D. E. Min’s Creative Work in the History of the Russian Literary Translation of the XIXth Century

Dmitry Nikolayevich Zhatkin, Olga Sergeevna Milotaeva


In the article devoted to the creative activity of the prominent Russian translator Dmitry Egorovich Min (1818 – 1883), his contribution to the history of Russian poetic translation, development of theoretical representations in the field of the Russian translated fiction is for the first time completely comprehended. Without being engaged in the original literary creativity, D.E. Min saw the main objective in the complete and exact reflection of specifics of foreign works in Russian. Such approach which didn’t correspond to characteristic tendency of the translation development in the 1850 – 1880s as a free interpretation, limited possibilities of Russian translation as the phenomena of native literature, but thus allocated it with the essential philological importance, fundamental validity that, finally, allowed Min to occupy a unique position in Russian literature and culture of the time. The choice of works for the translation was inevitably caused by ideological positions of D.E. Min which were rather inconsistent and didn’t allow him to be considered a translator of "pure art" as well as a number of their opponents from democratic literary circles. D.E. Min for many years holding high positions in Moscow University and having the solid social status, generally cooperated with the extremely right in ideology “Russkiy Vestnik” (“ Russian Messenger”) of M. N. Katkov, but thus quite often interpretated the works proclaiming ideas of social justice, need of education of common people at large etc. In this regard the choice of Min of J. Krabb's works is interesting representing the god-loving and law-abiding priest who was capable to describe truthfully in the poems cruelty of the world, burden of country work, disgrace and injustice of the strong, their indifference to sufferings of people; also the personality of R.-U. Buchanan translated by D.E. Min is so inconsistent combining loyalty of the power and internal rejection of public processes. D.E. Min for the first time in Russia addressed to creative works of the English social democrat U. Morris but chose for the translation the most neutral, the work deprived of revolutionary pathos – the poem “Earthly paradise”, literary stylization created under the influence of the Pre-Raphaelite Dante Gabriel Rossetti and representing reality in an allegorical form. Noting discrepancy of ideological searches of D. E. Min, the authors of the article bring to thought of illegality of the characteristic of the 1860s – the 1870s only as the fight stage between noble and liberal and revolutionary-democratic directions in the Russian literary translation, note existence of such figures in literary process of that time which managed to avoid direct participation in the called polemic on positions of one of the parties. Avoiding distortions towards literalism and a liberty, seeking for the most exact preservation and reconstruction of realities of other cultures, the nonprofessional translator, the scientist-physician D. E. Min made the significant contribution to professionalizing of translation matter in Russia.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2015.v6n3s3p383

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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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