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Extra info for Contexts, subtexts and pretexts : literary translation in Eastern Europe and Russia

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One criteria for an authoritative version would be to see which one had been used as the basis for further translations. Yet the German translation (1984d) is based on the French version, while the Czech translation (1985) is based on the English version (although it was published in Paris). What could be considered the true original: the French or the English one (and in the latter case, the British or American version)? Neither the writer’s native language (Czech), nor the text’s original language (French), nor its first language of publication (Swedish) can be considered fully “authentic,” just as neither of its English translations can be called entirely authoritative.

Translation and Ukraine’s cultural history prior to Soviet rule The seminal role played by translation in forming national identities has long been acknowledged, with Martin Luther’s 1534 translation of the Bible a classic example of translation elevating the spoken vernacular to the status of a national literary language, which in turn establishes a standardized literary norm. However, a contemporaneous shift in the linguistic development of Ukraine did not occur: the influential Ostroh Bible of 1581, which could have played a role analogous to that of Luther’s Bible, was printed in Church Slavonic, while the manuscript Peresopnyts’ke Gospel of 1561, although its language was significantly closer to the local spoken vernacular, did not achieve a comparable influence at the time, and its linguistic importance was recognized only in the 1830s.

Woods, Michelle. 2006. Paths in the Fog: Translating Milan Kundera. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.  Nation and translation Literary translation and the shaping of modern Ukrainian culture Vitaly Chernetsky Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, USA It has been argued that Ukraine stands out among Slavic/East European nations due to the extent to which literary translation has played a pivotal role in shaping the modern national identity. Although vernacular translation stood at the root of many national literary traditions, the case of Ukraine, as Maksym Strikha argues in his recent history of Ukrainian literary translation, differs from its neighbors due to the nation’s lengthy colonial status and the long-standing policy of bans and restrictions Russian imperial authorities promulgated against the use of the Ukrainian language.

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