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“A passion for maps”

Marlow in Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness:

“Now when I was a little chap I had a passion for maps. I would look for hours at South America, or Africa, or Australia, and lose myself in all the glories of exploration. At that time there were many blank spaces on the Earth, and when I saw one that looked particularly inviting on a map (but they all look that) I would put my finger on it and say, ’When I grow up I will go there.’ The North Pole was one of these places, I remember. Well, I haven’t been there yet, and shall not try now. The glamour’s off. Other places were scattered about the Equator, and in every sort of latitude all over the two hemispheres. I have been in some of them, and . . . well, we won’t talk about that. But there was one yet — the biggest, the most blank, so to speak — that I had a hankering after . . .”
«Когда я был мальчишкой, я страстно любил географические карты. Часами я мог смотреть на Южную Америку, Африку или Австралию, упиваясь славой исследователя. В то время немало было белых пятен на Земле, и, когда какой-нибудь уголок на карте казался мне особенно привлекательным (впрочем, привлекательными были все глухие уголки), я указывал на него пальцем и говорил: «Вырасту и поеду туда». Помню, одним из таких мест был Северный полюс. Впрочем, я там не бывал и теперь не собираюсь туда ехать. Очарование исчезло. Другие уголки были разбросаны у экватора и во всех широтах обоих полушарий. Кое-где я побывал и… но не будем об этом говорить. Остался еще один уголок – самое большое и самое, если можно так выразиться, белое пятно, – куда я стремился.»

Translator: Александра Владимировна Кривцова (Aleksandra Vladimirovna Krivtsova)

In the early 1920s, when the publishing house Vsemirnaia literatura [World literature] was founded on Maksim Gorky’s initiative, the professionalization of translation began, as evidenced in the formulation of translation principles, the founding of translation workshops, and the publication of treatises on translation. Everyone agreed that one of the most important virtues of translation was accuracy (tochnost’), though the term was not properly defined. Later, however, accuracy became a bone of contention: The famous conflict between the well-known translator and theorist Ivan Kashkin and the so-called bukvalisty [literalists] raged for almost two decades. The “literalists” in question included Evgenii Lann and his wife Aleksandra Krivtsova, known for their translations of Dickens, and other translators, mostly associated with the Academia publishing house, who promoted the idea of painstaking attention to the rhetoric and stylistic features of the original. Kashkin, on the other hand, came up with the notion of “realist translation,” which called for translating the “reality behind the text” rather than the text itself. The idea of “artistic” versus “formal” accuracy was also championed by Kornei Chukovskii in his seminal book Vysokoe iskusstvo [A High Art] (Chukovskii 1968; Chukovsky 1984). It was Chukovskii who coined the term “inaccurate accuracy” (Chukovskii 1968, 48) for those who were, in his opinion, excessively attached to the formal structure of the original text. The battle against “literalism” was eventually won (at least in theory), and a victorious and somewhat smug feeling emerged among theorists that the Soviet school had found a golden mean, a universal standard for translation. This standard, however, proved to vary significantly across genres and literary traditions.

— Alexandra Borisenko in "The Good Are Always the Merry” - British Children’s Literature in Soviet Russia, from Translation in Russian Contexts: Culture, Politics, Identity, Taylor & Francis, 2018.

Bill White (billw@wolfram.com) · Emacs 30.0.50 (Org mode 9.6.11)