another sonnet, 33, is organized as an extended alchemical metaphor, although without using any special terminology. I discuss the concept of metaphor from different perspectives and the translation strategies that might be applied when translating metaphors from the source language into the target language. I attempt to trace and define the strategies used in translation of the alchemical metaphor identified in Sonnet 33 in order to see how the Russian translators have handled the problems posed by it, and what effect it has had on the target texts.

Emneord [en]
Shakespeare, Russian, translation, sonnets
HSV kategori
Forskningsprogram
litteraturvetenskap
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-134780OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-134780DiVA, id: diva2:1094879
Tilgjengelig fra: 2017-05-11 Laget: 2017-05-11 Sist oppdatert: 2018-06-09
Inngår i avhandling
1. Shakespeare's sonnets in Russian: the challenge of translation
Åpne denne publikasjonen i ny fane eller vindu >>Shakespeare's sonnets in Russian: the challenge of translation
2017 (engelsk)Doktoravhandling, med artikler (Annet vitenskapelig)
Abstract [en]

Shakespeare’s 154 sonnets have become the interest of several generations of Russian translators. Overall, after their first appearance in the middle of the nineteenth century, at least thirty-five Russian translations of the complete sonnet collection have been produced so far, though mostly during the last three decades. The overall objective of the present thesis is to examine the evolution of Russian translations of Shakespeare’s sonnets over the years. The thesis is novel in that it offers an analysis of specific linguistic, literary and cultural challenges the numerous Russian translators have dealt with while translating the sonnets, as well as the strategies adopted in an effort to resolve them.

In order to achieve the study objectives, several individual sonnets and a number of their Russian translations have been selected as a sample representing challenging areas that have been more closely investigated in four articles. The method of cross comparison has been applied throughout the study. Both the introductory part and the articles address certain problematic translation issues, such as the sonnets’ formal structure, the pronouns of address, grammatical gender, bawdy language, sexual puns, culture-specific items, and metaphors.

The results provide evidence for seeing translation as a multi-layered and ever-changing process, which, apart from the pure linguistic tasks, combines historical, political and ideological aspects. The findings of the study suggest that translation competence, namely deep understanding of the context and its fundamental cultural and social features, motivates the translator’s interpretation of the contradictions and uncertainties of Shakespeare’s poems. Those include the sonnets genre, relation to Shakespeare’s biography, the order of the poems in the first 1609 Quarto. The analysis also identifies the ways in which the target language’s social and historical context have had an impact on the choices made by the translators.

On the whole, the study’s results do not contradict Mikhail Gasparov’s model describing the pendulum-like movement from “free” to “literal” approaches through the history of Russian literary translation.  

sted, utgiver, år, opplag, sider
Umeå: Umeå University, 2017. s. 123
Serie
Studier i språk och litteratur från Umeå universitet ; 37
Emneord
Shakespeare, translation, sonnets, Russian
HSV kategori
Forskningsprogram
litteraturvetenskap
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-134792 (URN)978-91-7601-681-7 (ISBN)
Disputas
2017-06-09, Hörsal 1031, Norra Beteendevetarhuset, Humanioragränd 5, Umeå, 10:00 (engelsk)
Opponent
Veileder
Tilgjengelig fra: 2017-05-18 Laget: 2017-05-11 Sist oppdatert: 2018-06-09bibliografisk kontrollert

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