This is the first English translation of Andrei V. Fedorov’s classic 1953 text Vvedenie v teoriiu perevoda / Introduction to Translation Theory. Fedorov was the first to argue that translation theorizing should be based on linguistics, due to the fact that language is the common denominator of all translation. In addition, this text offers a concise but thorough comparative overview of thinking on translation in Western Europe and Russia.
The detailed annotations and substantial introduction by the leading scholar and award-winning translator Brian James Baer inscribe Fedorov’s work in the political and cultural context of the Soviet Union, highlighting the early influence of Russian Formalism on Fedorov’s thinking. This volume is a model of scholarly translation that fills a major gap in our understanding of Soviet translation theory, which will compel a rethinking of current histories of the field.
Contributing to the important work of internationalizing and generating new histories of translation studies, this volume is key reading for scholars and researchers of the history, theory, and politics of translation studies; comparative literature; and Russian and Slavic studies.
Table of Contents
Chapter One: Theory of Translation as a Scholarly Discipline
Chapter Two: From the History of Translation and of Thinking about Translation
Chapter Three: Marx, Engels, and Lenin on Translation
Chapter Four: The Theory and Practice of Translation in the Soviet Union
Chapter Five: Vital Issues Concerning Translation Theory in Light of Joseph Stalin’s Teaching on Linguistics
Chapter Six: Clarifying the Problem of Translatability and the Principle of a Full Value (Adekvatnyi) Translation
Chapter Seven: General Problems Related to Language in Translation
Chapter Eight: Varieties of Translation Related to the Genre Type of the Translated Material
Appendix: Basic Concepts Associated with the Translation of Poetry
Brian James Baer is Professor of Russian and Translation Studies at Kent State University and Leading Research Fellow at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow. He is founding editor of the journal Translation and Interpreting Studies, and co-editor of the Bloomsbury book series Literatures, Cultures, Translation. His most recent publications include the monographs Translation and the Making of Modern Russian Literature and Queer Theory and Translation Studies: Language, Politics, Desire.
Brian James Baer has long been our leading translator of and commentator on Russian thinking about translation, and now he has done us the great service of making the early and groundbreaking work of Fedorov available to us in English. His translation is highly attentive to the cultural situatedness of Fedorov’s thought and presentation in the 1950s Soviet Union, with helpful annotations and meticulous correction of false friends appearing in past English discussions.
Douglas Robinson, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong