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Review on the German edition of selected works of V. Nekrasov, Münster, 2017

A. Machoninova

Nekrassow W. Ich lebe ich sehe. Gedichte / Ausgewählt, aus dem Russischen übertragen und mit einem Nachwort versehen von G. Hirt und S. Wonders. Vorwort von E. Gomringer. Münster, 2017

ISBN 978-3-931325-45-9

Machoninova Alena,

PhD (Charles University, comparative studies),

a translator of Russian literature and a scholar in the field of Russian and Czech literatures (XX cent.)



The article reviews the German edition of selected works of the Russian poet, the representative of the Lianozovo school and conceptualism Vsevolod Nekrasov (1934–2009) “Ich lebe ich sehe / Zhivu i vizhu”, edited and translated into German by Günter Hirt (Georg Witte) and Sasha Wonders (Sabina Hansgen). The review is not a critique of the translation, but a reflection on the strategies by which contemporary Russian poetry can be translated to a foreign reader. Referring to Nekrasov’s own statements about the poetic translation in his article “O polskoi poezii” (About Polish poetry, 1976), where the translation is characterized as “poetry by hearsay”, the author of the review tries to find out how translators managed to disprove poet’s scepticism and minimize the unavoidable distance between the original and translation. One of the main strategies is an effort to find “similar in unlike”, i.e. what in translated poetry can be familiar and comprehensible to the foreign reader. In this case, it is concretism in its specific version, elaborated by the authors of the Lianozovo school independently and in parallel with authors of the European concrete movement. In the review is also mentioned a significant role of context in perception of translated poetry in general and in Nekrasov’s situational and contextual poetry in particular. The editors and translators recreate context of Nekrasov’s poetry not only in their detailed afterword, but also trough the composition of the whole book, by distributing texts in separate thematic blocks. Such a comprehensive approach seems to be the right way, how to present translated poetry to the reader.

Keywords: Vsevolod Nekrasov, translation, concretism, Eugen Gomringer, kontextualism.



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