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You'd be able to name Pushkin too. The Shrike Send a noteboard - 05/04/2017 01:11:14 PM

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View original postThe problem of what does and doesn't get translated into other languages. If I were a non-Russian, I don't think I would know about him. When learning about Russian literature in college (university for you non-Americans), I do not recall him being mentioned. I only know of him from my own readings for fun.

But then, the number of (modern) non-English writing poets who are globally famous is fairly vanishingly small, so not that strange. Among Russian poets I'd only be able to name Akhmatova, and even then with basically no idea of what her work is like. Not that I'd do all that much better with novelists, but a little at least. And same for other languages.

I guess poetry loses more in translation than prose, or people think it does, so less likelihood of translations being published, or being commercially successful at least.


Pushkin is most famous as a poet. At least among Russians. But yes, it is far easier to translate prose than it is to translate poetry. I often wonder what it would like to read Shakespeare in non-English. I don't think plays always translate that well either. I am grateful I can read both Russian and English poetry and understand it. I wish I could do the same for German at the same level.

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Yevgeny Yevtushenko, influential Russian poet, has passed away - 03/04/2017 05:30:50 PM 1626 Views
He loomed large in the novel by Aksyonov I read relatively recently, A Mysterious Passion. - 04/04/2017 03:47:45 AM 474 Views
Non-Russians don't necessarily know they should be interested. - 04/04/2017 12:35:49 PM 404 Views
I must say, I don't think I'd heard of him before. - 04/04/2017 10:31:26 PM 433 Views
Poetry loses almost everything in translation. - 05/04/2017 04:05:34 AM 517 Views
You'd be able to name Pushkin too. - 05/04/2017 01:11:14 PM 499 Views
Don't get me started on Russian literature classes - 05/04/2017 04:10:04 AM 417 Views
Mine was similar. - 05/04/2017 01:17:59 PM 397 Views
I honestly don't know enough about him. - 04/04/2017 12:41:35 PM 398 Views
You know his work. You just don't know you know it. - 05/04/2017 03:56:28 AM 495 Views
This appears to be true. - 05/04/2017 01:22:49 PM 462 Views

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